Cyprus Mail

Shopping and culture, pop up style

By Maria Gregoriou

We Nicosians get our hearts broken a little every time we drive down Makarios avenue and see all the closed down shops along this once vibrant street. But as of today until January 15 next year, the avenue will be popping with life again as it will be taken over by the 2014 Pop Up Festival.

If you happened to visit the street towards the end of September and the start of October last year, you will remember lots going on. There were shops selling very unique objects, film screenings, and workshops to keep everybody busy and life rolling on one of the main avenues in the heart of the capital.

The festival, organised by the Nicosia Municipality, will host young entrepreneurs, creators, artists, craftsmen and other professionals, as well as start ups, who will present their innovative ideas and their creative work in an attempt to bring a crowd back to the main shopping road.

The name of the festival is based on the idea of a pop-up shop. This is a trend in the west where shops are temporary opened in avenues or places where there used to be a lot of retail activity. Last year this concept attracted lots of attention and the Nicosia Municipality promises to give us even more to see and do this year.

“After the great success of last year’s festival, the Nicosia Municipality has managed this year to find many more vacant shops, which were kindly lent free of charge by their owners to participating interested parties. In 2013 there were 10 shops, this year there will be 27,” a representative of the municipality said.

These are only a handful of events you can enjoy during the two months of pop-up fun, you can find out more on the events facebook page. So let’s start with a performance of Miss Margarida’s Way by the Brazilian writer Roberto Athayde, performed by Marina Makri and Elena Kallinikou. The play, which has already been performed by the pair in Athens, Limassol and Nicosia, is set in a school classroom. The cast is Miss Margarida, a school teacher and a male student, who often sits among the audience members, so don’t be surprised if theatre and reality mix. The play is filled with improvisation and joke telling which is inspired by the audience. This is truly a play which evolves each time it is presented.

The AIGAIA fine and applied art school will also be at the festival exhibiting art and making art its continuous project by hosting the school’s students to showcase their work, putting on artistic events, and getting us involved in workshops.

If you like to dress up then Pinelopi Loizodiou will be taking up one of the shops to present her shoe designs, which she entitles On Foot.

Shoes may not be your thing, you may be more interested in some handmade decorative items that you can put on your Christmas tree or give as presents. This is where The Tellalleggs & Co etc comes in. Most of the company’s products are more to decorate baby rooms and to help parents bring up their children to be innovative and imaginative.

What pop-up festival that promises innovative ideas would be complete without a shop presenting vintage furniture? There will be plenty of old fashioned furniture designed with a modern twist from MAKE-SmallWorld-STEELLAP ART.
So get ready today to welcome two whole months of temporary shops, giving life to one of the great avenues of Nicosia. It all starts at 10.30am with the opening of Is Not Gallery and a street party until 1.30pm.

Pop-up Festival 2014
A number of pop-up shops will liven up Makariou street. November 15 until January 15. Makariou Street, Nicosia. Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-1.30pm and 3.30pm-8pm. Tel: 22-797400

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