Page 1

CROSSING 24/31

I ALWAYS CONFUSE SOUTH TO NORTH, NORTH TO SOUTH


CONTENTS CHAPTER 1 FALLING WALLS: LOOKING THROUGH CONFLICT NARRATIVES

Introduction

CHAPTER 2 WHO WE ARE Overview of the Visual Voices approach

CHAPTER 3 STRUCTURE OF THE RESIDENCY The journey

CHAPTER 4 THE EXHIBITION Meet the artists

CHAPTER 5 LIVING BETWEEN — FUTURE AND PAST A growing network of social changemakers



CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION


FALLING WALLS: LOOKING THROUGH CONFLICT NARRATIVES IN CYPRUS

The exhibition Crossing 24/31: I always confuse south to north, north to south, is part of the project Falling Walls - Looking Through Conflict Narratives in Cyprus. The project aims to create cultural and artistic space for communities to express themselves and ultimately improve their understanding of one another. In particular, this project brings the voice of young artists into the social discourse as a means of challenging existing nationalist narratives. Falling Walls - Looking Through Conflict Narratives in Cyprus focuses on an arts-based approach that establishes a safe space for young artists to positively express themselves. This approach is critical to addressing existing fractures in society through interdisciplinary methodologies that combine the arts, storytelling and peacebuilding. It is through building a space for expression, that we are able to integrate different perspectives in the prevailing social narratives.


ARTSBASED PEACEBUILDING IN THEORY AND PRACTICE: THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF ART IN COMMUNITY DIALOGUE AND POSITIVE SOCIAL NARRATIVES PAGE FOUR| JOURNEY

Falling Walls: Looking Through Conflict Narratives in Cyprus has brought together practitioners, academics and artists, to examine the power of art as a tool for conflict transformation. Film screenings, discussions, workshops, debates and thematic artist in residence programs. This has enabled practitioners working in different contexts to share their experiences, insights and lessons learned. During these discussions multiple arts-based approaches were presented, as well as ways to measure the universal and local impact of these actions. Falling Walls: Looking Through Conflict Narratives in Cyprus has received funding by Allianz Kulturstiftung, a not-for-profit cultural foundation based in Germany. The aim of the Foundation is to strengthen cohesion in Europe using the tools of art and culture. As a promoter of social change, the Foundation is geared towards achieving impact and it operates independently. The project has also received support from New York University (NYU) Tisch Initiative for Creative Research, Grow Civic - Civic Space, Goethe-Institut Cyprus, RISE Centre of Excellence, Home for Cooperation, and UNFICYP.



CHAPTER 2

WHO WE ARE


VISUAL VOICES IS A NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION SUPPORTING YOUTH ARTISTS FROM COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY VIOLENT CONFLICT. WE PROMOTE THE CREATION OF CONTEMPORARY VISUAL ART THAT REFLECTS THE DESIRE FOR POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE AND BUILD THE SPACE FOR THESE IDEAS TO BE SHARED.

PAGE FOUR| JOURNEY


We believe that our primary target group, youth artists from communities affected by violent conflict, have incredible potential to promote positive social change. By positively addressing key community challenges and their own lived experiences of conflict within their art, artists stimulate dialogue and peace-oriented social narratives. Reaching new audiences, Visual Voices supports young artists to share their work through conferences, presentations, campaigns and exhibitions. It is in these visual voices that we see the beginning of global narratives for peace. Our organizational structure consists of the Directors, Board of Directors and Technical Advisors. This team of highly experienced professionals gives Visual Voices a multidisciplinary expertise from the perspectives of education, the arts, research, academia and peacebuilding in practice. We are committed to a high ethical standard, aimed at minimizing negative social impact. We recognize the need to consistently measure the greater impact beyond the immediate project participants and develop innovative methods to better understand community engagement. For these reasons, a rigorous design, monitoring and evaluation methodology has been adopted to measure and respond to the impacts of our initiatives. In doing so, we hope to better the understanding of and appreciation for artsbased peacebuilding practices by providing opportunities to research impact at the community level.

PAGE FOUR| JOURNEY


"THE OBJECT OF ART IS NOT TO REPRODUCE REALITY, BUT TO CREATE A REALITY OF THE SAME INTENSITY. " ALBERTO GIACOMETTI

The Visual Voice’s vision is to become a global network of peacebuilding organizations, practitioners and artists that recognize the value of arts-based interventions in peacebuilding and the power of art in peace advocacy. We believe in collaborating locally, while connecting these actors both regionally and internationally. After all, violent conflict is a global issue that is felt locally. This disconnect between local and global must be understood by taking on the perspectives of those directly affected.

PAGE FOUR| WHO WE ARE


OUR APPROACH SEEKS GENUINE COMMUNICATION ACHIEVED THROUGH ARTS-BASED PRACTICES. OUR MISSION IS TO STRENGTHEN THE CAPACITY OF YOUNG ARTISTS (18-35 YEARS OLD) FROM COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY VIOLENT CONFLICT, WHILE BUILDING NONCOMMERCIAL PLATFORMS OF EXPRESSION FOR THEM TO SHARE THEIR VOICE AND ADVOCATE FOR PEACE THROUGH CONTEMPORARY VISUAL ART. IN DOING SO, WE AIM TO COMBINE TRADITIONAL ARTS-BASED PEACEBUILDING ACTIVITIES WITH SUBSTANTIVE PEACE ADVOCACY CAMPAIGNS. FOR THIS REASON, WE DEFINE OURSELVES AS WORKING AT THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN STRATEGIC SOCIAL ART AND PEACEBUILDING.

