Cyprus Mail

Bicommunal choir awarded prize for peace

The bi-communal choir for peace in Cyprus has been awarded the 2020 prize by the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture, it was announced on Friday.

The prize, for to 80,000 CHF (€74,756), will be awarded on May 13 within the framework of the Peace Forum organised by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).

The foundation presents awards to women and men who contribute in a cultural field to fostering dialogue, understanding and peace in conflict areas. The award is normally presented every second year, but intervals vary.

The 2018 prize was awarded to Mike van Graan, a South-African born playwright and cultural activist for his contribution to the fight against apartheid, to building a post-apartheid society and to the study of the interface between peace and culture both in his home country and across the African continent.

The bi-communal choir for peace was established in May 1997 after an initiative of the bi-communal citizens’ group for peace. The members are Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots who share a common vision and believe in the unity of the two communities through music.

Its two conductors are Lena Melanidou and Kursat Tilki. Melanidou is also co-conductor of the inter-communal children’s choir with Imge Arabi, for children aged 7–11.

The Hiroshima Foundation was created in 1989 following a bequest by the Swedish author Edita Morris (1902-1988) who was married to the American author Ira Morris (1903–1972). It is named after Edita Morris’ most famous novel The Flowers of Hiroshima which describes the suffering caused by the atomic bomb.


Further information on the foundation can be found on its website


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