CCFT Members presenting at CCFT Colloquium, Nicosia 2016:

Susan Brind, Reader in Contemporary Art:  Practice & Events, Dept of Sculpture & Environmental Art, School of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art (GSA).

Professor Yiorgos Hadjichristou, School of Architecture (ARC), University of Nicosia, Southern Cyprus.

Dr Jim Harold, Visiting Lecturer, Depts of Sculpture & Environmental Art, M Litt Fine Art Practice and Art & Critical Theory, School of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art (GSA).

Professor Duncan Higgins, School of Art & Design, (Nottingham Trent University (NTU), and Bergen Academy of Art & Design (KHiB).

Shauna McMullan, Lecturer P/T, Dept of Sculpture & Environmental Art, School of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art (GSA).

Dr Ana Souto, School of Architecture, Design & the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

Seminar with students from Architecture Department, University of Nicosia, 2016 © Both images Susan Brind

Invited Colloquium Participants:

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 and 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

Via Skype:

Ed Carrol – Independent Artist and Activist, Kaunas, Lithuania.

Vita Gelūnienė – Independent Artist and Activist, Kaunas, Lithuania.

CCFT Colloquium:  

presentations, papers and round table discussion  

Hosted by the Department of Architecture (ARC),

University of Nicosia, including CCFT members and invited participants


11 November 2016

“I like disrupting histories … you don’t erase them.”

Exploring the role of the 'self' and the 'other':  Part 2 

Voices from CCFT's Colloquium, the City, Agios Sozomenos and the Buffer Fringe



Susan Brind & Jim Harold 

“We feel different in landscapes other than our own."

  • In what ways does a nomadic and dialogic encounter with other place(s) deepen cultural, philosophical, and political understanding?


  •  How can the complex histories held in landscapes be critically interpreted and represented?


  •  Can creative practice transform places or our perception of them?

Plenary Session, CCFT Colloquium, Nicosia, 2016 © Susan Brind

“Can we not (re)define our own histories?”

“Every person has to be homesick and sick of home at the same time.” 

(paraphrasing Svetlana Baum, The Future of Nostalgia)

 “Representation can allow us to reflect differently.”

"We all have our own reality and subjectivity."

Travelling Colloquia and Nomadic Dialogues as Methods


CCFT is conceived of as a peripatetic international research group which interrogates how interdisciplinary artistic and creative research practices contribute to and share critical insights about place making, belonging and occupation. We use two key qualitative methods in our meetings:  Travelling Colloquia and Nomadic Dialogues.  Travelling Colloquia provide a means of exploring the meaning(s) of ‘place’ from different locations and perspectives. The research identifies this as a dialectic method – a place for knowledge to be expanded and the tension between conflicting ideas and investigations to be explored through formal discussion (see below). Complementary to this, Nomadic Dialogues – that take place through journeys, meetings, conversational walks and fieldwork – inform the development of members’ thinking and practice-based approaches.


A key element in each colloquium, is the introduction of new voices which is managed by the host CCFT member, folding into the discussion individuals with local and specialist knowledge.  This gives rise to knowledge exchange and transfer between participating individuals; amongst creative practitioners and between everyone involved. The colloquia therefore become a formal mechanism by which CCFT can be party to expertise about the particular places in which they undertake research. In addition to this, activities such as related exhibitions, interventions provide an arena for valuable informal exchanges with audiences and local people that, in turn, bring new insights and new voices to those places.


The more informal and discursive nature of Nomadic Dialogues borrows from the trope of the nomad in European thinking, and acknowledges both the fluidity of ideas flowing between places and the itinerant nature of the art object and its own state of liminality and exile from its place of origin (Papastergiadis, ‘Spatial Aesthetics:  Art, place and the everyday’, 2006, p9).


Significantly, in the case of CCFT’s projects in Cyprus, the process of repeated visits has highlighted the significance of understanding gained through the structured discussions and through the casual encounters, particularly in spaces of social interaction such as cafés; hearing first-hand people’s lived experience of place:  their perceptions of contested space, navigation of borders, and of displacement and liminality. Our own subjective experiences are being countered and balanced by being fully present and paying attention to the voices of others:  a tangible example of Haraway’s ‘situated knowledge’ that affords the possibility to be located and displaced simultaneously.


Café Jiajia Biktwpia, Ledras Street Crossing, 2018 © Jim Harold

Ethical Considerations


The notes contained within this exposition are a combination of verbatim quotes from the Travelling Colloquium and Nomadic Dialogues in Cyprus, and informal exchanges in social settings recalled from memory.  All of the voices come from a process of close listening, careful notetaking and reflective thinking (at colloquia and dialogues), and transcribing post-encounter (in the case of casual conversations).  While one could argue that what is noted from these exchanges is informed by our own subjective positions and that, ethically, it is inappropriate to reiterate any individual’s words without informed consent, we would assert that by anonymising all of the words each individual voice is treated respectfully, non-judgementally and with equal significance.  