WHO WE ARE


CHAPTER 3

THE JOURNEY



THEMATIC ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM

THE JOURNEY


YOUNG ARTIST ACTIVISTS & PEA Media and Nationa

"I always confuse South to North, North to South"

"I always confuse South to Socially engaged artistic practices and peace education workshops were carried out by Visual Voices. The thematic conversations focus around the important role of social artists. Examples include arts-based peacebuilding, human rights, and understanding the perspectives of P A G E F O U R | J Oothers. URNEY


ACEBUILDERS Thematic Focus: alist Narratives

North, North to South" During the residency period, participants had access to private mentoring with the residency curator, and non-formal learning opportunities to maximize their skills and informal leadership exercises in the field of cultural management. Facilities and basic materials were made available for artistic production. PAGE FOUR| JOURNEY


MEDIA AND NATIONALIST NARRATIVES This residency was designed for visual artists, activists and peacebuilders seeking to promote positive social change and advocate for peace both in Cyprus and internationally. The residency focused around: 1. Workshops and thematic conversations: The residency began with group workshops and conversations to explore peacebuilding concepts from a social artist perspective. 2. Applied cultural management: Participating artists took part in the design and implementation of a series of activities such as promotion, curation, content creation. This hands-on approach facilitated practical experience and ownership of the experience.

PAGE FOUR| JOURNEY

3. Studio time: Artists were provided with shared studio space (if needed) to produce original artworks inspired by the residency theme, workshops, and conversations. 4. Exhibition: Artworks produced during the residency were exhibited in a group show in the buffer zone, Nicosia, Cyprus.

The workshops and exhibition took place during the COVID19 pandemic when restrictions from across the divide made it increasingly difficult for the communities to come together.


STRUCTURE OF THE RESIDENCY: The residency followed a hybrid model

The workshop examined the concept

of in-person meetings that took place

of ‘cultural value’ and reflected on how media has the power to shape the reception of art within a community that has been affected by violent conflict.

in the UNFICYP headquarters in the UN buffer zone as well as online meetings. Storytelling and Narrative sessions were carried out by the residency curator and photo-editor Maral Deghati. Maral has a background in fine arts, photojournalism and psychology. Artistic activism and design workshops were held with Visual Voices advisor Anthony Freda. Anthony is an artist, illustrator, anti-war activist and adjunct faculty member of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Media literacy, insights and considerations for artist activists was carried out by Visual Voices advisor Melissa Hekkers. Melissa is a freelance journalist and author. Media and the arts in Cyprus workshop was presented by Visual Voices advisor Esra Plumer Bardak. Esra is an art historian, researcher and active member of non-profit art associations.

PAGE FOUR| JOURNEY


Looking through conflict narratives. Coming together to speak about it, to present a new outlook through injury, to delve in search of, in the dark, through a photo-flash and a handful of dust thrown on glue or even through two arms unfolding: a new path. Artists from across the island meet here to draw a new trail together, with their hands that have different stories, with their own genesis, with their own family narrativesto a peace -wise and unforgotten. Christina Christofi, Dize Kükrer, Fetine Sel Tuzel, Hayal Gezer, Ioanna Neophytou, Irene Kattou, Lenia Georgiou, Nurtane Karagil, Panos Achniotis, Stephanie Lemesianou, Zoe Polycarpou Over a period of months, these eleven artists have sought to confront the collective, universal yet opposing, conflict narratives that are unconsciously imposed on daily life. The residency exhibition is part of the “Falling Walls: Looking through conflict narratives” project of Visual Voices. Have a good journey, exploring the journey of another that we hope becomes your own.

THE JOURNEY


CHAPTER 4

THE EXHIBITION



THE ELEVEN ARTISTS VISUAL-VOICES


CHRISTINA CHRISTOFI Christina was born in 1984 in Nicosia, Cyprus. She studied Fine Arts and Science of Art at the University of Ioannina in Greece. In 2008 she received her MA (Master in Fine Arts) from Birmingham City University, UK. Christina has been part of many group and solo exhibitions, including her first solo show at the Apocalypse gallery in Nicosia with the title ’’Dolls and Puzzles’’ in 2012, ’’Summer Salon 2019’’ at Candid Arts London (UK) and ’’Colours of the world’’ exhibition at the headquarters of UNESCO (Paris) 2019 and others.

Christina

also worked as the coordinator of the contemporary artistic project ‘‘Artists in Public Space’’ which promoted the collaboration between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot artists. She was also the coordinator of the contemporary

artistic

project

‘’Visions

of

Existence’’ and ‘Let’s Play Art in the Park’. Christina represented Cyprus at the sixth edition of the Art Camp Andorra “Colors for the

Planet”

organized

by

the

Andorran

National Commission for UNESCO, 2018.


The Silent Dream 2020 Polyurethane foam, polystyrene, plaster, clay, spray paint, readymade doll legs


Christina’s work takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues of our time. It contradicts elements that evolve the personal with the social, the local with the universal and often presents contemporary topics through images that indicate an atmosphere of another era. Christofi’s art depicts different aspects of human life with its internal desires, fears and external influences which seep into the subconscious. Utilizing different mediums and techniques she creates art that is frequently connected to pleasure and pain. The use of pastel colours and especially the pink colour is a symbol to establish a dreamlike quality that suggests notions of romance and lost innocence. Christofi created this sculptural installation because she wanted to display the effects of war and the psychological impact that war has in one’s psyche through colours, textures and ironic symbolism. The colours and textures can be aesthetically appealing, but at the same time horrifically disturbing. As if the visual representation of an explosion can be aesthetically appealing or uncomfortably charming when viewed from a long distance or is being projected by the media and horrifying if someone is actually experiencing the situation in real life.

