Category Archives: women

Open Discussion: Feminism and Development

feminism_invitationAs part of a series of events dedicated to development, CCMC member the NGO Support Centre (Twitter ngo_centre) is organising an open discussion on the topic of Feminism and Development. The event will take place on Friday 18 January at 11am at the Greek Cypriot Union of Journalists in Nicosia.

All events are organised within the framework of the «Knowledge Makes Change!» project, which aims to raise public awareness in relation to international development and development aid.

The discussion is supported by another CCMC member organisation, the Mediterranean Institute for Gender Studies (MIGS) – Twitter @MigsCy.

Can there be a ‘Women’s Peace’?

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By Olga Demetriou, a member of GAT – Gender Advisory Team (prio.olga@cytanet.com.cy)

This article was first published on page 16 of The Cyprus Weekly (21 December).

Last Thursday, the Buffer Zone was host to a conference entitled ‘Women’s Peace’. Conference organisers GAT (which stands for ‘Gender Advisory Team’) argued that women’s perspectives of peace and thus their expectations from a peace agreement should be integrated into the agendas of conspicuously male Cypriot politicians. GAT, which consists of Cypriot academics and activists working in various areas of gender rights has been making that argument since 2009, when it was formed.

Since then, it has taken the point to negotiators and others involved in the peace process, in the form of recommendations of what a gender-sensitive peace agreement should entail. Much of this may still to most people sound too technical or narrowly-focused on ‘women’ (why 50% of the population should be considered ‘narrow focus’ is still perplexing to me, but that is another discussion). So what does it actually mean? GAT’s perspective on power-sharing is a good example.

‘Power-sharing’ is intuitively understood as the diachronic domain of men; ‘power’ tends to signal what women should not be interested in – and most ‘good’ women often aren’t. ‘Sharing’ of course carries a more ‘homely’ ring to it, but in the given hyphenated structure (‘power-sharing’), it tends both to be effaced by the power of the first term, and to act as a prop that lends ‘power’ an added ‘technical’ implication. The question of ‘power-sharing’ thus tends to be understood as a technical matter pertaining to numbers in the allocation of seats in government and state institutions and in the calibration of each citizen’s vote. Together, governance and power-sharing have resonated more with (male) politicians, who propose and reject schemes of assigning weight to votes, ministries, and state institutions.

GAT’s recommendations on governance and power-sharing take a different approach. From the inception of modern statehood in Cyprus, women’s representation in government has been minimal; and the structure of negotiations thus far threatens to perpetuate this situation into the future state. GAT’s key concern is to re-position the interpretation of ‘power-sharing’ within more pluralistic framings of democratic rights. And while women’s rights are central to this attempt, the rights of sexual and immigrant minorities, and of children, youth, and the elderly are also embraced.

In a context where ‘the Cyprus problem’ is presented as ‘urgent’ and everything else ‘secondary’, and because, despite its persistence over three generations now, ‘the Cyprus problem’ is likely to be outlived by the problem of gender inequality, women, along with other social groups, have a stake in the phrasing of the Constitution, the government’s organogram, the design of the courts, the make-up of the police, and so on. The recommendations put forth by GAT are a mere reminder that ‘sharing’ must not be about ethnic ratios solely, but about gender ones as well. And that it needs to be framed in the aim not of a compromise against some ideal of autonomy, but of obligation, cohesion, cooperation, and inclusion.

The four sets of recommendations (on governance, citizenship, property, and economy) reflect this logic and call for no less than an overhaul to the thinking that has guided negotiations thus far. It is GAT’s vision that the mainstreaming of gender in the peace negotiations, and the implementation of an agreement, as well as in efforts outside the formal frame of negotiations, will contribute to a different understanding of the problems that have plagued the island over the decades. These have not only been problems of ethnicised politics and foreign interventions but also of a social and patriarchal order. ‘Cyprus’ from this perspective might slowly begin to look like a different place, a place other than conflict, war and trauma, a place where the future can be imagined productively and built solidly.

This is what a feminist (in a non-exclusive sense vis-à-vis men) ‘sharing’ of ‘power’ should be about.

GAT’s report and recommendations are available online.

Calling all Creatives! CCMC launches MakeMedia 2012

It’s not that we’re no longer gonna be making our own productions… It’s just that we thought that it was time we opened up a little and work with your creativity to get the stories and voices that really matter out in the open.

Today CCMC lauched Make Media 2012, an opportunity for a wide range of media producers, filmmakers and creative freelancers to connect with CCMC and its mandate of amplifying the voice of all communities of Cyprus. CCMC is welcoming productions realised in a variety of ways including but not limited to Documentary, Animation, Audio Slideshow, Multimedia, Motion Graphics, Narrative/Fiction, Podcasts and Radio.

The best productions will be showcased at a CCMC Film Festival sometime next Spring.

We are open to proposals for individual pieces of 3-5 minutes in length or a series of up to five episodes and focused around the following six thematic areas:

1.    Gender
2.    Youth
3.    Environment
4.    Active Ageing and Solidarity Between Generations
5.    Benefit of Community Media in Cyprus
6.    Media Literacy

Given the  nature of our work we hope that each entry contributes to greater understanding of the communities of Cyprus, and include the cross-cutting theme of peaceful coexistence and/or reconciliation.

Make Media 2012 is open to filmmakers, production persons or skilled and experienced amateurs. Applicants are welcome to work in partnership with others but the total budget allocated for the production will have to cover those additional costs. CCMC will support the production and offer use of its equipment, as well as supporting translating the production into English, Greek and Turkish.

For all of you that are interested you can read the full details and download an application form available on the CCMC website. Applications may be submitted in English, Greek or Turkish and the deadline for submission of the application forms is 21 September 2012.

We are going to have a second round of applications announced later in the year as well.

So start applying, and if you need any more information, you know where to find us!

Wonder Women Cyprus residency is underway!

To keep up with the adventures of the _gaia Studio Wonder Women residency in Cyprus, please visit their blog http://www.gaiastudio.org/wonderwomen/

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Wonder Women residency in Cyprus: apply by 15 June.

wwimageIn our society, the importance of news has shifted; some would argue that it has been elasticized or else devalued. As the blogosphere replaces the daily newspaper as the purveyor and distributor of breaking news, the reporting of events is no longer filtered by the journalist/editor. Instead the voice of news is replaced by a dynamic exchange of information.

Wonder Women is a residency program in its sixth year hosted by _gaia at their studio in Jersey City, NJ.  _gaia, an environment for creative process is dedicated to fostering women’s activism, art practice and study. The Wonder Women mission is to engage practicing, yet underrepresented artists who are eager to participate in a collective dialogue about art, media and identity. In January _gaia studio invited 10 New York & New Jersey based artists to participate in their residency program exploring the theme, ‘New News is Old News.’ Now that the work has been complete, its curators Doris Caçoilo and Maya Joseph-Goteiner along with some of the artists who participated will be hosted by Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) members Rooftop Theatre Group, EMAA (European-Mediterranean Arts Association) and the CCMC  to stage a similar program with 6 artists in Cyprus. Beginning June 20th [through June 29th] accepted applicants will meet as a group in various locations island-wide. There will be group discussions addressing issues related to art, technology, history, current affairs with a specific focus on human trafficking and critique of works in progress.

Wonder Women invites 6 Cyprus-based artists to consider this new concept of real time media and the ramifications of our evolving relationship with news. Projects should address news and its media channels. 

To apply for the residency, please submit your proposals and portfolios to Wonder Women by Wednesday 15 June 2011. All details can be found here. 

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AKOVA Festival to raise awareness of Domestic Violence

domviolenceAkova Women’s Association & KTAMS cordially invite you to the Akova Festival on Saturday 28 May, an activity-rich event organised as part of the “Strong Women for Strong Civil Society” project in order to raise awareness and combat Domestic Violence. The festival starts at 12:00 at the wedding hall in AKOVA village, and there will be activities until midnight! Continue reading

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Screening of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ by POST RI

CCMC member, POST Research Institute (POST RI) in cooperation with Enorasis Socio-Cultural Club is hosting a public film screening in Cyprus of ‘The Vagina Monologues’ on Tuesday 3 May 2011 at 20:30.  Based on author Eve Ensler’s interviews conducted with over 200 women from all around the world, this hilariously witty and moving collection of tales gives voice to a collection of poignant, brave and thoroughly human stories. The film will be screened in English, with Greek subtitles. Entrance is €2 (including drinks and cookies). You can find Enorasis Socio-Cultural Club, on 52 Makarios Avenue, Nicosia. For those travelling from the northern part of Nicosia, please gather at Lokmacı/Ledra St checkpoint no later than 20:15. For booking and transportation please contact +357 22767679, or 99568223 Gaston, or +90 5428739155 Mehveş.

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Film Screenings feature moving stories of women

CCMC member the POST Research Institute (POST RI) is holding a series of film screenings at CCMC, showcasing the complex and moving stories of women from around the world. Following the screening of each film, there will be discussions led by invited guest speakers.  All screenings will be in the original language of the film with Turkish or English subtitles (please see the programme for specific details).

  • Tuesday, 8 March at 19:00 – The Vagina Monologues
  • Friday, 11 March at 19:00 – Antonia’s Line
  • Tuesday, 15 March at 19:00  – Real Women Have Curves

‘Keep it Until Peace Comes’ 26 Feb

Hands Across the Divide (HAD), a CCMC member, is holding an event on Saturday 26 February 2011 at the Ledra/Lokmacı Street crossing in Nicosia. The event, entitled ‘Keep it Until Peace Comes’ will invite women to share gifts with each other. Inspired by the story of Leyla Kıralp whose husband has been missing since 1974,and Greek Cypriot friend Maria gave her a handkerchief to wipe her tears and she has kept it ever since, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot women will share small gifts with each other with the message: Keep it until peace comes.

The gifts will be shared in a street activity in front of the Municipal Information Room for Peace Lokmadji/ Ledras on 26th of February from 11:00-13:00. Leyla Kıralp, whose birthday is on this day will be signing her book “Wet White Handkerchief” among other women writers.

HAD has asked for the gifts to have symbolic values, they may be hand-made or symbolising something special to the women giving it.Those who wish are invited to share the stories of their gifts. It is important that the gift is given with a small card or a note on a paper.

A song composed for the special event by Aysun Kahraman (lyrics by Neşe Yaşın) will be performed.

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