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Xarkis Festival 2021 goes back to its roots

zofia photosynthesis

Xarkis Festival is a nomadic event that roams communities of Cyprus. Returning for its 8th edition, the festival and its residency will take place from October 10.

The theme for this year’s Residency and Festival is back to the roots: environment and society. “By going back to the roots,” says the organising team, “we do not seek to perpetuate romantic and idealised notions of the past or to assume that the past was better. We want to analyse how rural heritage is tied to green living, so as to embody elements of related values, practices and lifestyles in our everyday realities and in an evolving context, which seek a closer connection to the environment and a re-evaluation of the need to protect and improve it.

“In the face of the climate emergency, and given our interest in learning with rural communities through practice-based collaborative research,” they add, “we feel the need to go back to our roots, again, this time to explore the relationship between the environment and society in our local communities more deeply. What can we learn from rural wisdom when it comes to co-existing with the natural environment? How can we thrive in the ecological future of Cyprus?”

Xarkis has invited practice-based proposals that set out to raise awareness, and provoke positive changes in our relationship with the environment, starting from the micro-level to the macro-level. The objective is to catalyse a diverse set of skills and explore collaborative methodologies in this sphere, in the hope of creating a shared vision for an ecologically conscious future.

The cycle of workshops that will take place includes a blend of approaches and welcome participants to take action, learn, create and think. Visual artist Louisa Vradi will set up a sound installation that aims to reconnect the community with the water and nature that surrounds it. Interdisciplinary designer Ilaria Bianchi invites workshop participants to bring broken objects/furniture they own and fix them.

Hayal Gezer proposes a workshop, which aims to create an alternative narrative about Cyprus, more in harmony with nature, as well as to create a community condition, a sense of spatial consciousness and creative flow. The artist Maria Andreou explores the meaning of time through work and examines via a facilitated workshop, the ways in which we create in collaboration with the earth, making natural dyes and discussing this. Using dialogue as the main tool, Chris Vrettos presents a workshop aiming at the convergence of environmental, social, political and cultural issues and the cultivation of a systematic and analytical way of thinking.

Maria Pithara facilitates a workshop to explore some basic principles and techniques for reusing old fabric with the use of natural dyes. Kyriakos Platos shares his knowledge around upcycling, creative waste management and how to create an alternative relationship with our clothes. Children can participate in a theatrical workshop of amateur, Lympia-based theatre group Paravasis to make constructions from recyclable materials, including masks, while Zoe Papaeracleous is co-creating a site-specific dance piece based on the concept of community.

With the collection of digital and tangible material (images, sounds, objects, plants, garbage) from the village environment, the artist Alexandra Pampouka is facilitating a workshop with the aim of consciously recognising the elements that compose a place. Through the experiential workshops proposed by Konstantina Theofylaktou participants have an opportunity to discover the natural richness hidden in the Troodos Geopark, and in the case of Socratis Socratous (‘Human’), participants can contribute towards the creation of a wood-fired oven construction workshop using natural materials.

Besides the workshops, several other events will take place at the festival including live music, art installations, tours and a large community dinner with the festival organisers, workshop leaders, volunteers and participants.


Xarkis Festival 2021 – Back to the Roots

Annual festival with participatory workshops, art installations, parallel events, live music and a Residency programme. October 15-17. Lympia Village, Nicosia. Tickets: €25 for 3 days, €12 for 1 day. Tel: 97-676011. [email protected]


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