Title: Theatre, Cultural Reform and Patriotism: Staging Namık Kemal in post-Ottoman Bulgaria (1878-1908)
With the advent of the Hamidian regime the works of celebrated author Namık Kemal experienced an eclipse in the Ottoman Empire under ostensible pressure from the authorities. But at the same time among Bulgaria’s sizable Muslim population Namık Kemal’s patriotic plays went through a surge of popularity. This talk explores the debates surrounding theatre among Bulgaria’s Muslims with a particular focus on the movement for cultural reform among the local Muslims. It examines how theatre was used as a means of mobilizing the Muslim community, a platform for moral guidance, and a way of asserting cultural presence and identity.