Our 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.
By Olga Demetriou, a member of GAT – Gender Advisory Team (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
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’.
“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
To Κέντρο Κοινοτικών Μέσων Επικοινωνίας (CCMC) θα συμμετάσχει στην ημερίδα ενημέρωσης με θέμα «Παιδεία για τα Μ.Μ.Ε. και προώθηση των επιπέδων της Παιδείας για τα Μέσα στην Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία».
Η ημερίδα, που συνδιοργανώνεται από την Αρχή Ραδιοτηλεόρασης Κύπρου και το Υπουργείο Παιδείας και Πολιτισμού, θα διεξαχθεί την Τετάρτη 10 Οκτωβρίου στις 09:30 π.μ. στη Δημοσιογραφική Εστία στη Λευκωσία.
Η παρέμβαση του CCMC θα ξεκινήσει στος 11:00 π.μ. με θέμα «Οι πολίτες παράγουν Μέσα. Μια άλλη πτυχή της Παιδείας για τα Μέσα», και θα επικεντρώνεται στην ίδια την παραγωγή Μέσων και πώς αυτή δομείται στο πλαίσιο της Παιδείας για τα Μέσα (Media Literacy), καθώς και στον ρόλο και την σημασία των Κοινοτικών Μέσων Επικοινωνίας (Community Media) στην Παιδεία για τα Μέσα.
Με βάση Οδηγία της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής το θέμα Παιδεία για τα Μέσα Μαζικής Ενημέρωσης έχει ανατεθεί στην Αρχή Ραδιοτηλεόρασης της κάθε χώρας-μέλους της Ε.Ε. Η Αρχή Ραδιοτηλεόρασης Κύπρου προχώρησε στη σύσταση ειδικής επιτροπής για σκοπούς προγραμματισμού σειράς δράσεων που αφορούν στο κεφάλαιο «Παιδεία για τα Μέσα», και η ημερίδα αποτελεί σύσταση της ειδικής αυτής επιτροπής.
Η ημερίδα, σύμφωνα με δελτίο τύπου που εξέδωσε η Αρχή Ραδιοτηλεόρασης, αποσκοπεί «στην ενημέρωση των εμπλεκόμενων φορέων στο θέμα της Παιδείας για τα Μ.Μ.Ε. και σε συζήτηση και ανταλλαγή απόψεων για το πώς οι ίδιοι βλέπουν το δικό τους ρόλο στην ευρύτερη προσπάθεια προώθησης των μορφών και των επιπέδων της Παιδείας για τα Μέσα στη Δημοκρατία προς όφελος του κοινωνικού συνόλου».
The Association for the Welfare of People with Mental Handicap is organising a fundraising event on Wednesday 27 June, at 7pm, at the grounds of its day care centre in Strovolos.
Founded in July 1990 by the parents and friends of people with mental handicap, the Association has been offering care and support for adults with such severe physical and mental handicaps at two day care centres – the Favierou Centre in the heart of Nicosia close to Paphos Gate, and in Strovolos on Archbishop Kyprianou Aveue.
Having met with both Ms Mary Katsioloudi and Mr Petros Markou from the Board just recently we were touched by their dedication to making the Association a sustainable organisation that can provide for people from all walks of life, and regardless of ethnic or religious background. For more information you can contact Ms Katsiolidou at: email@example.com.
See you there!