If you are reading this, then you might relate to the notion of ‘being an islander’. Diving into the topic is an event by The Cyprus Institute on Thursday which will screen the award-winning documentary project titled Being an Islander, directed by Dimitrios Bouras.

June 1’s event at The Cyprus Institute will be a hybrid event, meaning that visitors can join either locally, at the Nicosia venue or online via the Institute’s YouTube channel and Facebook event page. The event will showcase the documentary that explores the theme of insularity as a social construct and a form of social and cultural identity. By using the Greek island of Sifnos as its research model, the documentary examines what makes an island’s identity in the Eastern Mediterranean, a place of biogeographical, historical, and evolutionary crossroads of three continents.

“The Being an Islander project was conceived in 2018 as an interdisciplinary project,” say organisers, “with research clusters encompassing Insular and Mediterranean Archaeology, Social and Visual Anthropology, Archaeological analysis (mostly focusing on metals), a large public engagement project in collaboration with the diaspora communities of Cyprus, Greece and Italy in the United Kingdom, the exhibition Islanders: The making of the Mediterranean at the Fitzwilliam Museum, and the production of an award-winning documentary.

“The Being an Islander project has a broad diachronic scope and applies an integrative analytical approach. Our research, as well as subsequent exhibition themes, integrate multi-scalar approaches to past human interaction within continental and island environments, while both our research work and corresponding public engagement programme, engaged works of contemporary artists whose creations contemplate what belonging to an island means. In this brief lecture, we take a retrospective look at the methodology and practice of the project and ponder whether it has achieved its interdisciplinary mandate.”

The speaker of the event, which will take place in English, will be Dr Anastasia Christophilopoulou, Senior Curator of the Ancient Mediterranean, Fitzwilliam Museum who is responsible for research and exhibition projects and permanent displays in the fields of Greek, Cypriot and Roman collections.

Anastasia is currently leading the four-year research project Being an Islander: Art and Identity of the large Mediterranean Islands (2019-2023) aiming to critically re-examine the concept of island life through material culture. The project will culminate in a large exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum displaying archaeological finds and artworks from the islands of Cyprus, Sardinia and Crete.

Colloquium: Being an Islander Project and the Islanders Exhibition

Documentary screening and discussion. June 1. The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia. 4pm-5pm. Free. In English