Heidi Trautmann

605 - A group of Turkish Cypriot creative women at the Residence of the German Ambassador

The Arts – a common language valid worldwide

A group of Turkish Cypriot creative women invited to a luncheon at the residence of the German Ambassador


By Heidi Trautmann


It is a statement by the German Ambassador Dr. Gabriela Guellil that went through the press in the Northern part of the island not so long ago …..’We Germans did it and you will also do it if you keep trying’…the re-unification. A positive statement, encouraging the parties concerned: ‘we believe that you can make it!’

Under this impression a group of artists, writers and other creative women followed the invitation of the German Ambassador for a luncheon at her residence. It has been her endeavour since she came here to take over the duties at the Embassy two and a half years ago to stretch out a hand to the Turkish Cypriot side and especially to the artistic community. It is in her line of interest to strengthen the communication between the two sides.

It was a lovely Cypriot day with the smell of early spring that we gathered on the terrace of the Ambassador’s Residence, not far from the Ledra Palace Crossing, and Gabriela, as everybody called her without hesitation because of her warm reception, welcomed the women and said: It is you artists that have been working together in the past and you have an understanding of what is important because you speak the same language and she asked me to introduce the guests that were: Inci Kansu, Emel Samioğlu: both paper artists; Aydin Mehmet Ali: writer and activist; Aliye Ummanel: dramaturg at the Nicosia Municipality Theatre and poet; Laden Ince: Opera singer, Gönen Atakol: artist;  Beste Sakallı: poet; Sevcan Çerkez: ceramic artist;  Hatice Kerimğil: English teacher and organizer of many cultural events for charity.

Standing in a circle, the other guests were asked to introduce themselves. I have been so excited to finally meet Rita Severis, art historian and author of the legendary book: ‘Travelling artists in Cyprus’ and founder of the Rita Severis Foundation of which we will soon hear more, and I have been equally excited to meet the art historian and curator of the Leventis Museum in the heart of Nicosia: Elena Pojadzi-Richter, and there were ladies from the Embassy, the  Cultural Attachée Anja Klos; Assistant of the Ambassador: Isabella Glaser and Press Attachée Eleni Antoniou and Yasmin Fein, working in the Embassy’s office in the North of Nicosia.

I think we all came to an agreement about one point,  that  we as creative people and women we have not only the freedom and ability to experiment and observe but also the obligation to share our experiences with others. Artists have - in the course of human existence – always been the bards, archivists, recorders, admonishers,  etc.  because of their sensitivity of observance and the pain it takes to understand the interrelation.

We enjoyed the rich buffet, most of the dishes the ambassador has made herself with the help of the house staff; she loves cooking, she said, having travelled to many countries and appreciating simple folk cuisine.

It was a good gesture, an important gesture that makes us hope, a gesture we should copy and share and make work.

A small sculpture by Sevcan Cerkez visited by a (German) praying mantis
A small sculpture by Sevcan Cerkez visited by a (German) praying mantis

In the centre Dr. Gabriela Guellil
In the centre Dr. Gabriela Guellil

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