Respublika! A Cypriot Community Media Arts Festival

Respublika! catelogue cover

Respublika! is a cluster of an arts festival, three exhibitions and several seminars, curated by Nico Carpentier, which took place from 4 November 2017 to 19 January 2018. Respublika! translated the principles of community media in creative practice, in order to reflect on media, democracy and its participatory component, to analyze the (de)centralization of power in contemporary societies, and to showcase art projects that use participatory mechanisms to produce art projects, working with, and empowering members of one or more communities.

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The Mirror Palace of Democracy

photo of the Mirror Palace of Democracy

The Mirror Palace of Democracy renders democratic contingency and its contradictions visible. The artwork uses the house-of-mirrors concept, consand consists out of a maze with see-through glass and mirrors. This play with representation and participation is completed by bringing in five ideological voices, that speak on behalf of the people, and represent the claim that ideologies have on "the people". All five voices claim homogeneity and stability, but their juxtaposition simultaneously signifies democracy's heterogeneity and contingency. Moreover, some of the selected ideological projects also signify the limits of democracy and the threats that particular ideologies pose for democracy, incorporating the notion that democracy is never established and realized.

Iconoclastic Controversies

Poster of IC exhibition in Brasilia

Iconoclastic Controversies is a series of photography exhibitions that analyze how many memorials and commemoration sites in the south of Cyprus are part of a (post-)antagonistic nationalist assemblage, through their representation of heroism and sacrifice, but also through the articulation of victory and freedom (in relation to the independence war), and loss and occupation (in relation to 1974). But the exhibitions also show those rare memorials that undermine the hegemonic (post-)antagonistic discourse, by representing the importance of Turkish Cypriots for the south, and the joint Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot Left-wing resistance against nationalism, and sometimes by celebrating peace.