CHRISTINA CHRISTOFI


CHRISTINA CHRISTOFI


DİZE KÜKRER

Dize Kükrer was born in 1990, in the divided capital of Cyprus. Upon graduating from Turkish Cypriot College in 2007, she travelled to Plymouth, UK to study architecture and art, she later completed (MA) Interdisciplinary Design at Frederick University in 2016. Working with time and space as a medium, and their relationship with memory, Dize attempts to create tangible traces of forgotten incidents and stories. Green Line and experience of the divide, amongst subjects such as psychology, and philosophy of space are prominent guidelines for her studies.


Proposition #3 2020 Structural iron, pendulum, mirrors


I am driven by conundrums and puzzles that are created in human environments. Curious cosmic rays of visible light that lay out geographies, political borders and topography of land, realisations of space and observation of time; terminology that crosses between fields defines my approach to practicing art. I experiment with the given.

Living in Cyprus, you see roads suddenly being blocked by a wall,

neighbourhoods ending abruptly and boundaries appearing in the middle of a building. Exposure to propaganda fed fear of the other and had me, as an artist, question identity and the notion of belonging. As a response, in my artistic practice I have been exploring the relationship between identity and place of residence in order to heal and reconcile. In terms of experiencing a city as a living thing, Lefkoşa displays a wound. Here is an urban space that is frozen in time that needs reviving. Proposition #3 is an interruption in space with sharp angles of iron rods and includes mirrors to express the fragmented experience of space. It strives for creating self-realisations that would open more space for interaction between inter-personal dialogues and external situations. I practice art in two separate ways, states of meditative interludes which would include drawing and writing, and as impressions of architectural compositions which would enable a multitude of experiences for the persons in such spaces.

DİZE KÜKRER


DİZE KÜKRER


FETINE SEL TUZEL Fetine is in her final year BA Art student at the University of Reading in the UK. There, she practised and experienced a variety of mediums (video, sculpture, drawing, painting…) and attended workshops. She also developed skills in creative and critical writing through the art history modules. Last summer, she did an internship at the Home for Cooperation for the Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival, an annual bi-communal event organised by the H4C in Nicosia, Cyprus. With this internship she had the chance to be closer with both the artists and the art world in Cyprus. She then studied at ENSA, France, Dijon for a term where she got countless new experiences in terms of practice; video, sound production, drawing and sculpture. “Art has always been my passion. As an art student I believe there are a lot of things to learn from taking part and contributing in wider ranges of art and in arts events. We should use the power of art better and let art help us reunite.”


Which is Which? 2020 Four frames/ photos with a green line in between photo embroidery


Which is Which? What can you tell from looking at someone’s face? Do you understand a person’s identity? If they are from the North or the South of Cyprus? Taking photos was not as common as the post-modern society. It was considered as a luxury and mostly took place at special occasions. One of the most common images in our family albums are the wedding and couple photos. This is prevailing for all communities in Cyprus (including Turkish speaking Cypriots, Greek speaking Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites etc…) By using photo embroidery method to the old images I have found in our family archive, I have tried modernising them and using embroidery as a tool for highlighting the connection between the past and the future. Emphasizing the similarities between the couples and the two communities of Cyprus was another aim of my piece. One of the couples is my grandparents and the other couple is Irene Kattou’s grandparents who is another artist in residence in Visual Voices. The artists that I have been inspired by are Julie Cockburn, Joana Choumali and Han Cao, as they conjoin and combine the old and new in a single image just like my artistic concept. Personally, I have always been drowned into the past of my family and my roots which led me do my art for resurfacing the unsolved. In order to move on to the future, we have to look back to past, stitch our wounds and heal with art.


“Art can be the perfect hammer to break the borders between us. We can use the power of art for enlightenment, for clarification, to indicate that both sides are the same with different languages and religions and to create a space for people from both sides to meet, to unite.� FETINE SEL TUZEL


HAYAL GEZER Hayal is an interdisciplinary artist and a yoga teacher who is currently residing in the north of the divide in Cyprus. Her parents, not wanting to raise their family in a broken land, migrated to Canada where she was born. At the beginning of the '90s, they decided to uproot back to Cyprus and settled in Nicosia. Once she finished her BA Hons. Arts and Media in UCA, she pursued her interest in film making by doing an MA in Digital Media and Film in EMU. She believes that art has the power over transcending and exposing

In 2018 she worked as an art director in the short-

injustices and issues that have been normalised

film Hostess. The film revolves around the toxicity

by

been

of brothel culture in the youth of north Cyprus. In

participating in various art exhibitions on both

2019 she worked as a production assistant in

sides of the divide in Cyprus since she moved

"Divided

back from the UK. Her works dwell on identity,

documentary series by the Guardian. Apart from

sense of belonging, the relationship between the

her work in film production and NGOs, she is a

body and space, and open communication.

certified Hatha yoga teacher. She feels that yoga is

Currently, she works as a freelance art director,

a wholesome discipline that is in line with her

videographer

values

mainstream

media.

and

She

photographer.

has

She

also

Cities"

and

Nicosia

beliefs.

organised

several

increase the visibility of NGOs, organising events,

techniques with mindful movement methodologies

working

to

press,

social

media

accommodate

safe

combines

the

workshops

the

she

of

worked as a communications specialist to with

where

She

episode

space

storytelling for

open

management and general representation of

communication. AA Meetings (Artists Anonymous)

NGOs. She had the opportunity to shoot a mini-

held in NiMAC, 2017 and Howling Workshop held

documentary for Refugee Rights Association

in Buffer zone during Respublika festival, 2017,

which screened in three different events. She has

were results of her effort in combining both of her

experience in art direction and production of

studies into an applicable method. Despite her

various short films and documentaries focusing

eclectic work experience, Hayal always aims to

on social and political issues.

contribute to the betterment of the community.


