Following six months of research, five young people from across Cyprus will launch their digital stories exploring spaces of everyday life, division and co-existence in Cyprus on Monday December 12. This free public screening will take place at the Goethe Institute, Nicosia, at 6.30pm.
‘Life Routes: Cyprus’ is a participatory research project led by YouCitizen at Durham University (UK), exploring how young people make sense of their lives and their futures in places that have been divided or strained by conflicts of various kinds.
Taking on the role of researchers, the five youths identified particular individuals, communities and places where the themes of identity, belonging, and mobility were explored through peer and inter-generational interviews.
Through these interviews, the young researchers gathered stories, memories, views and experiences of a diverse array of people and communities throughout Cyprus. Working with these community storytellers on their personal stories, the young researchers then brought the stories to life by producing short videos that narrate personal experiences of everyday life, home, division, crossing and the ‘other’ side.
The short videos will also be available online for others to explore on the YouCitizen website www.youcititzen.org from December 13.
“We hope that these stories will allow people from different backgrounds and areas to explore and learn the views and experiences of others throughout the island, and create a dialogue on how identity and belonging are formed in the spaces of everyday life,” ‘Life Routes: Cyprus’ coordinator Dima Smaira said.
One of the young researchers, Nadia Kornioti talked about what she did. “I chose three villages, Lefkara, where my father comes from, Potamia, where I have a good friend, and Ayios Sozomenos which is next to Potamia,” she said.
She discovered a plethora of facts that interested her during her interviews. In Lefkara she looked into the subject of lace making and the severe danger that the skill of the technicians will soon disappear, and in Potamia, she interviewed two Turkish Cypriot women on their past and how living in the mixed village – the only one in the areas controlled by the Republic of Cyprus – has affected their lives.
The screening on 12 December will also include a discussion with the young people involved in the project, who will share their experiences and talk about the themes, places and people featured in their stories. A reception will follow.