AR-Safe Haven Helsinki Resident Kemal Ulusoy at the Eläintarhan Villa

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We are happy to announce the arrival of AR-Resident Kemal Ulusoy.  He is staying at the Eläintarha Villa from the 3rd of February to the 1st of May, hosted by the AR-Safe Haven Helsinki.



Kemal was born on 8 February 1968 in Kiğı, Bingöl (Eastern Anatolia). In 1987 he moved to Istanbul for both political and economic reasons, and had to take a break from education before finishing high school.

In 1990 he began doing theatre in Kurdish at the regional association KAYY-DER playing in different towns in Eastern Anatolia, such as Kiğı, Adaklı, Yayladere, Yedisu. In one of his initial roles he played in Xwezgînî: this was, perhaps, the first Kurdish theatre production ever seen by the Kurds living in Northern Kurdistan, as well as for the millions of people living in Istanbul. Later in 1991, he joined the Mesopotamia Culture Center at Teatra Jiyana Nû (New Life Theatre) to continue his artistic career playing theatre in his mother tongue – despite many struggles and difficulties, discrimination, political persecution. In 1997, he was arrested on stage during a play at Mersin. After two months of imprisonment he was released and he returned to Mesopotamia Culture Center to continue his work.

In 2004 he started to work on Turikê Derwêş, a touring documentary for television shown, on Roj Tv and Gün Tv. In 2008 he joined Diyarbakir Metropolitan Theater where he continued his work in Kurdish theater. In 2010 he played a part in the sitcom AX û Jiyan, on Roj Tv. In 2012 played a role in the sitcom Malîno shown on Sterk Tv and Gün Tv. Until today he has participated in many International Theater Festivals, as an actor; he has also played different roles in documentaries and cinema films and he has done Kurdish language dubbing for cartoons on Zarok Tv. In April 2016 he was fired by a Turkish government trustee appointed to the municipality that ended all work on Kurdish theater. In 2017 he took part in the formation of Amed City Theater.

Kemal Ulusoy is an Artists at Risk (AR) Resident, hosted in cooperation with Eläintarha Villa and HIAP – Helsinki International Artists Programme at AR-Eläintarha Villa, Helsinki. The AR-Network is curated by Perpetuum Mobile (PM) and is coordinated by the AR-Secretariat, co-funded by Kone Foundation. This residency is funded by the City of Helsinki, Department of Culture.