45o 2020 Audio recordings, analogue photographs, double exposure, prints on photographic paper


"We need art to heal from our past traumas so that we won't create future prejudices. Art is a coping mechanism, as well as a healing practice that pushes us forward by challenging our mentality and reality.�

PAGE FOUR| JOURNY HAYAL GEZER


Cities are not made of roads and buildings, but of experiences lived, of an intricate network of human connection weaved, and of shared memories. Cities are the embodiment of their inhabitants and are organic structures that are ever-changing, reforming and collapsing. Λευκωσία/Lefkoşa has been inhabited since the bronze age but gained importance during Roman and Byzantine times with the rise of Christianity in the region. During Byzantine times it was established as the capital of the island and has been the capital since then. The walls were built by Lusignans, after taking over from Byzantines and remain mostly in-tact. Throughout the history of Cyprus, Λευκωσία/Lefkoşa has been a contested city. Since the separation to this day, it remains divided between the Republic of Cyprus and de-facto state Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Due to UN-controlled Buffer Zone, some parts of the city are inaccessible to the public, like locked rooms of a house, remains still, decaying. It is also a city that challenges mobility. The experience of walking is directly affected by the strong military presence and the memorabilia of violent conflicts. Sudden halts in the middle of a street, stairs to nowhere, and houses once home only partially remains in either state. A flânerie approach to wandering and letting the city guide itself would have heart-breaking consequences as they would always end up at a dead-end street. 45o is an intimate analogue photography project where the city of Λευκωσία/Lefkoşa is being observed and felt through different peoples experiences coming from different generations and backgrounds. I took each photograph at a specific location that holds importance to the person as they shared an intimate detail. 45o is psycho-geographical mapping of a wounded city where we are retracing a memory, a feeling or an incident. Double exposure and other kinds of more experimental techniques are applied to indicate a sentimental relationship between the location and the person and to create the ephemeral nature of remembrance. It is more of romantic documentation rather than factual, of Λευκωσία/Lefkoşa on both sides. By allowing the people of Λευκωσία/Lefkoşa guiding us, we get to listen to the untold stories of ordinary streets, squares, alleyways and buildings and create an alternative scope of tales and personal histories from the life point of view. There is still life, happening in the street.

HAYAL GEZER


IOANNA NEOPHYTOU Ioanna is an artist and documentary director, who currently lives in Athens. She was born in Limassol in 1986, and her whole teenage life was defined by the Cyprus conflict. This is probably why her research as a PhD candidate in the University of Aix-Marseille in Paris, France and her artistic practice focus on conflicts and their meta-narrations. Throughout the years, she has developed a research based on the importance of images as a tool for history narration and as an object of instrumentalization in the conflict. Her artistic practice often occupies space and also extends in it using various and all kinds of materials. Since 2011, she is dedicated in the construction of situations, experiences and archives, in a continuous interaction with space and history. In the last few years has used documentary

techniques

and

aesthetics

to

approach thematic axes such as biopolitics, conflict, high-tech warfare, national identity, history, the perception of future, etc. Another important component of her artistic practice is the collaboration and co-creation with other artists and non-artists, as well as the attempt to integrate the public into the work of art. Through her art she desires to redefine the importance

of

politics,

participation

and

collectivity, aiming to the re-appropriation of public sphere.


Identity Exhaustion (or there is no place left for white and yellow) 2020 Installation, variable dimensions Flag, paint cans, toy soldiers


IOANNA NEOPHYTOU


"Peace in the public usage of the word almost never describes the demilitarization of the globe. It hardly ever means the abolition of borders and the respect of all human beings, even of enemies." IOANNA NEOPHYTOU

Identity Exhaustion (or there is no place left for white and yellow) 2020 When the Cyprus flag was firstly designed in the ‘60s, it was mainly aiming to promote unification and peace between the inhabitants. The colours of the flag, white, yellow and green as well as the symbols (the pigeon and the olive branches) were particularly chosen to depict these ideas and to exclude any references to Turkey or Greece. But far from representing the new born state and Cypriot identity, the flag has since then been undermined and often replaced by other flags, promoting various national identities. As a result, the public space of the island on both sides is saturated from multiple flags which exhale a disordered nationalist identity, most often related to another country than Cyprus. The work Identity Exhaustion (or there is no place left for white and yellow), examines the conflicting relationship that the inhabitants of Cyprus have with their national identity, using the symbols and the flag. It is an effort to deal with the trauma of constant separation and with the dichotomy that has been undermining the Cypriot identity since the creation of the Cyprus state.

PAGE FOUR| JOURNY


IRENE KATTOU Multimedia

artist

Irene

Kattou

(b.

2000)

through her work explores the relationship of the body and culture and how it produces the embodiment

experience.

