As preparations for the ninth edition of Buffer Fringe continue, festival organisers have announced the line-up of artists who will be present on October 7, 8 and 9. Since 2014, Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival, which is organised by the Home for Cooperation, promotes peacebuilding by giving space for artists to create, resist, trigger discussions, and share their unique ways of seeing.
A tapestry of vibrant artists, from Cyprus and abroad, makes up the artist line-up for this year’s event with a theme of Pockets (beyond). Through their performances and projects, artists offer suggestions on dominant notions, resisting the logic of the main frame, and offering space for thinking about difference and identity, past and present, inclusion and exclusion. Eleven artists will present their works over three days in October and three venues.
For the first day of Buffer Fringe 2022, Friday, October 7, Lebanese director/performer and peacebuilder Raffi Feghali is curating narratives and immersive environments within the spaces of Rüstem Bookstore. Through their works, according to Feghali, artists inform “identity and belonging, they feed on history, and constantly evolve.”
The day begins with NOBODY by ERGO Theatre, a musical staged reading extracted from milestone works by Homer, Joyce and Kazantzakis. Visual performance piece Ilk: A Queer Arab Dichotomy by Berlin-based Lebanese artist Ahmad BaBa engages with questions regarding the queer Arab Muslim identity; while Compañia Encuentro presents Una Guerra Entre Nosotros (A War Between Us) – a dance piece on the romantic relationship between two men, addressing themes such as love, death, and homophobia. Finally, Inal Bilsel with his live electronic music and multimedia performance, immerses audiences in a Nostalgia for the Future that never arrived.
Australian Cypriot author/dramaturg Kat Kats, Australian performance director Bryce Ives and Cypriot theatre director Maria Varnakkidou are curating the festival’s second day, on Saturday, October 8, at NiMAC’s Theatro Polis. Here, the curatorial team is inviting audiences to “think inside the [black] box: a pocket of space to be or become whatever or whoever you want.”
Vasilikí Anastasiou and the sound of 20+ member female Amalgamation Choir will immerse audiences in soundscapes, primal sounds, songs, whispers and lullabies From West to East. Die Wolke Art Group will present Poetics of Space, a dance-theatre study of the subjective perception of space and the concept of intimacy; while Compagnie Inflexions will invite audiences to listen and dance to poetry and sounds in the interdisciplinary performance As We Drove Short Short Horizon-Line. Finally, ody icons will present POLYDRAMA, an interdisciplinary musical performance on queerness, tradition, social fight, darkness and light, solitude and the collective.
On Buffer Fringe’s third and final day, Cypriot art historian Derya Ulubatli transforms the buffer zone in the area of Home for Cooperation into a common meeting point, into “a ‘pocket’ where different artists will create new stories by collaborating with the audience and the Other”.
In STATE, interdisciplinary artist Melita Couta will create an interactive performative art installation proposing the establishment, development and ultimate failure and dissolution of a 24-hour “STATE” in the buffer zone. Video artist FO will present KI|PR|ΟΣ, a video installation divided into two parts, with two different films based on the experiences of Cypriots living in either the northern or the southern part of the island from 1974 through 2004. And finally, Netherlands-based Programme Music will present Where Words Become Music, an interactive performance of classical music and literature, exploring the possibility of spreading a universal message beyond language.
Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival
Annual arts festival. October 7-9. Around Nicosia and online. www.home4cooperation.info/buffer-fringe-2022/