“’The Past in Pieces’: A Reading and Discussion.”
The 14th event in Sidestreets’ “Conversations on Culture” series in Kyrenia will be a reading and discussion by Dr. Rebecca Bryant of her recently published book “The Past in Pieces: Belonging in the New Cyprus.”
The event (presentation and full Sunday luncheon) is scheduled for Sunday, 3 April 2011 at 12:00, at Onar Village in Kyrenia. The cost of admission is 30 TL, and seats should be reserved in advance at Sidestreets, Tel: 229-3070. (www.sidestreets.org)
On April 23, 2003, to the surprise of much of the world, the ceasefire line that divides Cyprus opened. After almost three decades of closure, the opening was a euphoric moment that led to expectations of reunification. But within a year Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected at referendum a United Nations plan to reunite the island, despite their Turkish compatriots' support for the plan. In The Past in Pieces, Bryant tells the story of the opening through the voices and lives of the people of one town that has experienced conflict. Bryant uses research in one formerly mixed town in northern Cyprus in order to understand both experiences of life together before conflict and the ways in which the dissolution of that shared life is remembered today. By examining the ways the past is rewritten in the present, Bryant explores why the momentous event of the opening has not led Cyprus any closer to reunification, and indeed in many ways has driven the two communities of the island further apart.
Rebecca Bryant is Associate Professor of Anthropology at George Mason University and Visiting Associate Professor at Middle East Technical University’s Cyprus campus. She is a cultural anthropologist who has been conducting research on both sides of the Green Line since 1993. She is the author of Imagining the Modern: The Cultures of Nationalism in Cyprus (London: I.B. Tauris, 2004) and of the recent The Past in Pieces: Belonging in the New Cyprus (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010). The latter work examines the ways in which Cypriots have been rethinking the past and relationships to place since the 2003 opening of the checkpoints. In her presentation, Bryant will give a short reading and discuss the research for this book and its conclusions.