Currently

also

studying Philosophy in Sheffield, she splits her time between the UK and Cyprus, where she was born. Her philosophical interests are phenomenology, feminism, and queer theory which in turn inform her art. Being obsessed with Aesthetics and how things should look like, these ideas became an important element in her art practice. Using surrealist influences, she

seeks

to

investigate

and

destabilise

narratives of ‘truth’ by making her audience uneasy. With her work, she actively encourages raptures of subversion to dominant notions, like the stigma surrounding periods, as seen in her series PERIOD; PERIOD; where she keeps her used pads as a visual diary. Her politically charged and daring photo 'Eat Me' was featured in the Sex Issue of Phi Magazine. Currently, her interest has taken a turn to addressing the embodiment of displacement and

division

through

toxic

nationalistic

narratives, largely influenced by the Cyprus Problem.


‘(M)othered ’ 2020 Mixed Media Multiple Dimensions


Motherhood in Cyprus has been appropriated to advance conflict narratives, as it is a new postcolonial nation which historically are male constructed spaces. The embodiment experience always fascinated me. I love exploring the peculiarities and particularities of specific embodiments. After exploring them, I want to destabilize them. Currently I am subverting the ‘celebration’ of motherhood in Cyprus, as motherhood and subsequently family structures are built through post-colonial and conflict narratives. Women and other minorities have never really been emancipated. The end of colonization was the start of a new, obscure oppression. Cyprus, as a new postcolonial nation is historically a male constructed space, narrated into modern selfconsciousness by male leaders, activists and writers, in which women are often cast as the bearers of tradition through motherhood... But make no mistake; the celebration of motherhood does not serve the purpose to actually empower mothers or the family structure. This by-product, sold to us as cultural authenticity, is just a gateway for the modern nation made out of toxic nationalism to thrive; for men to advance their politics and often selfserving goals. Men, with their fantasies have yet again through patriarchy laid out the framework of motherhood in order to advance their narrative. It is not an actual celebration of motherhood; it is an appropriation. Motherhood was only a tool of creating division, disposable child bodies a.k.a ‘heroes’ and the concept of the ‘motherland’. We never celebrated women or motherhood. It was just constructed to serve politics, war and conflict. And to this day, we are prisoners to it, like lost and hurt children.

IRENE KATTOU


“My vision of peace entails a future where nationalistic viewpoints are not idealized but combated for what they are; propaganda designed to divide.� IRENE KATTOU


LENIA GEORGIOU Lenia’s work is mostly concerned with issues of displacement, relocation, and the basic human need of shelter. She is also interested in themes like the redefinition of borders, in social issues and in the norms and elements that define an individual’s identity. Her works often

have

a

nomadic

function

or

a

participatory/collaborative art-making. Lenia is a Cypriot interdisciplinary Visual Artist and Art Therapist, born on 30/4/1990 in Adelaide (South Africa). She is a holder of a BA (Hons) Fine Arts from Kingston University of London (2012) and a two year specialization masters in Art Therapy from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan (2015). During her masters she has worked with people with mental

disorders,

visually

impaired,

prisoners, immigrant women, as well as with asylum seekers and political refugees with whom Lenia has conducted her project ‘Poxias’. ‘Poxias’ has won the ‘Premio Speciale Piccini Group’ within the context of ‘Talent Prize’ and has been exhibited at the Macro Μuseum in Rome in 2016 and it is still being exhibited around the globe. Lenia has exhibited in countries such as Italy, North Macedonia, Cyprus and Greece. She has also been cultivating her passion for dancing and performance art — for her the use of the body is fundamental in her practice and in her life. Lenia currently lives and works on planet Earth.


What moves me, both literally and metaphorically, is the power of art. I believe that art is a strong social, educational and therapeutic tool. It’s meant to reach all people, not only those who have knowledge about it, and to involve the wider public, acting as a bridge between people and communities where the artist acts as a mediator. My artwork comments current social, political and cultural issues. I am interested in the redefinition of borders, in the norms and elements that define an individuals identity and I am therefore curious in what Pierre Bourdieu has called Àtopos, a hybrid person that does not have a place to return to. I also believe that exhibiting art in public spaces holds the memory that it carries with it; it declares itself and its values, the seeds of its own future, and that which we all hope is a future of freedom, culture and integration for all members of society. I am an interdisciplinary artist. I work with a wide range of artistic genres including installations, performance art and painting. For me, the movement or the presence of the body is fundamental in my life and in my practice. I am interested in process-based and collaborative/participatory art that relies on the inter-subjective exchange that results from common needs, visions and dreams between different individuals. I am convinced that Art is based on collectivity/ togetherness and sharing with others; because it is through our interaction with others that we are able to really understand ourselves.

Fief 2020 Simultaneous performance in the north and the south of the divide with Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, Yiğitler Burcu Parkı / Markou Drakou, Nicosia,Cyprus, Total duration of the performance: 40' Video duration: 11'35" and 7'34"


