The Lost Libyan Shadow Theater Revived in Ghadames

The House of Culture in Ghadames held a workshop directed to volunteers in the field of cultural heritage protection, which focused deeply on intangible cultural heritage in Libya, where the artist “Youssef Al-Kurdi” gave performances in the shadow theater, which was the culmination of the workshop that lasted for several days

“When everyone’s thinking is about survival, it is easy for important colors to disappear from culture during the daily fears trip.”

Youssef Al-Kurdi has worked on the screen and stage for a long period of his life, but after his retirement he decided to give performances for the shadow theater, as he hosted free shows in the Square of Algiers in Tripoli during RAMADAN month, and these performances carried deep moral messages to the Libyan public, where the Kurdi concentrated General of his shows on romantic stories that highlight the vital role of women in supporting society.

Al-Kurdi draws the features of his characters on heavy paper, and then he cuts them, writes texts and performs all the sounds himself. He stated: “I try to keep my performances short, maybe only 15 minutes, but I fill them with black comedy that will entertain the children as well as their parents. I know that my messages have arrived when I see Smiles emanate from the audience”.

On the occasion of the workshop, Al-Kurdi commented about the importance of the lost Libyan shadow theater: “We lose our culture, especially in these times, when everyone’s thinking is about survival, it is easy for important colors to disappear from the culture during the daily fears trip, so I offer free shows for Shadow puppets, not only because I enjoy it, but to achieve two purposes at the same time, as these performances support Libyan art and represent an investment in the younger generation, which is the most important investment we can make now, because after years from now a child from the audience may make dolls and do what I do now, Which keeps this art alive.