Dengbesz Kazo, with Vahan Kerovpyan and Murat İçlinalça
Presented by Tear ZAR and SFIAF (duration 90 minutes)
Dengbej are Kurdish storytellers who collect and recite stories about life in Kurdish villages and cities. There are many comparisons that can be drawn between the dengbej of Kurdistan and the historical entertainers and epic poets of other cultures. France had their jongleurs and minstrels, and England had their bards. Though similar to these traditions, the dengbej differ in that they have traditionally been dependant on their voice alone rather than using instrumental accompaniments. The topics of a dengbej’s kilams (songs), which can last from hours to days, generally include: the heroic deeds of warriors (pêlewan), the adventures of wanderers, battles between Kurdish tribes, tragedies and delights of loves won and loves lost, and the struggle against disasters of nature and man. The criminalization of the Kurdish language after the military coup of 1980 finally silenced the storytellers, and many songs were lost.