1- Open-Mic

What happens when you give people and microphone, a stage and 10 minutes and ask them “what does the buffer zone mean to YOU”?

This is the idea behind the Open Mic stage that will be set up in the Venetian Moat at the Ledra Palace crossing point. It will allow anyone to express themselves in the ‘Buffer Zone’ itself, and to talk about their own experiences, thoughts or share something meaningful. The theme is going to be curated by actor Andreas Makris & actor/educator Oya Akin.

People will have the chance to share their experience of the buffer zone or propose new ways to experience it. A simple stage will welcome any form of expression verbal or non-verbal, poems, songs, dance, theater and more. 

Storytelling can take many forms. Come and share your story!!

 Locals from different communities on the island will gather around that little stage to change the meaning of the Buffer Zone and together give voice to individual experiences. The people on the stage and in the audience will be the agents of political change from the ground.


2- Arts and Community Discussion

Saturday, October 26th, 10:00-13:00

Fulbright Center Yard, Ledra Palace

 Why do we have amateur theatre? Why do we have arts workshops for refugees? Why do we have bi-communal and inter-communal music ensembles?

What does it mean to come together to do art? 

 The Buffer Fringe is hosting a discussion with the participation of artists, community workers, arts practitioners, academics and policy-makers, to discuss what makes arts in community relevant, necessary and challenging. 

The discussion will take place in “Long Table” format which would enable the engagement of the audience along with the speakers in a semi-formal ‘brunch table’ setting.

The discussion starts with a question and participants are able to take a seat at the table if they wish to speak. Participants can only speak when they are seated at the table, and may join and leave the table at any point of the conversation. This method has been primarily used for Feminist discussions but now we are applying the format within the context of the Festival and artistic intervention.

The aim of the discussion is to generate creative thinking around the relationship between arts and community with a focus on the Cypriot context, and through international examples such as the IMPACT project, the global platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation.  The role of the buffer zone and other in-between spaces will be considered in the discussion along with the role that arts can play in creating community engagement and how it can be understood as a form of living.

A number of speakers are joining us to answer the key questions and start the discussion:

 Nurtane Karagil (Cyprus) is creating random attempts in visual art and searching for new communication skills for her surroundings. She combines her irresponsible childhood memory with chaotic everyday life in Cyprus and this creates another reality. Her artworks are multi disciplinary and location based. She worked with different collectives, organizations and galleries in different spots of the world.

 Dijana Milosevic (Serbia) is an award winning theatre director, writer and lecturer. She co-founded Dah Theatre Research Center in Belgrade, Serbia and has been its leading director for over twenty-five years.  She was the Artistic Director for theatre festivals, was the president of the Association of the Independent Theatres and president of the board of BITEF Theatre, and a board member of national ITI. She is involved with several peace-building initiatives and collaborates with activists groups.  She currently teaches at Institute for Modern Dance in Belgrade.

 Helene Black (Cyprus) (www.hblack.net) is an artist, educator and co-founder NeMe. Her research since 2008 focuses on reprocessing colonialism and revealing the ingrained and often overlooked contradictions that leave no room for public debate. Not only were political and social histories displaced, but environments, ecologies were ruined, degraded, or exploited. Her latest work, a documentary about the environmental impacts of the mining in Cyprus will be exhibited at the Thessaloniki Biennial.

 Yiannis Colakides (Cyprus) AA(Dipl) is a practising architect, co-founder and president of NeMe, a peer reviewer for Leonardo Journal (MIT press) and LABs. His cultural work, spanning for 25 years in Cyprus, includes curating and/or coordinating art exhibitions, seminars, conferences, screenings, and workshops. His latest co-editorial effort, State Machines, Reflections and Actions at the Edge of Digital Citizenship, Finance, and Art, was published by the Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam in 2019.

 Hanna Knell (Germany) is project manager of Frankfurt LAB, an experimental institution for contemporary performing arts. She studied theatre, film and media sciences as well as visual anthropology and cultural management in Frankfurt/Main and Sevilla. Since 2012 she works in different artistic contexts as a curator, artistic director, public relations manager and scientist at the Weltkulturen Museum, the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, the University of Music and Performing Arts Frankfurt and the site specific performance festival IMPLANTIEREN. From 2016-18 she was board member of the nonprofit association ID_Frankfurt_Independant Dance & Performance

Lee Perlman, PhD  is a Research Fellow at the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, Tel Aviv University, which published his critical study on Jewish/Palestinian theater collaboration in Israel, “But Abu Ibrahim, We’re Family!” (2017). An Associate of Brandeis University’s Ethics Center, Lee is active in the Center’s Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, includingIMPACT - Imagining Together: Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation (ACCT), a worldwide initiative to design and activate strategies to strengthen the ACCTecosystem.

 Elena Agathokleous (Cyprus) is co-funder and director of the Center of Performing Arts MITOS based at Vinegar Factory in Limassol. She is the artistic director for the residency program theYard.Residency.19, for E.U. projects, for festivals and more. She is developing artistic programmes that are inclusive and socially engaging, experimental and emerging artists. Also, she is doing theater by performing, directing, working with texts and dramaturgy and as a theater instructor.

 Izel Seylani (Cyprus) is an actor (2011 Bachelor of Arts- Anadolu State Conservatoire of Theatre, 2012 Master of Arts- at the University of Manchester, 2018, PhD. in Education and Drama, Near East University. He is a playwright, actor, Karagoz playwright and puppeteer, and director in Cyprus and abroad. Moreover, he is Vice President of Cyprus Center of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians,  Lecturer at the University of Kyrenia (2018) and actor at Nicosia Municipality Theatre (2014). 

 The Discussion will be moderated by Diomedes Koufteros:


Diomedes is an actor and theater-maker. He has taught Theater for Social Change as Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater at Bowdoin College (2016); has worked as an expert in arts and culture for Creative Europe and the European Audiovisual Observatory; and was the artistic director for Greater Nicosia 2021, Nicosia’s bid for the European Youth Capital.