Category Archives: multiculturalism

Opening a digital Window to the History of Cyprus

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This article was first published on page 16 of The Cyprus Weekly (8 February 2013).

Allow me to start with a few questions: What is the relationship between medieval Cyprus and media? How can centuries-old historical artefacts be brought to life by modern technology? Can a creative interpretation of cultural heritage help cultivate a vision of a common future in Cyprus? At a small gathering at the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) on Saturday 26 January, celebrating over two year’s work on, the Cyprus Artefacts Treasure (CAT) media education project , the answers were clear in our minds.

A little bit of background to start with. In October 2011, and under the auspices of the International Children’s Film Festival of Cyprus, or ICFFCY for short, the participants in CAT 1 got together in a group comprised of 20 Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot children from Paphos and Famagusta as well as 10 adults. What we wanted was to respond to the Brussels Declaration, adopted in January 2011 under the Belgian Presidency of the European Union, which called for, amongst others, the development and promotion of “pedagogies adapted to each audience, to all ages of life, to varying social and cultural backgrounds”. And what better way to learn about the creative use of media than through the lens of history and culture!

There is often criticism of so-called ‘bicommunal’ projects for not affecting significant changes, but we beg to differ. Because we knew what we wanted to do! Our bicommunal group of eager young Cypriots and enthusiastic educators met regularly over a period of 6 months during the CAT 1 and worked on 5 animation films which illustrated each in its own unique way, a little bit of Cypriot artefacts from the Ayia Irini collection. All of a sudden through the eyes of the children emerged a blend of creativity and history that brought to life a world long forgotten, consigned for the most part to history textbooks, encyclopaedias, and dusty museum displays. In that time we also published two educational booklets about Cypriot artefacts prepared jointly by ICFFCY and the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR).

The excitement got the better of us! In May 2012 we launched the CAT 2 with the aim of building on the success of CAT 1, and to strengthen the bonds between our two partners, the Famagusta Cultural Association and Paphos Antamosis organisation. We realised that culture and media really could be used as a vehicle for promoting a shared understanding of both past and present, for promoting trust and dialogue, and for nurturing reconciliation. This time we were focusing on medieval Cypriot artefacts.

We traversed the island visiting medieval archaeological, from St Hilarion all the way to Paphos Castle. The work was not always easy of course – there is the issue of language that we had work with, and the very obvious impact of the division of the island. But where there is a will, there is a way. And our group leaders and volunteers worked tirelessly, with a smile on their face and with tremendous energy to keep the momentum of CAT going. In the process we managed to involve not only the children but also their parents, with people experiencing the ‘other’s’ reality, which was an equally rewarding experience.

Whether there will be a CAT 3 remains to be seen. But if there are parents and teachers out there who would like to become involved with our work, or would just like to find out more information about CAT, please visit our website http://www.icffcy-cat.com.

The CAT was supported by the Bicommunal Support Programme of the US Embassy in Cyprus and organised by ICFFCY in collaboration with Mağusa Kültür Derneği in Famagusta and Antamosis in Paphos.

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KISA announces the opening of its social and cultural centre!

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The future of Community Media in Central and Eastern Europe: Access, Independence and Rights

This press release was issued by AMARC Europe in Budapest on 13 November 2012.

For more information, contact Francesco Diasio, Regional Coordinator of AMARC Europe – fradiasio@gmail.com

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Community radio representatives, academics and regulators from 20 Western, Central and Eastern Europe countries gathered in Budapest for the International Forum “Public Policies and Media Pluralism. The future of Community Radio in Central and East Europe” in order to discuss the current state of media pluralism in the region.

The community media sector operates unevenly across Europe: while there is significant activity in some Member States, it barely exists in others. The lack of clear definitions and guidelines for community media is leading to confusion and disingenuous media landscapes that are not pluralistic. For media pluralism to exist, there must be active and sustainable media institutions and access to licensing across all sectors, including public, commercial and community media broadcasting.

Associative and community radios are all essential actors supporting human rights and promoting active citizenship. Communication rights, including access to information and freedom of expression, are at the heart of democratic societies. An essential component of this is the right to freely communicate via platforms that are independent from government or commercial pressures.

Forum participants expressed the fact that technological innovation and digital media transformations do not themselves guarantee diversity or quality information. New media environments must not be organized in ways that generate new or reinforce existing exclusions and inequalities.