Maronite Café, Kormàkitis, North Cyprus, 2017 © Susan Brind

Nicosia:  Lefkosia / Lefkosha

Dialogues in cafés and in the city


“By observing in silence, perhaps we might hear other histories that are reverberating on a more subtle level than the oppositional forces we might fix on.”

“The other side here is the Buffer Zone:  the Buffer Zone.  Take a photograph, the sandbags, barrels … . The café is an interesting place to take a coffee.”

“I’ve never been into the North.”

“Would you like to go? We could go for a coffee or something to eat.”

“Yes. OK.”


“Now I’ve been, I have to decide whether to tell my mother.”

“I’m working here, at the Café Chimera, for the summer. My family is in Eastern Turkey, Mesopotamia as I prefer to call the region, not Turkey.”

“The working-class coffee house is still political. Immigrants are setting up their own equivalent spaces.”

Tea from a street vendor, North Nicosia, 2019 © Jim Harold

“The coffee house is a container of politics, ideologies, daily life, … . It is also identified with Cypriot-ness.”

“My heart was pumping. I withdrew into myself. I was in a place where people had stolen my culture, my country.”

"We identify the Buffer Zone as an area of multiple identities rather than as a contested site."

Agios Sozomenos, Looking east, 2018 © Linda Lien.

Given CCFT’s assertion of the importance of participation and dialogue alongside practice, the project developed through consultations with members of the community local to the area, as well as with others holding specialist knowledge. The programme incorporated:

• Site-responsive installations, performances and sound works (Agios Sozomenos);

• Text works and readings, photographic and video projections, walking and mapping tours and discussions (Agios Sozomenos and Potamia); and

• Talks, discussions and screenings (Potamia).

Through these different forms of presentation, CCFT explored the nature of Agios Sozomenos as a place that is redolent of complex histories: personal, local, historical, environmental, political and national.


The events included the following participants:

Justyna Ataman, artist/dancer, Poland/Cyprus

Susan Brind, artist, Scotland, UK

Sevina Flourido, architect, Republic of Cyprus

Yiorgos Hadjichristou, architect, Republic of Cyprus

Maria Hadjisoteriou and Angela Petrou, architects, with Unit 6 students, University of Nicosia

Jim Harold, artist , Scotland, UK

Duncan Higgins, England, UK

Andreas Kallis, artist, Cyprus

Kyriakos Kallis, artist, Republic of Cyprus

Serap Kanay, artist, Turkish Republic of North Cyprus

Linda Lien, graphic designer, Norway

Andrew Lock, artist, UK/Norway

Duncan McCowan, teacher and author, Republic of Cyprus

Shauna McMullan, artist, N Ireland/Scotland, UK

Elena Parpa, socially engaged artist, Republic of Cyprus

Peace2Peace, artists/activists, Intercommunal group, Cyprus

Nikos Philippou, photographer, artist, Republic of Cyprus

Johan Sandborg, artist, Norway

Ana Souto, architectural historian, Spain/UK

Andri Tsiouti, architect and cultural landscape tour guide, Republic of Cyprus

Evanthia Tselika, socially engaged artist, Republic of Cyprus

Urban Gorillas, NGO, Republic of Cyprus

Film screenings by: 

Panikos Chrysanthou

Natalie Konyalian


Supported by:

British High Commission, Nicosia, Embajada de Espana en Nicosia, The Erasmus Programme, EU, Glasgow School of Art, UK, Institute Cervantes, Nicosia, Ministry of Education and Culture, Nottingham Trent University, UK, Potamia Village, Cyprus, University of Bergen, Norway, University of Nicosia, Urban Gorillas, Nicosia


Timeless Encounters – ‘Place of Barley’ 


Between 24th and 25th March 2018 members of CCFT along with Cypriot Greek and Turkish artists, architects, activists and academics engaged in a series of creative interventions and events within the abandoned village of Agios Sozomenos and the nearby settlement of Potamia. Agios Sozomenos lies in the Republic of Cyprus, just a few kilometers south of the UN brokered demilitarized Buffer Zone and some 30 kilometers east of the City of Nicosia. Initial interests regarding the locality resulted from fieldwork undertaken by CCFT and related researches in the area made by students from the Architecture Department, University of Nicosia. 


Responding to the historic significance of the area – it has proved a rich source of archaeological remains – the village's more recent political history, its proximity to the UN Buffer Zone, and its current status as an environmental resource Agios Sozomenos provided a powerful, multi-layered and poignant location and focus for creative inter-communal and ecological research and dialogue.

