Island in the Sun │ 2016 │ Multimedia

The exhibition shares fragmented experiences represented in forms of overlapping visual and textual layers will allow new interpretations of spaces and time by the viewer as he is offered different perspectives of the global movement of people, commodities and money through the local lens of Cyprus.

 

Cyprus is the second largest island in the Mediterranean and historically a space of overlapping migrations, to and from the shore. With dramatic emigration rates until the 1980s, Cyprus transformed due to an economic ‘miracle’, to a receiving nation of third country nationals. Today there is an almost equal share of immigrants and emigrants of about 17% of the island's population according to the World Bank (2011). Migrant workers, foreign students, refugees, asylum seekers and trafficking victims from different parts of Southeast Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East are negotiating their existence between work visas, intermarriage, citizenship and abstract numbers. Despite restrictive asylum and integration policies and the numerous accounts of maltreatment of migrant workers documented by social services and legal court cases, Cyprus remains for many the first stepping stone to reach European soil and fulfill their aspirations for a better future for themselves and their families. A constant flow of migrants formed new multicultural and transnational communities within the urban centers, like the old city of Nicosia. Creating meaningful spaces to reproduce culture, build social relationships and organize activities and celebrations is fostering networks of solidarity, empathy and aid in the diaspora.