Light of the Shadows

June 14th, 2011  |  Published in Historical heritage


The Evagoras Lanitis Center welcomed in December 2002 an impressive exhibition under the title “The light of the Shadow” the exhibition reviewed the history of the shadow theatre as an art and culture form from Asiatic origins through Greece and then to Cyprus.
The exhibition was based on a collection of shadow theatre characters by well- known exponent of the shadow theatre, Evgenios Spatharis from Greece.

“Shadow and light…shadow theatre. Its history one of dark and light passages. A history which emerges both from mythology and fairytale and from the dramaturgic creation of a civilization from which it draws the power to narrate and to invent stories inspired by religion, myth and also politics.

Although for the most part we accept that shadow theater was morn in Asia, and more specifically in India, some studies tend to show that the shadow theatre already existed, more than 2000 years earlier, at the time of the Indo-European migration from the West to the East. 

 Later in the baggage of clowns and nomads shadow theatre set out once more this time traveling westwards following the tide of wars the fortune of geopolitics broadening its themes thanks to the mingling of races and at the same time losing its religious dynamism its esoteric and ritual dimension.

Indeed with regard to the shadow theatre of the Mediterranean once the religious character no longer supported the narrative weft the new themes were based on politico social satire. It was under Ottoman rule- from where it took the name Karaghoz and is known even today in the Greek world as Karaghiozis that is excelled and reached its zenith in the Greek world and this was because of its previous continual migrations.

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