View of Agios Sozomenos, 2016 © Jim Harold

“I was born in Istanbul. I was a tailor but now I make tea and coffee for the woodworkers here. This area, this woodworking district close to the Buffer Zone, is due to become restaurants and coffee shops soon.”

24-25th March 2018 


A two-day event – site-specific installations, performances, tours, talks, screenings and discussions – organised by members of CCFT with artists from the Cypriot Greek and Turkish Communities, followed by a Special Event hosted by The Spanish Ambassador to Cyprus 26th March.


“Monuments, which tend towards permanent memory, are made of solid material.  Memory, though, is fluid and versatile.”

'Timeless Encounters' walking tour, 2018 © Linda Lien

“Each evening, at Maghrib, I say prayers for all those who have died unknown.”

“My family had lived in Famagusta area.  My mother had worked with Turkish workers in the harbour. My father was a tailor."

“There is a difference in the width of the buffer zone.

A thickening and thinning of the boundary.”

“Buildings in decay become part of the ground [ ... ] a new topography.”

Urban Glendi – Curated by Urban Gorillas – Yiorgos Hadjichristou

26 October 2019


Two military tents, provided and erected by UN soldiers – part of a larger encampment that formed the site of the Buffer Fringe – were located directly under the Venetian bastion walls to Old Nicosia and in the dry moat which is now part of the physical Buffer Zone.  The Fringe site was situated adjacent to the Home for Cooperation, formerly a ruin but now refurbished as an inter-communal meeting place, on the Ledra Palace crossing between North and South Cyprus.  The tents were surrounded by a temporary grove of assorted native trees and became a space for the display of works by the participating artists and current and previous architecture students relating to the Cyprus Buffer Zone. Throughout the day and into the evening, the work displayed here, and at the Home for Cooperation, provided a focus for presentations and engaging conversations with visitors from both North and South Cyprus, as well as UN personnel. 


Participants / performers: 

Urban Gorillas

CCFT:  Susan Brind, Jim Harold, Yiorgos Hadjichristou, Duncan Higgins, Linda Lien, Andrew Lock, Shauna McMullan, Johan Sandborg, Ana Souto.

UNIC – Architecture Department of the University of Nicosia – Yiorgos Hadjichristou, Maria Hadjisoteriou, Petros Lapithis, Andreas Prokopio, Christos Xenofontos, Giorgos Kartsakas, Afra Omidi, Thomas Florentzou, Maria Kyriakou, Chrystall Koufopavlou, Christina Galanou, Stefanos Panteli

Buffer Fringe, Ledra Palace Moat & Home for Cooperation, Nicosia

25-27 October 2019


“Buffer Fringe festival was developed by the Home for Cooperation team in 2014, with the idea of providing a platform to question sensitive topics, expressing ideas in new and creative ways. It enables people to engage with one another regardless of the dominant narratives, ideologies or identities which are politicized and often divisive for the peoples of Cyprus. The Performing Arts Festival has proven to be the best tool to trigger discussions about personal or collective traumas that the people of Cyprus have experienced in the past and to promote understanding, respect, and finally trust in one another. […]  Buffer Fringe 2019 [was] the sixth edition of the festival with a larger focus on the local arts scene, investing in the development of local talent and promoting arts and culture for increased cross-cultural cooperation in Cyprus following the vision of the Home for Cooperation.”

Buffer Fringe:  Performing Arts Festival, Cyprus, 2019.

Site of 'Urban Glendi' from Home for Cooperation, 2019 © Jim Harold

Discussion with visitors to 'Urban Glendi', 2019 © Jim Harold

Buffer Fringe VI

Ledra Palace Moat & Home for Cooperation, Nicosia


CCFT Urban Glendi

Curated by Urban Guerrillas–Yiorgos Hadjichristou


25-27 October 2019

“A border is a point of division but also a porous boundary.”

"My grandmother was a midwife. I remember as a child, people would arrive with their donkeys to take her to their homes to deliver their babies. I recall sitting on the back of a donkey behind her, holding her ‘medical’ bag.”

“We should remember we are of the Middle East”, he said, as Saharan sand discoloured the horizon line.

'Coffee Letters' installed at Home for Cooperation, 2019 © Jim Harold

“Cyprus was formed from two tectonic plates colliding. The pressure from them means that supposedly Cyprus is still rising. Nothing is stable, it’s always moving.”

“I don’t know what people think of us being here.  Some places I go they stare at me and I don’t feel welcome.”

“I think we are glad you are here.”

"I served in the Turkish army in the 1960s, served in Korea, came to Cyprus in 1975 and fell in love and married a Cypriot woman. This is home now."