Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival
The 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. This will enable people to engage with one another regardless of the dominant historical narratives, ideologies or identities which are very much 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 collectivistic traumas that the people of Cyprus have experienced in the past and to promote understanding, respect and finally trust in one another. Buffer Fringe Festival, which was born out of a unique local situation, has established itself as a highly respected international festival.
Buffer Fringe 2014 took place in the buffer zone Nicosia, where the Home for Cooperation is located. In its second year (2015), the festival grew and took the form of a walking tour not only in the buffer zone but also around the old city, Nicosia. In 2016, Buffer Fringe became an international festival and expanded beyond the buffer zone with all activities taking place in different venues that had historical or social significance across the divide e.g. Bandabuliya, Old Market, Selimiye Square and Phanoremeni Square. 2017 and 2018 is marked with a sharp increase in international participation (e.g. Japan, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Ireland and many more) and interest with over 100 and 300 applications respectively, as well as establishing new partnerships to host performances in the coastal cities of Limassol, Kyrenia and Paphos. Buffer Fringe 2017-2018 also received international recognition from the European Festivals Association with the “Remarkable Festival” label and run as a laurate for the EFFE (Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe) award and locally, it was supported by the Stelios Award from the Stelios Foundation.
As proud as we are with the international participation and the recognition of our festival, we would like to see the impact of the festival within Cyprus, increased and strenghtened. Therefore in the coming years, Buffer Fringe will focus on increasing the participation of local artists as well as in providing new opportunities for development of new work and platforms for artistic collaborations from across the divide. Buffer Fringe 2019 will be 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 & culture for increased cross-cultural cooperation in Cyprus, following the vision of the Home for Cooperation. This edition received the EFFE label of “Remarkable Festival” already.