This weekend the Buffer Fringe Festival starts in Nicosia (Cyprus). Logically the division of the island and how it affects the people is a recurring topic. Explorer Olaf van Muijden selected some works for De Facto.
Since 2014 the Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival is organized by the Home for Cooperation, an initiative of the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research. Its main goal is to build bridges between the divided communities of Cyprus by innovative projects and through art and culture.
This weekend, a variety of films, performances and installations can be seen in the old city of Nicosia. Often, there are activities taking place in other cities, like Famagusta, Kyrenia and Limassol. Explorer Olaf van Muijden selected some works for the De Facto audience:
Crossings is a documentary film by Greek film maker Theodore Scrivanos about the Home for Cooperation, but above all about the lives of the people crossing each other at this space.
A video installation by Fatosh Olgacher (Cyprus) pays attention to the lives of the people of the North and South between 1974 and 2004 – the period from the start of the Turkish occupation and the war till the opening of the checkpoints. At the festival attendees can only witness half of the installation. Afterwards both groups discuss their experience.
In the interdisciplinary art installation STATE Melita Couta (Cyprus) and other artists will encourage visitors through actions and happenings (performing ceremonies, writing manifestos, designing stamps, a map and a flag) to create the STATE. ‘It is a utopic attempt to create a separate “political” entity, a “state” of resistance where people meet in order to speculate on what is an alternative “state” of being.’
The forbidden love of a Turkish Cypriot man and a Greek Cypriot woman is the theme of Muzure, a performance by Tera Group.
The Home for Cooperation and AHDR act as bridge-builders between separated communities, memories and visions. Next to their peacebuilding programs and cultural activities, they pay a great deal of attention to inclusivity, lgbti+ rights and other topics concerning society and reconciliation process.
Ilk عِلْقْ : A Queer Arab Dichotomy revolves around the following questions: ‘Why are we expected to identify with a “queerness” that we had no power in creating? How can we speak the language of queerness when our own languages, terms, expressions are trapped within and abbreviated into an international queer (English) language? How are we pressured into partaking in the norms of acceptable “queerness”? What are the costs of not fitting into these norms, and how can we counter this regulatory and disciplinary function of queerness at our current historical moment?’