Puppet shows are an age-old form of entertainment that is found all over the world. The Turkish shadow play Karagöz, named after one of its characters, is a fine example. The first Karagöz performances were staged in the sixteenth century and became popular throughout the Ottoman Empire. In countries such as Cyprus and Greece, they are still staged today, even though the names differ (Karagiozis in Greek).
The Garbage Monster.
The shows and characters reflected the social, religious, economic, ethnic, and cultural groups within society, and they referred to social developments. Even today, new storylines are being developed, like The Garbage Monster.
For The Garbage Monster (1998), Cengiz Özek made a new calfskin puppet: the Monster (photo). Together with Karagöz, the Garbage Monster is the main character in an educational story about the plastic soup floating in the ocean. Özek modernised the centuries-old Karagöz play to address a contemporary, global problem.
In Rotterdam Crossroads, you can watch a recording of Özek's The Garbage Monster and see a collection of original Karagöz puppets. In the 1980s, the Wereldmuseum started collecting Cengiz Özek's puppet collections. Some of the puppets are displayed alongside the film.