Sign Language Poetry

A short definition of the sign language poetry

As a performing art, a literary art, an art of move- ment, and a visual art, sign language poetry constitutes an art form of its own that reaches far beyond simply the sphere of literature. (J. Chateauvert)

From the Most Recent Online Event

Project Team

Dr. Ekin ÖYKEN, Project Coordinator and Workshop Lecturer (Classical Philology, Literary Criticism)

Dr. Ekin Öyken, assistant professor at the Latin Language and Literature Department of Istanbul University, specializes in the history of ancient Roman religion, ancient musical thought, and Latin poetry. Having completed in 2010 his doctoral dissertation on the phenomenon of religious ecstasy within the context of the Roman cult of Bacchus, upon the invitation of Prof. Mark Griffith in 2013, he worked for one year as a visiting researcher at the Ancient Greek and Roman Studies Department of UC Berkeley, and studied there the concept of musical ethos in ancient Greek thought, especially ideas on the effects of music on soul and character. Getting prepared to publish a monograph containing his detailed study on musical ethos, which compares in this regard Ancient Greece and Rome with other classical cultures, Öyken has, as a guest editor of the IU Journal of Sociology in 2017, prepared an international special issue titled “Music and Society in Classical Cultures”, and given lectures on musical thought and philology at the universities of Humboldt, Bordeaux, Berkeley and University College London. The researcher also focuses on the translations of Latin classics in Turkish and their literary and cultural receptions. A study on Virgil translations in Turkey that he co-authored with Prof. Çiğdem Dürüşken was included in the Oxford University Press book Virgil and His Translators, published in 2018. He recently published an article titled “The Early Oblivion of the First Turkish Aeneid” in a special issue of the Classical Receptions Journal.

Levent BEŞKARDEŞ (France), Workshop Advisor and Lecturer (Poetry and Theatre)

Born as deaf in Eskişehir in 1949, Levent Beşkardeş, a silent actor, wrote, directed and played in 3 silent dramas with his silent theatre company in Istanbul between 1973 and 1981. After taking a mime-concert tour with Esin Afşar, in order to visit the city and broaden his artistic horizon, Beşkardeş went to Paris in 1981. He met the International Visual Theatre (IVT), theatre of the deaf and dumb and started to work therein and settled in Paris. Together with IVT, he took part in many theatres in Europe and Japan. As a deaf actor and member of “International Visual Theatre”, Levent Beşkardeş, aside from acting in theatre, received a “great many” awards for documentaries he directed. Levent Beşkardeş won the “Best Documentary Film” Award in Brussels International Independent Film Festival, successively in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2005 since he reflected “the richness of the hearing impaired culture”. “7 Temel Günah” (7 Deadly Sins) directed by him, received the Grand Prix award in Amsterdam Hearing Impaired Cinema Festival in 2003, and was also chosen as the best short-length film and won the Golden Hands prize by the French Sign Language Academy in Paris, in 2004. Poetry also plays a great role in the artist’s life. Levent Beşkardeş is writing his poems by drawing movements on paper and exhibiting his poems in many cities of Europe. Since 2015, he has been taking part in poetry shows under the name of “Poems of Silence”, together with artist Aurore Corominas.

Levent Beşkardeş
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