TEDxNicosia enters its second year with the event due to take place at Pallas Theater in Nicosia on Saturday, March 9 2013, from at 10 am – 5 pm.
According to the organiers, TEDxNicosia was born out of the search for inspiration in Cyprus. Since the inaugural event on November 30, 2011, a lot has happened in Nicosia, in Cyprus and the world. Locally, and starting with the positive, we now have a more vibrant, grassroots effort to regenerate an entrepreneurship ecosystem foster fresh ideas and nurture the bright minds in this country. On the other hand, Cyprus and its capital city, Nicosia, are facing their worse worst financial crisis in the last forty years. With the financial crisis in Cyprus at full steam, out of the woodwork comes the social value system that largely lead the country where it is today.
So rather than asking: “What could we have done to prevent this?” this TEDxNicosia event will be asking the audience to RE.Think. Re.Generate. Re.Act!.
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.
“Since its invention more than 100 years ago, radio has sparked the imagination, opened doors for change, and served as a channel for life-saving information. Radio entertains, educates, and informs. It promotes democratic expression and influences ideas. From short-wave to FM to satellite transmission – radio connects people wherever they are. In conflict situations and times of crisis, radio is a lifeline for vulnerable communities. Radio is both valuable and cost-effective. From day one, the United Nations has been using radio to reach the peoples of the world. UN Radio sheds light on all issues on the United Nations agenda – from sustainable development … to the protection of children … to peacekeeping and conflict prevention. We are proud of our rich history of radio production in many languages, and the innovative ways we use radio to inform and serve the world. On this World Radio Day, let us celebrate the power of radio and let us work together to tune the world to the frequency of peace, development and human rights for all.”
Stay tuned for new developments from CCMC on the radio front!
Press Release issued by the European Commission Representation in Cyprus:
A school competition against racism and xenophobia has been launched by the UN Refugee Agency in Cyprus, the Ombudsman’s office and the European Commission Representation in Cyprus. With the slogan “Talk about racism and xenophobia: silence is not a solution”, the competition is looking for the best student newspapers.
The competition invites public and private secondary schools to create a newspaper with articles, reportages and researches as well as opinions on asylum and migration, racism and xenophobia. Objective and unbiased coverage of these issues is one of the criteria that will determine the winning newspapers.
With regards to the overarching aims of the competition the organisers explain: “We aim at dispelling stereotypes and prejudices against migrants and refugees and to emphasize both the necessity and the benefits that the integration of persons with different backgrounds can yield on the Cypriot society”.
Identifying and addressing racism at schools, with reference to tensions with a racist overtone that occasionally takes place at schools, lies also behind the competition: “The effective management of such incidents by the school community strengthens the resistance of students, and future citizens, against racism; it also responds to the needs of the multicultural society and wider diversity that characterizes Cypriot schools and the society at large,” the proposal reads.
An interview with a refugee or migrant or with an organization that advocates for their rights; an anonymous research within the schools to detect potential racist incidents; the coverage of an event – organised by the students – that brings together migrants and locals; are a few of the 15 suggested stories that students can tackle as young reporters.
In order to support the students’ efforts, the organisers stand ready to provide sources and educational material on the issues of xenophobia, racism and refugees; and to visit schools to discuss with students on these topics.
Six successful newspapers – three from Gymnasiums and three from Lyceums and technical schools – will be selected by an ad hoc committee. School winners will be awarded – at a special ceremony to be announced later – laptops, cameras, video cameras as well as symbolic placards with the inscription “Schools against Racism”. The cost of the awards, including the placards, will be borne by the European Commission Representation.
With the aim to enhance a thorough and critical discussion on the competition’s themes, the organisers expect schools to work as a team and submit one group entry to the competition. Based on this rationale, the awards will be placed at the winning schools for the mutual and common benefits of the students.
The CCMC team is privileged to have a community media activist in our midst today – Archana Kapoor, who will be speaking at a public talk on community radio in India tonight at CCMC, 6pm. (For directions to CCMC click here.) Here’s a link to the invitation and see below for a sneak peak of the interview we are recording with Archana – look out for more soon and see you all tonight!
The NGO Support Centre (@ngo_centre) are working with the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (@AHDRCY) on an open lecture entitled ‘Lands of No Return: population exchange and forced displacement in the 20th century’ next Wednesday 30 January, at 18:00, at the Home for Cooperation, in Nicosia.
The Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC) is hosting a prominent community media activist from India as part of its ongoing advocacy campaign for the recognition of this sector in Cyprus. Entitled ‘Community Media: Giving Voice to the Voiceless’ this public talk followed by discussion will feature a keynote speech by Archana Kapoor, a filmmaker, author and activist. Ms Kapoor is also the publisher of Hardnews magazine, an independent political monthly in India, and founder of the NGO SMART that works with marginalised communities in India. Two years ago Kapoor launched a community radio station in an impoverished rural community outside Delhi. The radio station went on to win a National Award from the Government of India in 2012. Kapoor is also on the governing board of the Community Radio Association, an organisation established in order to promote and lobby for the community radio movement. The event will be followed by a reception. Look forward to seeing you there! Download your invitation here.