Fief *an estate of land, especially one held on condition of feudal service; a fee. *φέουδo, εκτάσεις γης που απαιτούσαν ως αντάλλαγμα πίστη, υποταγή και παροχή ορισμένων υπηρεσιών. *özellikle feodal hizmet koşuluyla elde tutulan bir toprak mülkü; bir ücret. During the time of the Venetian occupation in Cyprus, the Rochas bastion belonged to Eugenio Singlitico that owned many villages as a fief. The Roccas bastion is the westernmost of the Venetian walls of the old city of Nicosia. For thirty years and to this day, it was the only place on the island where Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots could/can meet, see each other, talk to each other and above all, interact with each other, without having to cross borders. In fact, at this very point, the buffer zone does not exist: the bastion, simply bordered by a fence. Since the Venetian rule, not much has changed regarding Cypriot land. Georgiou, strongly believes that it is through the power of human relationships, connection, and togetherness that we can eliminate any kind of wall, both physical and mental. Georgiou sent out an open call to both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots inviting people from both sides of the divide to meet for the first time and perform for Fief. Instructions of the idea of the performance were given on the spot. This action took place simultaneously in Yiğitler Burcu Parkı and on the sidewalk of Markou Drakou Street respectively. Having the metal fence and the wall separating them, the participants were asked to move in the designated areas and freely place themselves in the space. Some people from the groups would deter them by changing their position and their posture. The people that interfered with others peoples' moves were interchanging between themselves, acting as a metaphor of the external third-party interventions that we often like to believe are the ones influencing the dialogue between the two communities. But is it really ‘the others’ that are influencing the dialogue?

Performers: Alexandros Ioannou Peletie, Andreas Koutsoumbas, Ahmet Özgülen, Claudia Bruno, Erlap Cortaç, Irene Kattou, Mehmetemin Insan Yıldızçoban, Mikaella Chrysostomou, Oya Akin, Özgül Saygun, Stephani Mourouzi, Zoe Polycarpou Performance coordinator: Lenia Georgiou, with the assistance of Oya Akin Documentation in the north: Hayal Gezer Documentation in the south: Polymnia Tsinti Editing: Lenia Georgiou, Polymnia Tsinti Photographic documentation in the south: Sergio Vaccaro


LENIA GEORGIOU


NURTANE KARAGIL

Nurtane lives and works in Famagusta, Cyprus. The peculiar situation of the country itself gives her endless opportunities to create. Other than fitting into the political and statistical categories, she experiences being a minority in the way she perceives and imagines the world. This challenged her to become much more visible in her community as an activist and a productive citizen. Having actively worked in youth organizations, multicultural projects and open spaces, Nurtane was also involved in various collectives and has participated in multiple collaborative projects. Being in Cyprus shaped her point of view and changed her perception of producing art work. It has become a medium for her to address and deconstruct inequalities, patriarchal administrations, alienating and destructive environmental settings, meaningless investigations without results, limitations, self-centered power politics etc. The current sense of uncertainty on global scale has been the reality of Cyprus for many decades. This has resulted with an inability to dream of a future and an excessive weight on a patriarchal and militaristic past. Through her work, she utilises the power of memory, dreams and surreal fantasies, she creates another game for herself from the situations as a playground for thoughts and feelings. These are random attempts to create another reality that combines her childhood memories and chaotic everyday life in Cyprus.


NURTANE KARAGIL


This is my home where my father has trees, and my friends buried their dreams. It is such a place that the habitat itself is physically displaced by a giant flag. Even finding the motivation to create something becomes an art in itself in these conditions of purgatory. My creative willingness comes from the need to show that I am here and real. In my artistic practices I choose to place myself where I feel I belong at the time of the happening and sometimes I expect to be placed in a space where other people render suitable for me. Through this I am able to experience my own space in this complex web of realities. This can be a city or a story, maybe a specific location or an event. Experiencing this situation opens up a process that I could start to react. Reactions that are playful, because I only through playfulness I think we can overcome the constraints of history. Such playfulness with child-like works enables me to trigger the viewer, feel the flow and create clear messages. Acting in a childish way accelerates the process and more importantly, it generates trust. To facilitate the instincts of the viewer instincts, I often touch a spot that is familiar to them and which carries a value for them. This makes it easier to talk about things that are not right but still affect us generally. It lifts the boundaries and helps us to process the situations. In the end of the process, both I and the audience, or we as “the public� end up in the same situation we had begun with but this time with the feeling of having shared it.


Questionnaire – for all human beings on the earth Cold lamination and application on wood


PANAYIOTIS ACHNIOTIS Panayiotis Achniotis was born in 1992 and raised

in

Lefkosia,

Cyprus.

Achniotis

accomplished his BA in Social Anthropology in Granada, Spain and his MSc in Cultural Anthropology in Utrecht, Netherlands. He specializes in social and political movements, the anthropology of the state, and the Mediterranean. His ethnographic works include research on militarization in Cyprus and the Catalan grassroots movement for independence. He currently works as a research assistant at the department of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cyprus. During the last few years, he became increasingly interested in visual culture and experimentation with the camera

as

a

anthropological

tool inquiry

and into

method the

of

social

condition. Alongside lifelong friend Andreas Anastasiades,

they

released

their

debut

documentary “Tongue� in 2019 that deals with the emergence of the radical Left and the peace movement in Cyprus.


BARBED WIRE 2020 Collage/research/object exhibition/Photo and video editing

Realizing how common the presence of barbed wire is in our everyday lives, the piece seeks to introduce the viewer to the milestones of its historical development as an object which facilitates the violent prevention of motion. A poster series points out the three historical phases of the use of barbed wire, accompanied by illustrational photos. The viewer gets the chance to see some pieces of barbed wire collected from Nicosia and also watch an edited video from material collected from Youtube.

