Closing ceremony at EMAA’s
was time to say goodbye, it was time for a recapitulation of the work done and
time to reflect what else can be done on the road to peace and understanding.
It was touching to listen to the introductory speeches delivered by the project
coordinators, Özgül Ezgin and Argyro Toumazou, the supporter Dr. Ellada Evangelou,
President of the Rooftop Theatre, the President of EMAA Zehra Şonya, and the
charming Charlotte Goyon, Programme Manager of the EU Commission, with her
little lively daughter who made us aware for whom we are all doing this. It is
her small hand waving adieu to one of the project groups on the screen.
would like to recite the conclusive words of the organisers which I take from
the beautiful catalogue which rounds up the projects and activities during the three
years of the project with the title ‘Confrontation through Art’:
Zehra Şonya: ….Making art represents a state
of mind which supports to obtain a clear vision of events and people,
identifying underlying problems and envision a possible solution. It entails
being responsive, putting oneself in the place of others, feeling their pain
and sharing their troubles. More often than not it implies the courage to
shoulder the problems of the world. It is for these reasons that we believe that
it is important to make people understand and appreciate the arts. It is
through the arts that we can create another world; it is our strong belief and
so we loudly and proudly proclaim our allegiance to the arts.
….Through residencies and exhibitions, lectures, workshops for kids in rural
areas, through our collective dedication to our principles and our art, we
produced much needed dialogue on the island and abroad….we maintain our
collective refusal to be bricks in the wall; we are thinking/acting
individuals, and through ‘Confrontation Through Art’ we gave the platform to
artists and non-artists to express and explore their world; only to make it
Argyro Toumazou: ….While
preparing our last CtA Remix Exhibition (with select works from the entire
output – we became distinctly aware of the programme’s breadth of artistic
accomplishments, of what we achieved, and less so, our weaknesses and hidden
strengths, even of mishaps in the restlessly bubbling political climate of this
three-year period between 2014 and 2017. One thing is certain, we completed a
valuable vision and, far wiser for it, we now raise our bar higher.
Özgül Ezgin:….. The inability
to face up to things reflects fear, and this fear is fear of the unknown…… Despite
many problems, the project has accomplished much; it has brought artist and
children of both societies together, established new relations and
collaborations, promoted the common language of art, helped participants to
question the past together and start to build a common future for Cyprus.
3rd of July was a getting together of all local artists and people
involved in the project and guests to celebrate the moment and to express the
gratitude to all the supporters which I am unable to mention here because it is
a whole page of names and institutions; the catalogue is available at EMAA’s
and represents an exemplary input of forces and cooperation, with other
words……. if there is a will there is a way.