University of Nicosia) with invited speakers and guests, was held at the end of a week of teaching sessions (seminars, group critiques and discussion), City walks on both sides of the UN brokered de-militarised Buffer Zone, and conversations with academics and artists from the City.


‘...location is intensified into place.’ 2


While not the first location or place visited by members of CCFT (see above) Nicosia, given its history (colonial occupations, followed by inter- communal conflict, and then political division), provided a potent point (place and case study) where the complex set of narratives that inform a sense of place may be evidenced. While calling such visits case studies, care has, of course, to be taken to avoid the pitfall of the sound bite or any assumptions made in passing (as a casual visitor). Consequently, CCFT has adopted a methodological practice that involves a combination of: fieldwork, empirical research, phenomenological and, ultimately, auto- ethnographic methods, underpinned by theoretical understanding and practice-ledprocesses.


In relation to the conceptual and physical properties of place Miwon Kwon identifies the dialectic between ‘the authority of […] uncontaminated and pure idealistic spaces’, and ‘the materiality of the natural landscape or the impure and ordinary space of the everyday’ 3 as real places. While, from a different perspective, Gille Deleuze points to Jean-François Lyotard’s proposition4 that while a place may be defined by a knowledge base and/or language, it is also a figural space that prefigures imposed meanings.5 As a result, while place may appear to be constituted as a fixed – perhaps, a familiar and knowable – point/location, it is in reality a nomadic entity that slips in and out of signification. With regard to artworks related to place – our subject – as Nikos Papastergiadis asserts, nuancing in the process a reading of Lyotard or Deleuze’s sense of place: ‘Art that has come from a place, and which refers to a place, must also acknowledge its own [state of] exile’.6


The structure and peripatetic approach of CCFT, and its international, interdisciplinary make-up very naturally stimulates reflection upon the nature and meaning of place as both physical and abstract; CCFT’s own state of ‘exile’ offering opportunities to devise innovative ways of approaching creative practice in relation to ‘audience’ in specific cultural and political contexts.


The following images, reflections, commentaries and reactions are part of an ongoing dialogue between CCFT members that unfolds, in an ‘exquisite corpse’-like fashion, upon the Cyprus Colloquium and fieldwork undertaken in Nicosia and areas to the North and South of Cyprus UN demilitarized Buffer Zone in November 2016. They form related, but discontinuous, narratives that together momentarily create a whole. Yet these words and images can only ever be fragments or traces of a place/places fractured by conflict.

The Creative Centre for Fluid Territories: People, Places, Processes (CCFT) is a group of artists, architects, designers and cultural theorists from England, Scotland, Norway, South Cyprus and Lithuania, whose practices, individually (and collectively), seek to consider the nature and value of space and spaces, public as well as, marginal, across Europe.

CCFT’s approach is both theoretical, focused on such topics as the aesthetics, cultural archaeology and representation (historical and current) of space and place, and practical in the consideration of how public and marginal spaces might actually be represented and transformed through human engagement and interaction. Core to the Centre’s research is the belief that culture (whether defined in the terms of community, place or landscape) should not be reduced to a state of homogeneity, but should be allowed to express difference as a dynamic aspect of positive exchange and interaction.


CCFT has grown out of a series of collaborations between individual members involving dialogic processes and creative practices. Firstly, by involvement in a cultural ‘think tank’ entitled, Art, place and social imagination, held in Kaunas, Lithuania (2013). Secondly, through undertaking a travelling research project to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the fjord area of Odda, Norway and the Brough of Birsay, Orkney as part of ‘In a place…’ (funded by Creative Scotland), resulting in an exhibition at Glasgow School of Art (2014). Thirdly, through exhibitions

and workshops held in Johannesburg, South Africa addressing the role of art and creative practices in opening dialogues around identity, memory and belonging. As a result of the connections made between individuals involved in these projects an evolving dialogue into the nature of place and place identity emerged. A week-long seminar, hosted at Nottingham Trent University (July, 2016) focused upon these themes and CCFT was founded. In order to establish a dynamic mode of research and cultural exchange with regards to the matter of place (and its diversity of meanings) it was agreed that CCFT’s overarching methodological approach would take the form of peripatetic colloquia, meetings and conversational walks – encounters at agreed geographical points (places) – as opportunities (events) to engage in dialogues with invited regional specialists (with expert knowledge). Thereby establishing a dynamic mode of research networking and cultural exchange that reflects a fluid community of academics, thinkers, activists and artists who live, work or were born around the periphery of the European Community.


After the Nottingham Colloquium the Professor of Architecture, Yiorgos Hadjichristou, of the University of Nicosia offered to act as host for the next in a proposed programme of travelling colloquia (held in November 2016). The one day formal colloquium1 (Department of Architecture (ARC),


Susan Brind is an artist and Reader in Contemporary Art: Practice & Events, Dept of Sculpture & Environmental Art, School of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland.

Professor Yiorgos Hadjichristou is an architect and Professor at the School of Architecture (ARC), University of Nicosia, Republic of Cyprus.

Dr Jim Harold is an artist, writer and visiting-lecturer to the Department of Sculpture & Environmental Art, the M.Litt Fine Art Practice and Art & Critical Theory, School of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland.

Professor Duncan Higgins is an artist and a Professor both at the School of Art & Design, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK, and the University of Bergen, Norway (formerly Bergen Academy of Art & Design).

Shauna McMullan is an artist and part-time Lecturer in the Department of Sculpture & Environmental Art, School of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland.

Dr Ana Souto is a researcher and Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture, Design & the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.

1. Attended by: members of the arts, architecture, photographic, academic and city planning communities in Cyprus. Including:

Veronika Antoniou – Director of MAZA architect, Creative Director of the NGO Urban Gorillas

Maria Hadjimichael – Postdoctoral Researcher, Environmental Governance and Governance of the Commons’.

Maria Hadjisoteriou – Associate Professor, and Angela Petrou, Assistant Professor, architects - tutors of the unit 6, ‘TIME Synergies – ADAPTIVE Architecture’, University of Nicosia.

Nilly R Harag – Arctic Architects, Head of Liminal Architecture Unit, Architecture Department, Bezalel Academy.

Fabienne Hoelzer – FABULOUS URBAN. Claudia Konyalian– NGO Urban Gorillas.

Athina Papadopoulou – Architect / Planning Officer, Nicosia Master Plan Office. Despo Pasia – Museologist, museum educator.

Nikos Philippou – Photographer, University of Nicosia.

Alessandra Swiny, Head of the Architecture Department, University of Nicosia. Marilena Zackheos, Director of the Cyprus Center for Intercultural Studies, University of Nicosia.

Students from the Architecture Department, Nicosia (ARC), and from the Liminal Architecture Unit, Architecture Department, Bezalel Academy, Israel.

2 Tim Robinson, Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage, London: Faber & Faber, 1986, 162.


3 Kwon, Miwon, ‘One Place After Another: Site-specific art and locational identity’, MIT Press, 2004, 11.


4 Lyotard, Jean-François, Discourse, Figure, Antony Hudek, & Mary Lydon (trans), Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press, 2011.


5 Deleuze, Gilles, ‘Remarks (on Jean-François Lyotard)’, in: Desert Islands and Other Texts 1953-74, David Lapoujade (ed), Pasadena, Cal: Semiotext(e), 2004, 214-215.

6 Papastergiadis, Nikos, ‘Spatial Aesthetics: Art, Place and the Everyday’, Rivers Oram Press, London, 2006, 9.