Camel Wrestling for Vice magazine
The Shadows Theater, an ancient Ottoman tradition, is still one of the most popular entertainment during Ramadan in Turkey.
It is called with the names of the two main characters, Karagöz and Hacivat, an odd couple of friends, the former being a rude peasant with a peculiar bass and harsh voice, that in the comedies keep ruining his more educated and haughty friend’s plans to improve their condition.
As many others street theaters in the world, it is vanishing due to the diffusion of mass media and other forms of live entertainment. And like all street theaters, the amusement for children is accompanied with hinting to the satire against the Power: actually, Karagöz and Hacivat would be real life characters, executed by a ruler annoyed with their jests, at least according to the tradition.
Tradition that goes on, and is kept alive by a handful of Masters, that for the first time this year has included a woman impersonating the role of Karagöz, a task impossible so far because of the peculiar voice of the character. In this age’s more and more modern Turkey, a young actress has trained herself for years to use her voice to be accepted as a performer of the centuries old Karagöz and Hacivat theater.
“Slow Food” is a non-profit international organization which aims to recover the value of typical food and to make fine eating popular beyond the gourmet circles.
Obviously, food products are produced by land or sea, and to reach the tables they need to go through long paths. “Slow Food” makes sure that these paths are not weird or winding, for the quality is really protected only through the safeguard of profitability of traditional process.
Traditional processing of typical food include the whole supply chain, as short as possible, concurring to the production.
The fishing boats were the backbone of traditional coastal fishing, the one that should be revitalized for a sustainable exploitation of the oceans. The small wooden boat yards of traditional boat wrights, in some countries like France, are carefully treasured, but in Italy they are agonizing, reduced to a handful, surviving making restoration and repairs.
The “Boat’s History” has been the tale of the way two boat wrights, refusing to disappear, to yield to bureaucracy, to regulations considering wood shavings as “special waste”, to the market favouring boats looking like marine cars, that held their heads up again and rebuild “a boat like the old times’ ones”.
The “Slow Food” convivium of the Sorrentine Peninsula could not ignore this story, and to celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary has organized a sea crossing, with a boat rally headed by the “Santa Maria del Lauro”, sailing from a coast to the other of its area, ending at the Restaurant “La Torre”, in Massa Lubrense, where the King of Naples Joachim-Napoleon looked at his troops recapturing Capri and defeating the British army, headed by Hudson Lowe, which would have been sent, disgraced, to command a garrison on another island: St. Helena.
It has been a nice day of celebration, honoring the boat wrights and their art, and the traditional products of their land.