Cyprus Mail

Our daily bread

By Alix Norman

If there’s one thing that’s absolutely integral to every culture around the world, it’s bread. As a metaphor for life, it looms large in most languages: we bake bread with our friends and break bread to make friends, we refer to our income as our bread and butter, know on which side our bread is buttered and talk about innovations as the best thing since sliced bread. Bread is, indeed, the staff of life, and though man cannot live by bread alone we all know how important this staple truly is. So the upcoming exhibitionBreadMatters IV is an event which will undoubtedly appeal to everyone, whether you’re anaficionado of hearty Hovis or a bun-loving bread buff.

Co-hosted by three organisations in Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos, BreadMatters IV is a global initiative curated by artist Ines Amado and comes to Cyprus following its success in Poland, Portugal and Ireland. With each of the previous BreadMatters involving over 60 artists, the event is billed as “a unique showcase of contemporary art designed to challenge the visitor conceptually and ideologically; a platform for exchange and collaboration, a medium for bringing together professionals from various disciplines, communities and cultural backgrounds to question, debate and explore the social, cultural, historical, philosophical, political, and theological issues around bread.”

BreadMatters, then, is a large scale event which incorporates not just artists and their work, but also a number of presentations, debates and workshops, all aimed at using this most commonplace of foodstuffs to enrich our understanding of culture. And as a vehicle for the history and identity of every nation, each society puts its own unique characteristics and approach to daily life into its bread: from the San Francisco Sourdough to the Naan, the Pão de Mafra to the Pitta, our daily bread is, in many ways, indicative of the culture which has produced it.

“Bread is a vehicle for the history, culture and identity of every nation,” say organisers. “Each society has put into its bread something of the authenticity and characteristics of its particular approach to daily life and its unique culture, and labels its bread to reflect its culture; to ’taste a bread is to experience a country’. And using bread as a medium generates considerable discussion across a range of disciplines and has created a platform for discussion and debate around contemporary issues such as migration and emigration, the construction of identity, power, globalisation and equality, historical legacy, ritual and symbolism in contemporary life, and connectedness and communion.”

Aimed at promoting participation, collaboration and dialogue, the event will also focus more specifically on the role of bread in Cyprus – its history, development and the related geopolitical issues. And with artists of all nationalities taking part (Greece, Portugal, Britain and Abu Dhabi to name but a few), the event will use the medium of bread to provide unique feedback and perspectives on countries from around the globe.

“BreadMatters IV is important because it’s a programme that’s connecting people and communities from all over the world, bringing artists from abroad to document and celebrate the differences and similarities in culture,” say co-hosts ARTos Cultural and Research Foundation. “In the opening debate, for instance, we’ll be discussing the structure of bread as an instrument of social change and innovation, the geopolitics of bread making and the value of bread in a divided culture, as well as the need for rain, the process of transforming flour into bread and the preindustrial grinding mills of Karpasia.”

It’s an event, say organisers, which will appeal to all. “We’re very excited about BreadMatters IV coming to Cyprus. This is about something that’s part of everybody’s life, and thus the event transcends the boundaries of age and gender and interests: a celebration of the meaning of bread through lots of interesting and interactive presentations.”
With a number of events running consecutively in Nicosia (at the ARTos Foundation), Limassol (at the Decorated Bread Museum ‘To Ploumisto Psomi’) and in Paphos (at the Techno.polis Cultural Centre), there’s a great deal happening to pique one’s interest. From exhibitions of art works, to film screenings, workshops and discussions, BreadMattersIV delves into the issues that constitute society, and attempts to make sense of what getting ‘our daily bread’ has meant to different people throughout time – a fascinating look at a form of sustenance consumed by people of every race, culture and religion… Certainly food for thought.

Curated by Ines Amado at the following locations: ARTos Foundation, Nicosia: opening on November 12 with a Public Open Forum at 17.00 / Exhibition opens at 19.30 and runs Mon-Fri 15.00-19.00. For more information call 22 445 455 or visit To PloumistoPsomi Decorated Bread Museum, Limassol: opening on November 14 with Bread Matters Interactions (Performance, Music & Poetry) at 19.00 / Exhibition runs from Nov 14-Dec 14 from Mon-Sat 9:30 – 12:30 & 16:00 – 19:00 (except Wednesday and Saturday afternoons). For more information call 25340347, 99526772 or visit, Techno.polis 20 Cultural Centre, Paphos: opening on November 15 with Film Screening of Το ψωμίτων Κυπρίων and discussion with the filmmaker Paschalis Papapetrou at 18.00 / Young Artists Exhibition Opening Night on November 23 at 19.00, runs from Nov 15-Dec 10 from Mon-Fri 10.00-13.00 and 16.00-21.00 and Sat 09.00-13.00 / Young Artists Bread Matters workshop and work in situ from November 17-22. For more information call 70002420 or visit

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