Demetrios Avraamides, one of the participants in the CASP/Duquesne workshop completed his Master's studies at the Sothern California Institute of Architecture. As his master's thesis, he worked on a project about the Green Line which divides our island into two. Quoting from his Acknowledgements, "I would also like to mention my 25 Turkish and Greek Cypriot brothers and sisters, that took part in the Conflict Resolution Workshop at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA. The deeply emotional week we had together, and the exchange of feelings, comments, and ideas through e-mail that we have since, are my main source of inspiration".
So sit back, and let the parasitical structures "provide the chance for you to catch a glimpse of the "other's" life, without having to deal with established biases and misconceptions."...
Demetrios would love to hear any comments about his project. You can contact him at email@example.com
"…One of the paradoxes to reckon with today is the economic and cultural unification of the planet. Globalization is a process well underway, but far from complete. If it is ever completed, it would result in a homogeneous geography into which all borders would simply vanish…" Lebbeus Woods, "Inside the Borderline"
A strip of land, generally known as the "Green Line", has physically divided Cyprus since 1974. The actual, socio-cultural division however, was accomplished long before the physical demarcation, and will probably remain for some time, even after the wall eventually collapses.
Even though efforts are being made to achieve a political settlement, not much has yet been done to smooth the cultural shock that will occur when two societies that have evolved separately for 25 years, constantly brainwashed about how different they are, must coexist again.
This thesis seeks to make up for lost time. A smooth transition should start as soon as possible, regardless of the political games that may or may not result in a solution. The no-man's-land of the Green Line, which was used to alienate the two communities, could be the catalyst for their rapprochement.
The parasitical structures on the Green Line no longer seek to force people meet or understand each other. These structures provide the chance for people to catch a glimpse of the "other's" life, without having to deal with the established biases and misconceptions.
The Green Line is not automatically erased, but it gradually disintegrates: It is transmogrified from a hostile vacuous space to one that is filled with emotions, activated as a place to share experiences.
The Green Line, named after the color used to draw its tracks on the map, has been bisecting the capital Nicosia long before the division of the whole island.
The wall, a series of barbed-wired fences and limestone packages, is substituted in places by the urban fabric itself.
The no-man's-land follows the path of some of the town's labyrinthine streets and intersects others. Old houses, shops, churches and mosques continue to stitch the city.
Close by the trench that separates the old, fortified city from the contemporary extension, is also the no-man's-land between the Greek and the Turkish sector. There is a soccer field in the trench. A few years ago a concert was organised here, by a Turkish and Greek singer, aiming at establishing some sort of communication. The organizers claim it was a success, but more publicity was given to the violent demonstrations that opposed the event.
The point where the Venetian Wall and the Green Line intersect is quite dramatic. The line follows the perimeter of the Rocca bastion and forms a balcony of the north to the south. The view from up there should be breathtaking, but then I wouldn't know. I live on the "other" side.
The parasitical structures on the Green Line no longer seek to force people to meet or understand each other. These structures provide the chance for people to catch a glimpse of the "other's" life, without having to deal with established bias and misconceptions.