The Cyprus High Commission commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus and the ongoing occupation of the island through Art and Music

The Cyprus High Commission in London hosted two impactful cultural events at the Cyprus House to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion in Cyprus and the ongoing occupation. The opening of the “There is an Island” Exhibition on 6 June 2024, and the “Ω Κύπρος – Songs of Cyprus: A Musical Journey to Our Homeland” Concert on 12 June 2024, celebrated the resilience of the Cypriot people and their endurance for a undisturbed and united future.

The “There is an Island” Exhibition, running until August 2024, offers a profound exploration of memory, identity and expectancy. The opening night was a resounding success, drawing a diverse audience eager to engage with the narrative of Cyprus through art. Curated by Piece, an artist-led platform, the exhibition features the works of both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot artists living and working in the UK, symbolizing the unity and tenacity of the Cypriot people.

Visitors are invited to reflect on the shared past of Cyprus through evocative works in Room 1: Memory and Observance. Artists such as Marina Emphietzi, Ilkan Koral, Androulla Michael, Michael Minas, Odysseas Odysseos, Michalis Pantelidis, Doros Partasides and Maria Trimikliniotis offer intense depictions of traumatic historical events and abstract expressions of personal journeys. This room provides a poignant tribute to the enduring impact of the past of Cyprus.

In Room 2: The Land and its People, the exhibition celebrates the materiality of the Cypriot landscape and the immutable spirit of its people. Featuring works by Michalis Karaiskos, Frixos Papantoniou, Hamit Üçok and Chris Neofytou, this section transports visitors to the heart of Cyprus. Through intimate portraits and indiscriminate landscapes, the artists highlight the rich tapestry of culture and heritage which defines the island.

Room 3: Window to the Future presents abstract interpretations of the future of Cyprus by the artists Savvas Theofanous, Christos Michaelides, Frixos Papantoniou and Helen Michael. Their works, characterized by layers of memory and history, challenge viewers to envision a hopeful future where imagination and inspiration prevail, inviting contemplation on what lies beyond the visible. The exhibition’s successful opening night featured thought-provoking dialogues among attendees, emphasizing the importance of remembering the past while fostering a vision of unification and reconciliation for the future of Cyprus.

On June 12th, 2024, the halls of the Cyprus House were filled with the timeless melodies of the Cypriot folk music during the “Ω Κύπρος – Songs of Cyprus: A Musical Journey to our Homeland” Concert. This evocative musical event, featuring Constantine Andronikou on vocals and Olivios Karaolides on piano, provided a poignant reflection on the Cyprus’s cultural heritage and its resilient spirit.

The concert led the audience on a journey through the landscapes of recollection and tradition, reminding us of the tragic events in 1974 and at the same time highlighting the rich musical heritage of Cyprus. Andronikou and Karaolides performed a diverse selection of songs by Cypriot and Greek composers, including works by Marios Tokas, Mikis Theodorakis, Haris Alexiou, and many more. Their powerful renditions of both traditional and contemporary compositions resonated deeply with the audience, celebrating the island’s enduring cultural legacy.

Featured songs included “To Spiti mou” composed by Olivios Karaolides, “Matsikorido,” “To Oneiro,” “Giasemi,” “I diki mou i Patrida,” “Karteroumen,” “Agapisatin pou Karkias,” “Ela Korou,” “Helidonaki,” and “Chrysoprasino Filo” with lyrics by Leonidas Malenis. The concert, held in the intimate setting of the Cyprus House, at St. James’s Square, in London, was an emotional journey that united hearts and souls through the universal language of music. It was a celebration of Cyprus’ rich cultural heritage, reflecting on both its historical challenges and the hope for a future where Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can live together in harmony.

Both the “There is an Island” Exhibition and the “Ω Κύπρος” Concert emphasized the resilience of the Cypriot people and their unwavering hope for peace and unity. Through the powerful narratives of the exhibition and the evocative melodies of the concert, the Cyprus High Commission successfully fostered a space for reflection, recollection, and reconciliation.

The events underscored the message that, just as the artworks by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot artists coexist on the walls of the Cyprus House, so can the communities of Cyprus live together in harmony, with a shared commitment to peace and understanding.

For further information, please contact:
The Cultural Department of the Cyprus High Commission in London
Phone: 020 7321 4148