By Heidi Trautmann
A symbol. A symbol you take into your hands and it will unfold to you. A book based on an art project initiated by a handful of artists with contributions by international researchers and artists and collated and edited by Başak Şenova and Pavlina Paraskevaidou. I have reported on the background story and its exhibition on my website with all names of persons involved who have first ‘uncovered’ the symbol in the middle of the buffer zone of a divided capital: http://www.heiditrautmann.com/category.aspx?CID=1723885575
That was beginning of this year 2011.
Now at the end of it I hold the book in my hands which was officially presented on November 18 at the Home of Cooperation in Nicosia, the proper place to do so.
The book now in its final form and of a beautiful graphic design by Gökce Kececi Sekeroglu represents the flotsam of 40 years of pain and politics under the cover of UN with thoughts of those having uncovered the “Sleeping Beauty” although being anything but a beauty, and memories of those for whom it was centre of public life, a common space, a crossroads.
An airport is a public space belonging to all and in the book this phenomenon, the symbolism of it, is defined and shown by various contributors from various angles of view such as questions of identity and ethics.
I would like to cite here a script extract from the film MUD by Derviş Zaim with his permission to the publisher:
0154 “I used to sit on the veranda and drink coffee.”
0155 “It was cool there in summer. Maybe my furniture is still there.”
0156 “I had a rocking chair then. 30 years without rocking!”
0162 “We found bits of furniture here. The chairs are from another house.”
0163 “But I found some photos.”
0164 “That guy must have left them behind when he fled. You want them?”
0165 “Yes, of course.” – Aisha, we are late.”
0166 “We’re doing a book of the project.”
0167 “Write down whatever comes to mind in this notebook.”
0168 “Hate, love…everything!”
0169 “This isn’t just about you.”
0170 “Everyone can stop by and see the cast.”
0171 “Everyone can write in this notebook. Poetry, memories, obscenities…
0172 “We’ll publish everything!
Jack Persekian, a contributor, who lives and works in Jerusalem, has come for the presentation of the book to Nicosia. He is the founder and director of the Anadiel Gallery in Jerusalem.
He had brought with him the ever shameful story of the Giant Wall running through the country for several hundred kilometres creating ghettoes and the story of art projects using the famous Palestinian Nablus soap whose perishable nature alludes most precisely to the unsustainability of the arrangements for control of the West Bank and Gaza and the reality of a volatile, shifting and disintegrating country. Browse the internet for the Anadiel Gallery to read about his work as curator and the soap from the Nablus soap factory.
(In 2008 I wrote an article on Turkish and Greek speaking Cypriot artists and photographers taking part in the Challenging Walls Conference in Jerusalem at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and their experiences and comments at the end of it. Very depressing, especially the lack of worldwide interest.)
Nothing more had to be said. The book presentation was very well attended.
The book is available at the bookstores Deniz Plaza, Işık, Rüstem and Kültür Evi for TL 35 and at Moufflon Bookstore and others for Euro 20.