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TYA, Culture, Society

International Essays on Theatre for Young Audiences- A Publication of ASSITEJ and ITYARN

Series:

Manon van de Water

This unique edition is the result of the second International Theatre for Young Audiences Research Network (ITYARN) conference that was held in Malmoe, Sweden, in May 2011 as part of the XVIIth ASSITEJ World Congress and Festival. In fifteen essays that are illustrative of the wide variety as well as of the many opportunities for research in TYA, this book covers six continents, includes quantitative, qualitative, ethnographic/action, and historiographical methods, and highlights critical theory, philosophical discourse, play analysis, and other approaches. The essays deal with a broad range of issues, including representation, cultural contexts, questions of identity, race-, class-, and gender theory, notions of child and childhood, aesthetics, and the influence of media and dominant ideologies. ITYARN aims to further research in the field of theatre for young audiences to contextualize and theorize the lively artistic products for children and youth globally. It is the research network of ASSITEJ, the International Association of Theatre for Children and Youth, which co-produced this publication.

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TYA as Ideological Production in Turkey

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Tülin Saglam Theatre for children and young people is a relatively new and ideologically framed concept in Turkey. TYA came into existence parallel with the construction of the new Republic, just around the 1930s. That was the time to create a new nation, a new culture, and a new state in Turkey in the context of Westernization. Theatre, not only for young people but also for adults, played an important role during the construction and imposition of the new ideology both through content and form. It is widely accepted that culture itself is an ideological concept. It creates and is also created by ideology. Any analysis on cultural institutions and productions cannot be understood completely without taking the dominant ideas and practices of a culture, namely the ideology, into consideration. Ideology, as Althusser puts it, takes its raison d’être from the practice of life (Althouser 55). As the material practice of society, ideology contains everything and everyone, and this status brings particular importance to ideology. Ideology has an omnipresent character, and it represents a milieu. Ideology exists together with the material and can not be separated from material existence (Althouser 55-7). So, as all cultural productions, theatre, as a part of the material practice of the society, also is an ideological production. In other words, it is a process of production of some meanings, signs, and values in social life. It has a reciprocal relationship with the society/ideology; theatre productions produce ideology and are also affected by it....

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