PANAYIOTIS ACHNIOTIS


“BARBED WIRE” seeks to open a dialogue about how the prevention of motion of both humans and animals has come to shape material spaces such as landscapes and architectures, but also discourses, symbolic systems and ideologies. The history of the prevention of motion in modernity is tantamount to the development of barbed wire, a simple yet crucial technology for the consolidation of institutions that characterize the modern era: the enclosure and fencing of public land into private property; the creation of sovereign nation-states with impermeable borders; the development of imperial battlefields in the 19th and 20th century; the establishment of the prison system and the concentration camp. Inspired by Reviel Netz’s book “Barbed Wire – An ecology of Modernity” (2009), the piece seeks to introduce the viewer to the basic historical milestones of the development of barbed wire and familiarize them with its visual materiality through history. On a second level, and through edited audiovisual material, the viewer gets the chance to engage with the meta-narrative of barbed wire in human societies and cultures. Drawing on the tradition of collage and detournement (e.g. Dada, Max Ernst, Guy Debord), I appropriated materials from other artists/authors and pieces of public culture found online, upon which I attempt to introduce my own voice and construct a proper narrative. A friend of mine once said when visiting Cyprus and witnessing how often barbed wire is present places other than the Green Line (gardens, hen houses, balconies), “You really do love barbed wire here, eh.” As such, the piece is set in a living-room-like space, a cosy and comfortable place, but talks about violent political realities. However, the only actual reference to Cyprus in this art piece is the portions of barbed wire which I appropriated from a variety of sites in Lefkosia. In this sense, the piece aims to address the Freudian concept of unheimlich 1 (uncanny), that is an uncomfortably weird situation provoked by familiarity and affinity, and expand on an uneasy and in-negotiation relationship with Cyprus which I have begun exploring in my previous works, “Tongue” and “Voice Message”.


BARBED WIRE 2020 Collage/research/object exhibition/Photo and video editing


STEPHANIE LEMESIANOU Born and raised in Cyprus, Stephanie Lemesianou

is

a

visual

artist

and

graduate from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film and Television. With a background in communications, journalism and film production, she strives to explore the human experience and to promote social change by sharing the stories of real people and struggling communities. Over the years, she has interned for a number of media companies in New York and has gained work experience in public relations,

talent

management

and

education. Up until recently, she was the Sales

&

Outreach

Coordinator

for

Welcome Change Productions and a Photo & Video Assistant to French artist, Martine Barrat. A common theme in her work is the power of resilience in the face of

adversity,

social

injustices

and

marginalization, particularly how they affect the experiences of young children.


"Art has the power to reveal complex, wholesome narratives in a way that we can absorb them without feeling that they are being imposed on us. It prompts us to investigate, to challenge and above all, to feel. I believe that Art’s greatest power derives from its ability to strike us on an emotional level. It strips us from our defense of rationalization.�

Them and Us and Them 2020 Newspaper, Mixed Media (Translation from Left to Right: The Greek-Cypriots and Us | Us and the Turkish-Cypriots)


Embedded in the media framework of Cyprus are conflict-supporting narratives of separation between Greek and Turkish-Cypriot communities. Using framing language, such narratives tend to be biased, simplistic, divisionary and distorting. The notion of “us and them” is continuously imparted to society members, whereas the idea of “us” as a whole is an understated, almost forgotten narrative. Seemingly inclusive phrases often have an overtone of separation as opposed to togetherness. The transformation of divisional narratives to peacebuilding ones is a complex and non-linear process. This piece is the product of investigation, introspection, and rectification. Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot children ages 6-10 were asked to draw themselves and a child from the other side with no mention of the conflict. Lemesianou often thinks about migration, poverty and displacement- conditions that are deeply embedded in her family history and were inflicted upon the childhood and early youth of her relatives. Storytelling has been a way for her to process the realities that shaped the people around her but also to appreciate their courage and resilience. Her work comes from a place of wanting to reveal human stories of perseverance in spite of adversity. As a child, she was always hyper aware of the feelings of the adults around her, which is why she often creates visual stories that reflect the observations and experiences of children. In her practice, she uses the tools of black and white documentary photography, street photography, mixed media, text and narrative filmmaking. The streets, neighbourshoods and nuances of daily life are all party of her visual language. Documented or fictitious, her work is characterized by an intimate investigation of how the microcosm of a single moment, behaviour or relationship can allude to larger questions in our world. It feels important during these times to not lose sight of the small, personal stories that appeal to our endangered humanity.

STEPHANIE LEMESIANOU


STEPHANIE LEMESIANOU


ZOE POLYCARPOU Zoe

Polycarpou

is

a

Cypriot

visual

artist

and

cartoonist. Her art practice combines many different mediums, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, writing and photography, to create narratives inspired by personal experiences and observations, as well as explore

the

possibilities

and

boundaries

of

storytelling. She completed her studies in the UK at the University of Edinburgh with a B.A. (Hons) of Fine Art specializing in painting after receiving her Art Foundation BTEC from Loughborough University. Her work has been exhibited in a number of cities, including New York City, Edinburgh and London, and she was the recipient of the Scottish Society of Artists (SSA) New Graduate Award in 2015. Her current art practice uses many different mediums to

create

narratives

inspired

by

her

personal

experiences and observations. By investigating how artwork

can

be

experienced

differently

on

an

individual and group level, she considers everyday themes such as the way people interact with spaces and the objects around them, in order to explore the possibilities and boundaries of storytelling. Drawing upon her fine art background and lifelong interest in graphic novels, she likes blurring the lines of artistic disciplines.

She

tends

to

combine

traditional

processes, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, writing and photography to create art pieces that can stand

alone

or

alongside

other

works.

Often

incorporating text and visuals, her work attempts to construct narratives in a way that is engaging and relatable.


