"We have never been taught to show resistance in the name of art..."

İlqar Cahangir

İlqar Cahangir

Ilqar Jahangir

Ilqar Jahangir

In addition to his professional performances, actor Ilqar Jahangir is also known for the trials he has faced to preserve his artistic freedom. 

He has not been seen on the stage for a while now, however he agreed to talk to Meydan TV about his ongoing activities, artistic plans and dreams for the future. 

- Ilqar, we haven’t heard from you in a while. How are you doing these days? 

- I am. I’m living. I’m well. I don’t have any debts. I’ve opened a workshop for actors and I’m spending much of my time there. The Russians might call this an ‘actors’ workshop’, the Turks might call it an ‘actors’ atelier.’ If we call it the first, people might call me a carpenter. If we call it the latter, people might call me a tailor. We still haven’t found a name for what we do, but the essence is that we conduct private, independent acting courses. 

- When the TV show boom take place in the country you had a number of roles. But now it seems you’re far from the process. What’s the reason for this? 

- I haven’t accepted offers for TV shows in two years, because I’ve been able to pick what I want to do. This line of work requires that you do it either for the money or for the art. But if there is neither art nor money, then what is the point? Thus I didn’t accept any offers. After a while, I accepted an offer for a movie, which was later warmly welcomed by the audience. 4 months ago I had another offer and I accepted it as well, but it seems like the producers were unable to finish and perfect the script, and the project has remained unfinished. Of course, I want to be involved in the process, and even if there is neither art nor money involved, I sometimes perform just to remain close to the scene. 

- What can you say about “ADO” and "Əsa” theatres that have emerged in recent years? 

- I applaud these initiatives. I’m always ready to support them. I support both ideas and wish them both the best of luck. You know well that I have only one slogan: the country must have as many theatres as it does police departments. Be it in the basement, the attic, café, or even in transportation, we must applaud and make every effort to support and create theatre.  

- If I’m not mistaken, you were one of the founders of “ODA” theatre, but we don’t see you there very often…

- “ODA” theatre was founded on Elmin Badalov’s initiative. It started well. But youth think differently. . . they saw another format for the theatre, and not everything goes in the theatre. We have to respect youth. Thus I took a place a little further away, but I’m always with them: I attend plays, share my thoughts. They are young, they want to do something and this is very good.  

- I have been following you for a long time. It is clear that you have difficulty working in a collective. Have you thought about creating a one man show and performing solo? 

- I used to like and perform mono plays. But one man shows are hard work, serious and deep searches. It requires an actor to be very educated. You have to be intellectually rich. We cant do it under these challenging conditions. One needs to earn money as well. We are all engaged in earning money, struggling for survival and don’t have enough time for reading. But I would like to do this. I have told my friends that I want to perform such a piece. For example, I would like to play Drunk Iskender and Sheykh Nasrullah in “The Dead” ("Ölülər"). If someone could write a play called “Drunk Sheykh”…. I can’t do it myself, because I don’t have the skills for writing. I would like to perform in a one man play about Timur the Great. One of them would be in religious, another in a political context… 

- Where do you see yourself as an actor going forward? Will you go back to the State-run theatres, will you create your own theatre or you will get into some, completely different line of work. Will you leave the country?

- Sometimes I want comfort, silence. Sometimes I think about leaving everything behind and joining one of the state theatres. I’m thinking of working for them, because it doesn’t really matter if I play or not, I will get a salary either way. I think I would go if I was invited for some particular role. At the same time I don’t want to work in the state theatre. I’m for private theatres. I could create a theatre myself with little support. I have the acting skills and can teach it to others. To be honest, I don’t see the purpose of leaving the country. Yes, sometimes I think about it, but it doesn’t sound cogent to me. My dream is to create a theatre, to work in my theatre, to put on plays and do my job in my own country.  

Ilqar Jahangir

Ilqar Jahangir


 

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