Buffer zone bell empowers Cypriots

An unusual artwork has appeared in Nicosia, Cyprus, in the UN-controlled buffer between the Greek and Turkish zones. Its sculptor hopes it will bring an accessible, secular tone to the divided island. 

Guest Mavens
Guest Mavens NewsMavens, Europe
Source: Cyprus News Digest
Buffer zone bell empowers Cypriots - NewsMavens
UN buffer zone in Cyprus. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

-- by Rosie Charalambous, November 2017

An unusual object has appeared in Nicosia, Cyprus, in the UN-controlled buffer zone of conflict  which separates the island’s Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. It is an interactive installation that is part of a project designed by the Artos Foundation called ‘Does Europe Exist?’

Suspended from an intricately carved piece of oak, it is a bell created by sculptor Marcus Vergette who thinks that art should be in tune with nature -- and also serve a social purpose. He hopes it will empower Cypriot citizens, and bring a different, accessible and secular tone to the divided island, "to give a voice to people who don’t always have one".

He purposely endowed the bell with three different tones, in no way associated with what he calls the "acoustic war" between the peal of church bells in the Greek Orthodox south of the island and the calls to prayer from mosques in the Muslim north. Anybody is free to ring the bell and Vergette hopes they will feel empowered to do so. "It’s a way of communicating," he says,"it has no specific authority and makes no statement other than that everybody and anybody can ring it -- nobody owns it."

Details from the story:

  • Cyprus has been divided since the Turkish invasion of the northern third of the island in 1974.
  • Over 40 years of reunification talks have ended in stalemate, the latest collapse being in July 2017.
  • The bell sits between the UN headquarters at the former Ledra Palace Hotel and the Home for Cooperation which is a meeting place for Greek and Turkish Cypriots and host to many bi-communal events. 

 **This article was written as part of a NewsMavens collaboration with exceptional freelance women journalists in Europe. Rosie Charalambous is a journalist and veteran broadcaster with strong ties to Cyprus. She is also the founder of Cans for Kids, Cyprus's leading environmental charity.**

EDITOR'S PICK:
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.

WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS:
NewsMavens
NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
CORE TEAM
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy