Category Archives: Events

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.

Advertisements

Turkish Cypriot Dress: The Aziz Damdelen Collection

Invitation English 21

Join the Discussion about Climate Change at the Goethe-Institut!

Goethe_Institut-logo-057F9CB607-seeklogo.comOur neighhours and close colleagues at the Goethe-Institut Cyprus are holding a series of events this January on the issue of climate change.

On Monday 14 January a poster exhibition about environmental issues by the famous German artist Klaus Staeck will be opened in the Goethe-Institut’s hall at 6.30 pm, followed at 7.00 pm by the screening of “The Age Of Stupid” (UK; 2009; 92 min. Dir: Franny Armstrong), the first of five international documentary films to be shown from 14-18 January at the Goethe-Institut about the environmental challenges mankind faces. All films are with English subtitles and admission is free. The complete list of the films can be found here.

On Wednesday 23 January at 6.30 pm, the Goethe-Institut Cyprus and The Cyprus Institute will hold a public lecture by the eminent scientist and climate researcher Prof Jos Lelieveld of Max Planck Institut Mainz in Germany and Institute Professor at The Cyprus Institute, on the issue of “Climate change in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East”. The lecture will be in English and will be followed by a small reception.

On Thursday 24 January at 7.00 pm film director Stephen Nugent and the cameraman Chris Lewis, who have been working for Greenpeace to document the organisation’s activities in the arctic against industrial exploitation and environmental destruction, will present their films and inform us about planned activities to prevent the melting of the polar ice caps and the deterioration of the arctic environment.

For more information call Elena Petrou on +357-22-674608.

Can there be a ‘Women’s Peace’?

1

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.

EC Active Ageing Photo and Film Competition Winners Announced

The winning photo "Ageless Joy" by Salih Bahceci

The winning photo “Ageless Joy” by Salih Bahceci

C3A, the Cyprus Third Age Association was one of the winners of the 2012 DigiMe digital photo and video competition, sponsored by the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus and taking as its theme the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. C3A received an honourable mention – and a 100 euro voucher for electronic gadgets – for a series of photographs showing the group’s educational activities which, as the judges said, illustrated vividly Active Ageing in Action.

The overall winner in the photo category was “Ageless Joy”, taken by Salih Bahçeci, a student of digital media at London Metropolitan University, while the short clip “An ordinary life of my grandparents” by Andreas Psaltis, a final year pupil at the Grammar School, Nicosia, won the video prize. The two category winners each received an iPad.

There were also honourable mentions for Elly Rousou for the photo entitled ‘Youth has no Age’, and for Yetin Arslan with ‘Fairy-tale Cycle’.

EllyRousou received an honourable mention for "Youth Has No Age"

EllyRousou received an honourable mention for “Youth Has No Age”

Speaking at the prize-giving ceremony held at the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia’s Buffer Zone, the Head of Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus George Markopouliotis said:

“This is the second year of the DigiMe digital video and photo competition. We at the Representation are happy to support this online event and we do hope that it will carry on with the same success for a few more years to come. Our intention was to to raise awareness of the contribution that older people make to society and I think that the entries to the competition do this quite admirably. It is also clear that these issues, like the environment and climate change in last year’s competition, are obviously of concern to all communities in Cyprus – two-thirds of this year’s entries come from Greek Cypriots and approximately one-third from the Turkish Cypriot community.”

Entries in the DigiMe competition are not judged on artistic merit alone but also on relevance and, crucially, on the impact they have online. This impact, the buzz, which this year’s entries have generated, has been considerable. There were more than 100 entries in all which attracted nearly 3,000 votes on the DigiMe website, more than 2,000 YouTube views and nearly 4,000 likes and comments on Facebook.

The DigiMe competition is managed on behalf of the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus by the NGO Support Centre and the Cyprus Community Media Centre.

You can see all the entries at the DigiMe website: http://www.digime.org.cy

ENGAGE on the Move promotes peace-building at Kontea Village

kontea-visitors at the ruins of the catholic church - by David Hands

Text from a press release issued by the ENGAGE – Do Your Part for Peace project, implemented jointly by the NGO Support Centre and the Management Centre (12 December 2012):

On Saturday the 8th of December 2012, the ENGAGE team of volunteers and practitioners joined locals and guests at Kontea village in the northern part of Cyprus. The excursion was part of the ENGAGE on the Move campaign, whose aim is to involve the public residing in remote and rural areas in the peace-building process.  ENGAGE on the Move took place in the context of a festive ceremony organised to commemorate the opening of the Auxiliary Buildings Courtyard which was part of the second phase of a unique project that includes elements of the rescue and preservation of an important historical site on the outskirts of the village.

The ENGAGE team attended the bi-communal event to inform the public about various peace and reconciliation issues between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, Cyprus’ Civil Society character and the importance of Active Citizenship and volunteerism. The team also encouraged and inspired those present to voice their opinions on these matters.

The Opening Ceremony was inaugurated by US Ambassador to Cyprus H.E. Mr. John M. Koenig who stated that the Kontea locals and restoration team had gone above and beyond USAID’s expectations and emphasised his hope that the work being done at the village would prove to be a valuable reconciliation example that could be used in the near future.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Charalambos Pericleous, president of the Kontea Heritage Foundation stated that when the project first started, the courtyard as well as the relationship between the two communities was ‘in ruins’, but once the restoration process began ‘step by step, stone by stone, trust was rebuilt’.

Mr Selcan Akyel, representative of the Union of the Chambers of Cyprus Turkish Engineers and Architects, who was directly involved in the restoration process, also welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of bi-communal cooperation to preserve historical heritage landmarks stating that ‘by working together for projects like these, we can show the general public that we can work together for peace’.

For some, the festival offered a unique opportunity to visit the beautiful village for the first time and for others it was a chance to reminisce and share childhood memories. The event proved to be a great success with over 500 active participants who enjoyed authentic Cypriot cuisine and folk music as well as traditional dances by the bi-communal dance ensemble ‘Dance for Peace’.  Younger visitors had the opportunity to work with local artist Sevcan Cerkez to create clay handprints that will be used in the creation of a sculpture to be unveiled at the ENGAGE closing ceremony in July 2013.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: