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Open Right

Jan Wositzky: Lest We Forget – Hic Unutmaya Cagiz

Session Info:

Lest We Forget – Hic Unutmaya Cagiz is music/storytelling theatre, with a unique re-telling of the Gallipoli story, using both Turkish and Australian material, and contextualized within WW1.

Using both Turkish and Australian song, poetry, oral history, maps and political statements, Jan tells two sides of the Gallipoli story, linking them with his personal experiences from Gallipoli in 2003, when he performed Lest We Forget – Hic Unutmaya Cagiz before 8,000 people awaiting the Dawn Service.

The show is structured around four events: the April landing, the May truce, the August offensive and the December evacuation. The Australian material comes from poets CJ Dennis and Mary Gilmore, the ABC archives of Bill Harney, songwriters Ted Egan and Eric Bogle, and traditional songs from the time. The Turkish material is drawn from poets Nazim Hikmet and Bulent Ecevit, traditional song, and from the words of Turkish hero, Mustafa Kemal Attaturk.

By bringing both sides together Lest We Forget – Hic Unutmaya Cagiz presents a story where our Anzac legend is enlarged by the Turkish legend of how enemy soldiers found respect for each other, and how that respect led to the friendship that Australia and Turkey share today. Jan also asks students to think about questions such as was Gallipoli the ‘birth of a nation?’, and compares Australia’s Gallipoli identity to Turkey’s, via Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, the commander against the Anzacs who became their President.

“It was a brilliant production and we will certainly book Jan again. I was very impressed with how Jan involved our students in the presentation. Jan had total control, they were silent, listened attentively, and the questions were deep and meaningful.” Billanook College

VELS Level 4, Level 6. History: World War One, Gallipoli campaign and context of WW1. Arts: Drama, music & visual arts, interdisciplinary nature of arts disciplines, role/character performance. English: Speaking & listening

Topics:

  • Australia’s involvement in WW1
  • Individuals who went to the war
  • Events of Gallipoli
  • Relationship between Turks and Australians – then and now
  • The nature of war

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