Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Critical Archaeologies - Concept

Nicosia is the city symbolizing Cyprus’ division and the city associated with the efforts to overcome it: through political meetings and negotiations; the creation of a ‘unified’ Master Plan for the city; the opening of the main pedestrian street called Ledras, and other crossing points that connect the divided parts. Beyond the obvious division of the city centre, migration has also shaped the city into a place where different cultures and people live and meet. Nicosia is eventually a place where new projects and futures are launched.

“Critical Archaeologies” workshop, in the context of Suspended Spaces project, traces the ‘suspended condition’ of the city through a series of visits and walks in the centre of Nicosia and the UN-controlled area of the dividing zone. These visits take the form of cuts/sections inside the city’s past and present, adopting the approach of critical archaeology that goes beyond the interpretation and aestheticization of the past, into a speculation of the future.

In order to resist the underlying danger of aestheticizing post-conflict places, the workshop insists in a positive reading of ‘suspended spaces’. In this manner the suspended condition, is understood as a case of ‘fertile delay’ in order to imagine a future based on multiplicity, complexity and openness, rendering Nicosia and Cyprus an experimental ground for politics, art and architecture.

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