Dreams and shadows
Designed to delight your inner child, its print reflects the colourful daydream in front of the two-dimensional world of shadow theatre. A vivid portrayal that moves between the wrecked Karaghiozis hut made of sheet metal and the magnificent seraglio. A pure reflection of life on the white screen, in front of the eyes of the same people, who see themselves in the paper and hide figures who, defying their multiple joints and detachable rods, “they reach the heights of heroism and incomparable courage, while never losing its attributes of humanity and truly civilized standards.” - Aghelos Sikelianos (well-known Greek poet)
Reminiscing of the shadow theatre’s cut-and-sew microcosm, Marios Schwab, the creative director of Zeus+Dione, composed ‘Karaghiozis’ silk scarf as a tribute to this precious inheritance of our culture and the skillful puppeteers behind the thousand figurines made of cardboard & tin. From the ‘hammer and sickle people’ representing the craftsmen of the city including Karaghiozis himself, to the ‘sword people’ as Veligekas, the Albanian brute who often beats Karaghiozis up for no reason, and to the ‘people of the pen’, including members of the Muslim and Christian hierarchies, clerics and diplomats, represented by Hatziyavatis, Karagiozis’ ‘frenemy’.
The square silk scarf comes in a blue-black hue, inspired by the shadow play under the warm-white lamp. The light was obstructed by the cardboard and passed through the holes, thus shaping a form through a combination of white and black; the figure that was projected on the white screen.
Within a multicultural society -including Greeks, Jews, Albanians, Turks and Arabs-, shadow puppet theatre became multilingual and transnational, and was instrumental in keeping languages, folklore and cultural traditions alive. Among older generations, of grand-parents and parents, there is literally no one, who has not played Karaghiozis, as a child, in neighborhoods, in yards and at home, with home-made puppets, and stories that were made up by the kids themselves. While some scenarios and plots were familiar, the puppeteers improvised and adapted storylines according to the audience, enhancing them with impromptu wise cracks and bawdy remarks.
A real “agent” of this special tradition was Eugenios Spatharis who has been considered the most famous and best Greek shadow player in the world. Thanks to him, Karaghiozis began to amuse us even outside of the white canvas, he became a live character, he became contemporaneous, he became immortal, he became a song, and his plays were performed worldwide.
Today the Greek shadow theatre represents the only sample of the genre still alive in Europe, and still consists of a staple summer evening entertainment for many.
Ref. Spathario Museum