Spaces of Reconciliation: Youth Interaction through Art in the City

Led by Mete Hatay
Jan 2019 – ongoing

The project follows groups of youth in Cyprus as they negotiate space within a divided city and find spaces for interaction and cooperation. Following the opening of Nicosia's Ledra Street checkpoint in 2007, and particularly after the 2013 economic crisis in the island's south, young people on both sides of the divide began flocking to Nicosia's neglected city within the walls. The project uses film to document a youth-driven, nascent urban transformation, and particularly its social effects in an ongoing conflict. The activities that have been taking place there, such as festivals, plays, and art workshops, are grassroots rather than facilitated or funder driven. Instead, they are driven by the desire of youth to have a space for expression. At the same time, these events, activities, and new spaces are organically multicommunal, incorporating not only Cypriots but also anyone living in Cyprus, including youth from Turkey who are unable to cross to the island's south. This emerging space, then, shows the possibilities for an organically emerging reconciliation that transcends the "bicommunalism" in which the Cyprus Problem has been trapped for decades.