May 30, 2023

Confrontation through Art


By Heidi Trautmann…..

Closing exhibition of art residency at EMAA within the framework of Confrontation through Art

Confrontation through Art – Contemporary Art as an Instrument for Reconciliation in Cyprus

        At the Fruit Stand – Where the Sky and the Earth touch (partial view)

So many titles, so many messages and so many people involved, people who would like to carry these messages across where needed, and, I believe, we need them everywhere not just in Cyprus with its decades old problem, however,  it was here in Cyprus, in the heart of the island, in both halves of the divided heart, that a thought provoking art residency was created and carried through.Picture 1

It is not the first of its kind and if you the readers are interested to learn more then please visit the website  There you will find projects of bi-communal cooperation in Cyprus on various levels of activities and age groups. Also on my website you find my reviews on the various projects in the past.

This year’s early in the year project ‘At the fruit-stand’ brought together the artists ….

Abdullah Denizhan (Cyprus), Leontios Toumpouris (Cyprus), Beatrice Catanzaro (Italy), Sarah Beddington (U.K.) and Vivien Sansour (Palestine) with the curator Viviana Checchia (Italian origin, currently Glasgow, public engagement curator). They lived together in a small house put to their disposal, they shared the days, cooking and talking, walking around the island and meeting people. Read the words put together for the occasion of the exhibition ‘…where the sky and the earth touch (partial view)’ they say it all.

The artists speak

At the exhibition on March 05 at EMAA’s the results of the residency were presented and laid open to the audience; the participants met in front of a 16th century image of a man leaping into a new sphere not knowing what to expect….everything is possible, visible and invisible at the same time….utopia….. a white chalk design on black. The speakers who assembled to open the exhibition following the residency were in the order of their appearance:

Project coordinators: Ozgul Ezgin & Argryo Toumazou with words of welcome

Representing the group of residency participants: Curator Viviana Checchia and artists about their project and experiences;

Representing the EU Commission: Michela Foresti

Representing partner organizations EMAA and Rooftop theater group:

Osman Keten, President of EMAA (European Mediterranean Art Association) and Katherine Kotsirea (Rooftop Theatre – Board Member )

Mayor of Nicosia Turkish Municipality: Mr. Mehmet Harmancı

Co-chairs of the bi-communal technical committee of culture Mrs. Androulla Vassiliou and Mr. Kani Kanol.

Mayor Mehmet Harmanci

The displayed pieces are thoughts made visible because people always need something to touch, an unfinished building – a dome – waiting for its completion, an abstract sculpture small in size made from Break-danceruins, a fruit stand coming to life by the light directed at it and finally a dance performance by the young break-dance group, the artists had met and talked to during their residency.

Break-dance has become an expressive dance performed by young world citizens, especially in places where poverty and uncertain social and political conditions reign, and has become an instrument of spiritual liberation by overstepping physical limits and hopefully overcoming the force of gravity.

The same is valid for the arts…as it says in the main title : Confrontation through Art.


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