Coastline, Unbroken 2020 (48) 35mm Film prints, Metal1x1x1.4mon the earth


ZOE POLYCARPOU


“Art contributes to society and community because as well as helping the artist making it discover and express aspects of themselves, it also allows other people that view the artwork to put themselves in the shoes of others and see things from a different perspective.� ZOE POLYCARPOU

Coastline, Unbroken 2020

A collection of photographs taken over the span of 2 days and 630km, circumventing the political border of Cyprus to instead explore its natural border - the coastline. Arranged in a concertina reminiscent of the Venetian walls surrounding old Nicosia, the outer photographs were taken looking out towards the sea, and the inner photographs were taken looking in, towards the land. Together the photographs form the outline of Cyprus and are an attempt to represent the island as a whole, showing a perspective that defies the differences and boundaries within.



CHAPTER 5


LIVING BETWEEN — FUTURE AND PAST

A GROWING NETWORK OF SOCIAL CHANGEMAKERS


The project Falling Walls: Looking Through Conflict Narratives in Cyprus embraces art as activism, artists as communicators, and alternative perspectives to collective challenges. Further to the exhibition Crossing 24/31: I always confuse south to north, north to south; the exhibition Living Between — Future and Past was the result of the residency of five young, Turkish Cypriot visual artists, who used five different mediums, to share a common message. There are many ways to reflect on, to express peace. The universality arrives at a better world, where beauty stems from darker moments in time, presenting a vision on how society can proceed. To hold on to the past, remain stuck in the present, or to make the future the desired past, present and future. Inviting you to reflect on and challenge the truths you believe.

A GROWING NETWORK


PIRIL TORGUT Pırıl Torgut is an emerging Cypriot artist. Her work deals with amphibious and marine-life known or unknown creatures in possible sea-life habitations. Her abstract-realist paintings are often heavy with textured oil paints and vibrant colours. Heavy-mass versus biomorphic figures; something that brings fear for not existing, nevertheless its potential of presence is real while co-existing. A distressed turtle family that bear a resemblance to most post-war Cypriot families. Colour allocation within the exposed, traditionally familiar, marine creatures communicate with an enigma through commencing conversations on purpose. Father – wounded. Son – dead. Mother – mourning. Child – naïve. Babies – purity. The family painted essentially tells a story of origin and confusion, therefore creates a metaphor of an aftermath. Such amphibious creatures also generate harmonies within chaos by mirroring depoliticization of universal or domestic water conflicts. The figures are positioned within the canvas to mimic an unfit situation that existed anywhere

imaginable;

surreal

viewers to encounter this suffering.

dimensions

invite


Pırıl Torgut Nuclear Family, 2019 Oil on canvas 170cm x 170cm


MEMO

When I was younger, I would always look at these albums with my grandmother and imagine those beautiful days. There were gaps in between, confusion, disagreements, and no empathy. Now, as a third generation person (since the conflict in 1974), I am collecting memories to be photographed by living outside my belonging. The fact that Cyprus is divided into two means that the memories are divided into two. When we remove the concept of the two sides and use regions, perhaps our other attitudes and other concepts will decrease. I want to create for my future, just like my grandmother did, there are things about Cyprus (our home) that I want to leave for the future, generations. Let's wash what we have taken from the past as new generations, synthesize the areas we live in, and create photo albums together without borders, without gender, religion, language, origin distinctions ....... let us be.


MEMO 3RD Generation Album, 2019 Readymade Installation


MÜNÜSE AĞAGİL

I am a fashion designer and my work is very conceptual. I am passionate about expressing feelings through my designs. In Cyprus, war has remained camouflaged in our environment, in our skin, in our hearts, and in our homes for so many years. Considering the absence of personal interaction between communities and the continued condition of negative peace, I used different colours of fabrics to create my own camouflage patterned wearable arts. We are all trying to live in-between and need to remind ourselves to see the bigger picture every day.


MÜNÜSE AĞAGİL The Big Picture, 2019 Fabric & foam frame


BARIĹž PARLAN

War is a term whose shadow still dictates many of the issues of Cyprus' agenda. Remaining fear, from the past, is utilized by the status quo to shape the future that is profitable to the political elite. This way of thinking, that is shaped by ideologies, can make humans so blind that they cannot even see the dead bodies hitting their shores. Societies are misdirected by their rulers to focus on symptoms rather than the problem itself. My art disturbs by presenting an alternative reality, meant to depolarise peoples. Humans tend to unite to solve common problems.


BARIÅž PARLAN digiTale Journey: The War, 2019 Remix Performance


EBRU ÖZTÜRK

Love is the source of our existence. The entire universe is an exhibition hall and humans are the essence. When discovering one’s own true self, the walls are removed, and the universe is seen with love. This is when art and peace arise. It stands out. By examining my own creativity and love, by synthesizing the old and the new, I reveal my style. I do not limit myself as an artist of crafts, I am not limited to a concept, a school, a material, a space, a human class. I want to share with every class of people and have opened my art-education channel "Design with Love / Aşk ile Tasarla”. Art made with love is finding ourselves and our way in the universe, guiding us to reconcile with everything that exists.


EBRU ÖZTÜRK Break Down The Walls, 2019 Wood, stencil, cement, acrylic paint, patina paint, distress paint, glue 90cm x 90cm


VISUAL VOICES 2020


THANK YOU TO SERGIO VACCARO FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS THANK YOU TO GOETHE-INSTITUT CYPRUS & UNFICYP FOR HOSTING US


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