organized by Socrates Stratis (UCY, RRC) & Angela Melitopoulos (UEL, Goldsmiths)

Liminal Zones - Nicosia, Cyprus 2008

organized by Socrates Stratis & Angela Melitopoulos

Any attempt to understand the rapid transformation of territories in the 21st century reveals shifting landscapes and moving boundaries, thus a continuous struggle for their redefinition through conflicts and exclusions. Different conditions of mobility and migration encouraged by the so-called 'globalised world' inscribe in material environments social and psychological borders. In this context Cyprus and its inherent division acts as one of the frontiers to the EU. The aim of this workshop is to explore such liminal spaces with a particular reference to Cyprus and the Middle East.

How are liminal spaces constructed and managed and how can one think them from an interdisciplinary perspective?

Anna Grichting


Boundaryscapes. Recasting the Green Line of Cyprus

“Boundaryscapes” examines contemporary territorial disjunctures and the resulting liminal spaces that are created. Ecoscapes, mindscapes, landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes, mediascapes, ethnoscapes, ideoscapes and financescapes are proposed as a framework for examining boundaries in their multiple facets. Envisioned as an ecological and cultural landscape of memory, as a backbone for reconstruction and reconciliation, the liminal interstitial space is proposed as: an agent of territorialisation; a landscape of unexpected natures and biodiversity; and a locus for the emergence of innovative strategies of environmental planning and reconciliation.

Mete Hatay


Tour: Searching for the Jasmine Scent of Nicosia

During the tour I will attempt to explain
the enclave period of Turkish Cypriots during 1963-1974; how
the camp became the norm during that period; and how
suffering and enjoyment went hand in hand in the walled city
of Nicosia. The tour will continue with an analysis of the
post-1974 period, explaining how certain spaces in the city
have been remembered and forgotten, and how some of these
spaces have served as sites of nostalgia during a time of

Rebecca Bryant


the Spoils of History

The plunder of others' property is not only a part of Cyprus' past but has
shaped the landscape of the present. This paper describes "topographies of
violation," or the ways in which Turkish Cypriots rebuilt their lives after
1974 out of the ruins of the past, moving into Greek Cypriot property and
creating a new society that was entirely Turkish. The violation of the
other, however, remains visible in the homes that they occupy, the furniture
that they use, and in vandalized churches and cemeteries. This paper
describes the ways in which the encounter with the traces of violation
brought back fragments of a still incomplete past.

Socrates Stratis


Public role of the architect in liminal conditions

This presentation investigates the public role of the architect in liminal conditions in the contemporary society. Reference is the organic intellectual as defined by Antonio Gramsci and revisited by Edward Said. The organic intellectual in contrast to the traditional one, as Gramsci refers to, is a sort of intellectual who participates directly into the making of the society. Said revisits this definition by emphasizing the public role of such intellectual who is emerged in the “dirtiness” of everyday life rather than taking a distance .

Armin Linke


Deserted Islands

Yiannis Papadakis


City Tour

This walk explores various spatial dimensions of Nicosia, the capital city of Cyprus that eventually came to be divided in 1974. Capitals are generally regarded as the spaces exemplifying nationalist ideologies, and in Nicosia these processes acquired added urgency due to the ethnic conflict that took place in Cyprus, leading to almost obsessive efforts to inscribe the national Self on the landscape and erase the Other. At the same time, other social groups critical of nationalist ideologies have been able to employ ‘in-between’ spaces in Nicosia in order to articulate critiques of nationalism and foster interethnic cooperation.

Phillipe Zourgane


Free Zones


Colonization did offer the opportunity for architecture and urbanism to experiment new spatial regulations. The setting of a new regulation systems in those "new territories" did facilitate those experimentations with no impediment. In fact, societies of slavery, by nature, await from architecture to develop systems of filters, fences, boundaries, that can guaranty the security of the white man. Importation and use of those colonial systems are now effective in the contemporary city, worldwide. On the contrary, we will focus ourselves on the fact that architecture can become a tool for struggle against those control systems, on the fact that architecture has a power.

Pelin Tan


Neighborhood Resistances and Possibilities of Counter- Cultural Urban Spaces in Istanbul

The habitants of several districts of Istanbul and the local municipalities have been in a process of debate and conflict since the last few years. A lot of districts like Sulukule, which are economically disadvantaged and ethnically marked, are under the focus of the local municipalities for urban transformation. Here, the urban transformation means not to upgrade the physical environment of a certain rundown district and its social condition, but to replace the habitants and apply projects that are valuable for the urban market. Since the last three years, the neighbourhoods have been uniting for solidarity to defend their rights of dwelling.

John Nassari


Future Screens


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