Young Cypriots’ views on immigration and multiculturalism: documentary film “Cyprus De-coloured”.

A public event will take place at 5 pm on Saturday 12/03/2011 at the Goethe Institute in Nicosia to mark the release of a short but emotionally-engaging documentary film entitled “Cyprus De-coloured”. It represents the work of a bi-communal group of young Cypriots who call themselves the “Fourteen Thinking-Hats” (after Edward De Bono’s “six thinking-hats” – ways of finding different perspectives on an issue to see it more holistically). The public screening will be followed by an intercultural reception with live music.

The story of this powerful film begins at the end of October 2010 when a group of fourteen young people gathered in the quiet, traditional village of Lofou, near Lemesos, for a weekend of training (called Re:Act! Youth Leaders’ Training) about peace-building and non-violent activism. During the weekend the idea of making a short film was born to address the issue of multiculturalism on Cyprus.
 
Fatefully, less than a week later, on the night of Friday 5th of November several members of the group joined the Rainbow Festival that took place at the Larnaca sea front, coinciding with an anti-immigration march led by the “Greek Resistance Movement”. They were deeply shocked by the scenes of violence that erupted. One member of the group, musician Sertunc Akdogdu, was later attacked in a back street by masked youths carrying knives and clubs, and stabbed in the stomach, whilst carrying equipment back to a vehicle with a number of other musicians. This attack could very easily have had fatal consequences.
 
The group met again a few days later for another training session (without Sertunc) and were galvanised by their shock and horror around these events into creating a film to show the truth of the immigration issue. From the black events of that evening in Larnaca was born at least one small bright light of hope, positivity and understanding. Four months later  – after many hours of filming, interviewing, researching, discussing and editing  – this film is ready to be shared with the public.
 
The Re:Act! Youth leaders’ training (and the follow-up workshops ) were organised within the framework of the Youth Activism project funded by UNDP ACT II, by three organisations belonging to the Cyprus Network for Youth Development, the Mediation Association, Future Worlds Center and the Cyprus Environmental Studies Centre.

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