By Maria Gregoriou
LARNACA, Limassol, Paphos and Nicosia are gearing up to being at the centre of an upcoming festival which will pattern public spaces with temporary inflatable installations and host a number of artistic events and activities.
The aim of such an event? To activate urban spaces and transform them into lively and creative hubs which encourage citizen participation and provide a place where communities can come together.
The festival, under the name FouskoPolis (Inflated City), is organised by the NGO Urban Gorillas with the Architecture Research Centre (ARC) of the University of Nicosia, Dendros Ltd and Plastique Fantastique Berlin.
As a result, inflatable installations will be at Larnaca Castle Tuesday to Wednesday, at Limassol Castle Friday to Saturday, at Paphos Castle from March 31 until April 1 and in Nicosia at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation on April 4. They have been created after the Urban Gorillas put out an open call at the start of the year.
The NGO has shown us city slickers some very unique inflatable installations in the past, but this is their most ambitious project to date.
All those engaged in putting the festival together invite the public and passersby to get involved and experience their city from a new perspective. The festival will also include lots of free entertainment.
As described by the Urban Gorillas Creative Director Veronika Antoniou, “through our successful open call we have built a colourful programme of artistic and community activities within and around the inflatables in each location, and look forward to the public’s interaction and responses to the work.”
The programme of activities includes a diverse range of actions from dance performances and installations to interactive games, drumming, storytelling, a skateboarding event, yoga and even musical workshops for the under-fives and infants.
There will be photography on display, projections, screenings and a series of urban furniture installations as well as workshops, roundtable discussions, and a chance to experience the food and culture of a host of minority groups living in Cyprus from all over the Middle East, Far East and Africa.
Antoniou expressed the NGO’s excitement at reaching the stage where planning becomes a hands-on reality.
“This has been a truly grassroots effort all the way, starting from workshops last autumn to design and build the inflatables, to now stepping out into underutilised public spaces and engaging the wider public, which is at the heart of what this project is all about.
“With the installations and actions being temporary and ephemeral, we hope to reach as many people as possible in each location, and leave positive energy behind after departing from each site.”
To view a full programme of events and times, visit the event’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/442946719193644/.
A festival with temporary architectural inflatable installations, artistic events and activities.
March 24-25: Larnaca Castle
March 27-28: Limassol Castle
March 31 until April 1: Paphos Castle
April 4: Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, Nicosia
Different times. Free. Email: [email protected]