JULY 2013 BACK ISSUE by Alexandros Demetriades
Cyprus has been a divided country since 1974 after the Turkish invasion. Greek Cypriots live on the South of the island and Turkish Cypriots live in the occupied North. The border between the two sides has only recently opened up in 2003 and many have made the passage to the 'other side'. An appearance of normalcy permeates the air. Despite the long lost memories of an era gone by and the even harder realization that the country is slowly transforming itself into a new reality with no signs of reunification the fact is that the people are trying to make the best of their lives. Whether worn down by time or consciously trying to forget so that they can move on, people seem to be walking with their eyes wide shut clinging to their cultural roots as a way to enforce their identities and to passively fight each other. Documenting my homeland was a test and a challenge for me. This self-initiated project began as a search for my identity and was as much a photography project as it was a personal awakening. This is my attempt to understand my roots in a country to which I sometimes feel close and from which I sometimes feel alienated. Acquiescence at a bus stop in Kerynia. Greek Cypriot shopkeepers in the old town of Nicosia near the border, Greek Cypriots enjoying an outing at a fair below the ancient city walls in Nicosia during Christmas. Near the Kerynia harbor in the North of Cyprus. A Greek Cypriot dance troupe practice before performing at a local event. A Turkish Cypriot veteran taking part in a military parade on the North of Nicosia. Children playing near the buffer zone. A charity event to help the needy at a church in the South of Nicosia. Greek Cypriots receiving Koliva after Sunday mass. Emotional fans during a football club's centenary celebrations with origins in the occupied North city of Famagusta. A Greek Cypriot man stands in the fields where behind him four of his men went missing during the 1974 invasion. Protesting against the new austerity measures in front of the Presidential Palace after the collapse of the banking system. The supposed apparition of the Virgin Mary in a small chapel brings hope to the people that come to see. Turkish boys playing with a rabbit. An abandoned house in the occupied North of Nicosia. A man walks in the market in the early morning in the occupied North of Nicosia. A Greek Cypriot boy smelling a Lily after church service. Near the old sea port in Limassol. Back to current issue