The Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival is part of the Home for Cooperation’s cultural and artistic agenda as one of its peacebuilding programs. The Buffer Fringe Festival showcases new and experimental work by local and international artists, challenges physical and artistic barriers, and creates opportunities for artists to meet and exchange ideas. The Buffer Fringe, the only Fringe Festival in Cyprus, started its journey in 2014 with the aim of breaking all physical and mental barriers through the transformative power of arts from the Home for Cooperation. The festival was developed with the idea of providing a platform to question sensitive topics, expressing ideas in new and creative ways.
Buffer Fringe aims to 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 people of Cyprus. The performing arts have proven to be one of the best tools 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.
Taking place in a divided country, Buffer Fringe assumes more responsibilities than an arts festival taking place elsewhere. Embedding creativity into a social process, the Festival questions the role art can play at a moment and a space of transition to produce alternative subjectivities to dominant ideologies. At the same time, Buffer Fringe develops interdisciplinary tools which enable exploring the relationship between arts and peacebuilding.
International and Local Recognition
Buffer Fringe 2017-2018 received international recognition from the European Festivals Association with the “Remarkable Festival” label and run as a laureate for the EFFE (Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe) award. Locally, it was supported by the Stelios Award from the Stelios Foundation, with the concept “Buffer Fringe on Tour”. The festival received the EFFE label once again for the 2019 and 2020 editions. The Festival continues to receive the support of foreign representations in Cyprus, including but not limited to the Embassy of Sweden, Ireland, Poland and the Netherlands; and cultural institutions including the Goethe Institute and ASEF Cultural Foundation.
From Global to Local
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 strengthened. 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.