Updated: Apr 29
One Turkish Actor's quest for world peace.
If you're a social media aficionado AND you follow Turkish drama, you may have seen the hashtag #sanataevet or #yestoart in recent months. In particular, you may have seen these hashtags from Tamer Levent, the Turkish actor who plays the role of Tahsin Korludag in Cesur ve Guzel. As Tahsin Korludag, he infuriated us with his manipulation of Suhan and his mafia-like activities, but in real life, the actor Tamer Levent is a humanitarian and an amateur philosopher with a simple philosophy. Sanata Evet or Yes To Art.
Levent believes that through Art, the world can achieve peace. As many a humanitarian can tell you, this is an ambitious goal, but Levent believes it's achievable. Levent says that Art strengthens societies by connecting the people within them. In an interview with BirGun earlier this year, Levent said "I see it as a weakness of a society that has no art culture. There are thousands of factions in religions and in politics among people living in the same country. These factions are the reason that within the same country, there is no dialogue between the people; each one of them trying to play and play in the air they know." It is this lack of communication, this lack of the basic understanding of each other's motivations that leads to conflict, according to Levent. But he believes that through the "process" of Art, dialogue is possible. "Art is the name of the thinking process of man. Art is the name of the work, not the name of the result", says Levent.
By this definition, all people are a work of Art. Or at minimum all people are capable of Art. So a chef working in a restaurant, or a communications director in a company, or scientist working in a laboratory, through their thinking process, through their labor, are actually performing Art. And once they recognize that they are all artists, just as admirers of Rembrandt attempt to understand the motivation behind his paintings, people will attempt to understand the motivation behind the labor of their neighbor's Art as well. Hence through this dialogue the connectivity that will strengthen societies is created.
So what does Tamer Levent intend to do about all this? Over the course of this year, he has been working tirelessly, attending all sorts of festivals, running workshops and participating in theater events to encourage this search for creativity in every day life. He has also started a petition for UNESCO entitled "#sanataevet should be a theme in UNESCO". He is asking everyone who thinks Art can move us towards peace to sign this petition.
World peace is an ambitious goal, but what have we got to lose?
You can follow Tamer Levent on his Instagram site sanataevet.