Through the depiction of a sisterly solidarity and the priority of our responsibility for the other, French-American playwright Catherine Filloux’s play The Beauty Inside makes its audience bear witness not only to the tragedy of honor killings in Turkey but also to an amity that flourishes between a Westernized lawyer Devrim and a rape survivor Yalova introducing a form of familial bond that stems from our shared ethical space. With the help of its unique characters and stress on compassion, The Beauty Inside exemplifies an outstanding play that enhances the publicity of the theatre genre itself. This paper argues that through its rendering of two noteworthy characters from two conflicting sub-cultures of Turkey and their attempts to acknowledge their responsibility for the other, the play portrays a complex sisterhood that justifies the uplifting impact of face-to-face interaction and proposes a novel approach to humanitarianism in human rights theatre. Moreover, it accentuates travel, both as a physical expedition and a mental exploration, in its attempt to encounter the other and “the non-intentionality of consciousness” – to quote from Emmanuel Levinas. Divided in two major sections, this paper first discusses the theoretical perspectives surrounding travel theory and the concept of witnessing vulnerability and atrocities by referring to human rights theorists as well as Levinas’s concept of “face-to-face interaction”  and then includes a close reading of The Beauty Inside as a distinguished play that aptly utilizes the theatre genre to serve a dual function: to publicize violations and to deliver an eye-opening alternative to our fear of the other by curtailing the proximity to the vulnerable.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Human rights theatre; contemporary women playwrights; honor killings; bearing witness.

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