“I don’t get the concept”, said Nikolas, one of the many who attended yesterday’s launch of Nicosia’s (second round) bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2017. Nikolas is a car designer. And perhaps for someone with a talent in linear design, the abandoned graffitied house, the loose soil under his feet, and the projection on one of Nicosia’s many dividing walls, was not the style of launch he would have expected.
But that was is what is refreshing about Nicosia’s 2017 bid. It’s not hiding from Nicosia’s delapidation. It’s not turning away from walls, from barbed wire, from its image as a capital city which boasts the last buffer zone in Europe. Instead it is embracing reality, and asking people to come up with their own concepts. Residents of Nicosia will have the chance to transform their city into a capital city that accepts itself, can make fun of itself, but ultimately wants to change for the better.
Credit goes the new Mayor of Nicosia Constantinos Yorkadjis. Donning a FUTURE ZONE t-shirt and sporting a comfortable looking pair of jeans and white trainers, Mr Yorkadjis broke the mould of hotel function halls, high heels, and powerpoint presentations. He and his team attracted a melting pot of ages, backgrounds and ethnicities, a true reflection of the colourful logo of Nicosia’s 2017 bid.
But what’s the catch? TIME! A month to be exact! For Nicosia to be successful in its bid for capital of culture it will need the participation of those who care about the city. Us. You. Them. You name them, they can participate. So don’t waste any time and log onto their website – http://www.nicosia2017.eu/index.php/en/creative-zone/brief – and send through your ideas and vision for the future.
CCMC believes in the vision they have set out, and we think that our network of organisations which transcends the city’s divide can have a major role to play in making this a truly inclusive next four years in the run-up to 2017.
So get in the Zone people!