Participants also reaffirmed the need for political frameworks and public policies to guarantee truly independent regulatory authorities as a prerequisite to democratic media landscapes. Independent regulatory authorities must support the principle of equal treatment in the attribution of electromagnetic spectrum, resources and broadcast licensing. Spectrum is a public good and must be allocated with public interest objectives in mind and not merely market-driven approaches.

Further, participants share the position that a major obstacle towards the further development and sustainability of community media is the need for enabling political and media environments that support community-based media, as well as the existence of strong civil societies.

Participants expressed concern about the situation in Hungary where the number of genuine community radio stations is decreasing at an alarming rate and the new media laws appear to place obligations on the sector that threaten its future. The Hungarian community radio sector has been a model for Central and Eastern Europe and should be supported.

For these reasons, the participants of the International Forum call on the governments of Central and Eastern Europe to acknowledge and recognize associative and community radios as a distinct media sector, ensuring equal treatment to this sector in access to the audiovisual spectrum while appreciating the distinctiveness of community radio.

Governments need to legally secure the independence of regulatory authorities, and implement the standards for community media as adopted by the European Union and the Council of Europe.

The public forum was an initiative of AMARC Europe (World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters), in partnership with the Center for Media & Communication Studies of Central European University and the Hungarian Federation of Free Radios.

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!

AHDR’s July-August Newsletter

Click here to download the latest newsletter from CCMC member the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research.

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CCMC member TCHRF Refugee Photography exhibition

CCMC member the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation (TCHRF) is hosting a week long photographic exhibition with a number of participating local photographers, running from 20-27 June 2011. More details in Turkish, in the flyer here.

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KISA Film Screening to mark World Refugee Day

welcomeOn the event of World Refugee Day on 20 June, CCMC member KISA are inviting you to an event paying tribute to the day and what it symbolises. Philippe Lioret’s movie ‘Welcome’ (2009) will be screened at the event. The film tells the story of a Kurdish-Iraqi refugee and recounts the effort made ​​and difficulties encountered in trying to go from France to England in order to be reunited with his beloved one.

An open discussion will follow regarding issues affecting refugees, including among others, the current situation and future prospect for action and improvement, especially the possibility to initiate an independent all inclusive self organisation for persons with international protection status. The event will take place at 19:00 at the KISA Cultural Center at the following address:  http://www.kisa.org.cy/EN/contacts/location/index.html (48, Arsinoes Str., 1010 Nicosia). Food and drinks will be available to purchase at low prices.

Walks for Peace on 7 May 2011

On the occasion of the inauguration of Home for Cooperation, CCMC member POST Research Institute is inviting you to a walk to experience the multiculturalism of the fascinating city of Nicosia. The Walk for Peace is taking place on Saturday 7 May 2011, meeting at the Ledra Street and Lokmaci checkpoints at 10:30am.  Bi-communal groups will have the opportunity to experience the history and multiculturalism of Cyprus’ capital city and it will be a chance for all communities in Cyprus to meet each other and explore the history and culture of Nicosia in a multicultural atmosphere. You can choose between the “full day experience walk” with a chance to enjoy some of the festivities at the Home for Cooperation during the lunch stop (approx. 5 hours) or a “short” walk. Continue reading

REPORT: Health for undocumented migrants

CCMC member KISA are launching an important report on the access to health and living conditions of undocument​ed migrants and asylum seekers. There will be a launch event in cooperation with the Office of the European Parliament in Cyprus on Friday the 15th of April, at the House of Europe, 30 Vyronos Ave, Nicosia,  at 17:30 pm. Please see attached invitations in English and Greek. Download the report in English here and in Greek here.

Launch of KISA Minority Rights report 13 April 2011

CCMC member KISA is inviting participation in an event on Wednesday 13 April 2011 at 18:00, which is taking place at CCMC’s ‘Community Space’. Participation is requested from NGOs, migrant communities and associations, groups, individual activists and civil society in general. The meeting will include the presentation and discussion around a new report entitled ‘Minority Rights: Solutions to the Cyprus problem’, based on research conducted under a European-funded project that KISA is implementing with MRG (Minority Rights Group International). For more details please see the attached invitation.

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