The Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation (BoCCF) is hosting ‘SIKO PSIHI MOU’ – pictures and music of the 1922 refugees’ exhibition – of the Hellenic Parliament Foundation for Parliamentarianism – that commemorates the 101st anniversary of the Asia Minor Catastrophe. The exhibition traces the role and importance of music and song as identity, collective memory and driving force for Greek refugees across the world.

His Excellency, President Nikos Christodoulides will open the exhibition on Monday, October 2, 2023 at 7pm on the premises of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation.

The exhibition’s key themes revolve around life prior to 1922 in Smyrna, Ionia, Cappadocia, the Hellespont, Constantinople and Propontis, eastern and northern Thrace (Eastern Rumelia); the Exodus, the calamity and trauma of becoming a refugee; life and music in the new homeland; the way in which our generations sang of this terrible event and of becoming refugees.

These themes come together through music and song, comprising the canvas on which the exhibition is laid out. Visitors will find answers to questions such as: what role does music play in the individual and collective identity of refugees? What is the significance of music as a driving force for the Greek refugees? How do the songs of the refugees capture the memories of the Catastrophe? How are memories passed down to our era, and how are they understood in national life and the musical creation of the descendants?

Photographs, audiovisual and archive material, held by foundations in Greece and Cyprus, as well as a host of artifacts contributed by local associations, organisations and individual collectors – all these will blend in the exhibition along with lyrics and a diversity of tunes – lamentations, traditional songs and dances, songs of the Rebetiko genre from Asia Minor, and also more contemporary Greek music influenced by the musical sentiment of the refugees.

The exhibition will run from October 2023 to June 2024. It will be open daily, from 10am to 7pm, on the premises of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in the old town of Nicosia.

In tandem with the exhibition, there will be held various activities and events such as musical performances, highlighting the refugees’ musical journey through time. Also on offer will be experiential educational programmes, lectures, a conference, and other specially designed activities based on the multisensory “Esthiseis” programme for disabled persons.

The scientific committee of the exhibition of the Hellenic Parliament Foundation for Parliamentarianism comprises: Dionysis Savvopoulos (chairman), Nikos Andriotis, Alexis Kyritsopoulos, Ekaterini Polymerou-Kamilaki, Evanthis Hadjivasileiou and Kyriacos Hadjikyriakides.

  • Musical score: Lambros Liavas
  • Art director: Alexis Kyritsopoulos
  • Overall directors: Anna Enepekidou, Christos Christides

Exhibition adaptation:

  • Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation: Ioanna Hadjicosti, Christi Papadopoulou, Christodoulos Hadjichristodoulou
  • Design and setup: Manolis Kamassas
  • Musical score: Andreas Papapetrou

Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation

  • 86-90 Faneromeni Street, Nicosia 1011
  • Info:22 128157