We forgot, Yagli Gures stands for "oil fight". Here, in fact, our people grab a small golden jug and pour it on themselves with plenty of olive oil. So abundant as to soak up the kipset, the traditional buffalo leather trousers, long calf lengths and are the only garments worn for the competition. The oil is so abundant that any hint of friction is immediately reduced to zero: arms and torsos become eels. It is precisely to the pre-insulated folds of the kipset that it touches; it is not uncommon that a pehlivan literally places his hand into the opponent's trousers to lift him, turn his belly to the sky and win the victory.
McNutt focuses on the younger pehlivanlar, and gives us a portrait of it as Pasolini's youth - creatures, from nervous eroticism. They are beautiful photos, but what in Turkey would have been an undoubtedly iconoclastic gesture is defused by context and latitude: expressed in America, at a comfortable distance, McNutt's conclusions remind them despite those of the common ironic commentator from the forum, so a hand in the trousers of a male competitor is already evidence of blatant homosexuality. Not to mention that an audience of gay people have come to those same conclusions for a long time and in total autonomy: by uploading the tournament videos to their red light sites.
In Iran it is different. As the essay Muslim Bodies reminds us (LIT Verlag, 2015), after the Islamic revolution of 1979, We returned to embrace the hard line in costumes, even allowing a touch of neopuritanism. Where is it written, for example, that male athletes have to cover themselves with a t-shirt? The rule prohibits the performance of thigh and knees (and footballers and swimmers regularly disregard it. Even that between reality and dogma is a difficult conversation, and yet the men of Zurkhanen - the "house of force" in Iran - embrace bows and shields forced into what someone without too many turns of words has called an aesthetic distraction, made of traditional trousers and ultra-contemporary t-shirts. The waistline as a spatio-temporal passage.
Ben McNutt was clear: wrestling is his muse and has no intention of abandoning it. The Yagli Gures, on the other hand, continues along its relatively enlightened road, with a UNESCO plaque and an international appeal ready to be converted into tourism. Have they already flipped through Vogue last October in Edirne? We do not know, The ending is open. And the conversation does not stop, and it doesn't stop getting out of hand: just like a pehlivan that is too oily.