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
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?
On the morning of the 26th of October, at the Ledra Palace buffer zone, 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. A long table discussion is an open public forum developed by the artist and academic Lois Weaver, designed to facilitate a performative dialogue through the gathering of people with similar interests. The speakers sit around a table with some empty seats placed between them for audience members who would like to take part in the conversation. 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 final aim of the discussion is to create a theoretical framework around the relationship between arts and community with a focus on the Cypriot context and ways that the arts can engage communities to be active agents of societal 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. We hope that this discussion will provide an opportunity to discuss relevant examples and inspire new ideas, through an egalitarian dialogue format.