By Annette Chrysostomou
‘Nicosia: the story of a shared and contested city’ is the subject of a research project by the
Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR), the findings of which will be presented today.
The event will take place at the Home for Cooperation opposite the Ledra Palace from 6pm until 8.30pm, followed by a reception.
According to the association, the launch aims to unveil the historical memory of Nicosia through a series of graphically powerful and user-friendly online maps. The result of three years of research is an interactive website in Turkish, Greek and English that visually narrates the city’s transformation during the late 19th and 20th centuries, covering the British colonial time up until 1974.
The website will be available at www.nicosiaproject.eu after the launch, probably by Monday, AHDR research associate Christos Mais told the Cyprus Mail.
“By using multiple sources, the website will not just present the political history of Nicosia, but a general overview of the people of Nicosia and their lives and how this has changed throughout this century,” Mais explained. “We use demographic data, text, landmarks and audiovisual representations.”
“We want to show Nicosia as it is, a multinational city. For example Ermou Street, which used to be the commercial centre and very diverse, lost its past aura after the 1950s or 1960s,” Mais added.
“We believe that the research offers something to scholars, the people of Cyprus and tourists,” the research associate said, “because we focus not on the politics but on the social and cultural life of the ordinary person which was shaped by the politics. That’s why we include subjects like theatre, coffee houses, and the role of women. We also included homosexuality in the 1930s. This is about the history of all the communities, not only Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, but also Maronites, Armenians and Latins.”
The launch event will include presentations by the researchers involved in the project, as well as representatives from the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot municipalities of Nicosia. Representatives from other communities in Cyprus will also attend and offer the perspective of their own communities in relation to the project. All are welcome to attend.