Peace & Unity in Cyprus: a voice beyond the Green Line
Inspired by the Green Line in Cyprus and all the 'lines' that stop us from crossing to ultimately find our Self.
Welcome to my Peace & Unity project on raising awareness about the Green Line in my home country, Cyprus.
WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT
Musicians Marlia Tompazou and Hussein Ramadan are teaming up with filmmaker Alexandros Papathanasiou to create a documentary about the Green Line. This Peace & Unity project is to raise awareness in Cyprus and around the world about Cyprus’ Green Line through a musical tour from south to north.
WHAT IS A LINE? The physical division of two parts of a country; but also the divisions buried deep inside us that shape us into who we are. As we start working on them until they no longer restrict us, then we are able to explore our full potential.
- To raise awareness about the Green Line in my home, Cyprus and all similar border lines in the world.
- To help people get through the layers that stop them from being able to just be present and let music flow through them through a vocal/breathing/movement workshop.
- To promote harmony among community members and contribute to the creation of peaceful gatherings through circle-singing, music, dance and Arts.
- To unite our human voices, to find inner peace, to feel acceptance, to practice focus and enjoyment of each moment in life.
MUSIC ROAD TRIP & DOCUMENTARY
The project includes a road trip beginning from the southwest of the island in the area of Pafos and ending in Karpasia/Karpaz peninsula, the most northeastern point of the island, filled with concerts, street performances, impromptu jam sessions and getting to know local residents and musicians. My colleague and videographer/director Alexandros Papathanasiou will produce a documentary about the Green Line. The journey will be documented on film, with footage to include interviews with both Greek and Turkish Cypriots (also Cypriot expats who permanently live in the UK).
BI-COMMUNAL ARTS FESTIVAL
Ultimately, leading to the creation and sustainability of an Arts festival, called ALL IS ONE, a bi-communal 3-day gathering, including concerts, hands-on workshops, experiential seminars, lecturers from abroad etc. The festival will be free for people of both communities to attend on a commonly accessible Cypriot ground.
A team of light-bearers is collaborating in order to bring further education, knowledge and inspiration to both communities of the island, promoting solidarity spirit, working together and contributing to the idea that there can be peace and unity in our world. The first festival is being designed to take place in 2019 at a space such as Home for Cooperation in Nicosia, which is accessible by members from both communities.
I will buy/rent a campervan in London and throughout the different stations of Europe I will facilitate several circle-singing workshops taking place in community centres, yoga studios and contact improv dance studios around different cities. Performing live with my shruti box for contact jams and street performing with my handpan and my guitar. I will visit ecovillages to learn about self-sufficiency and permaculture, I will perform live with my instruments and my loopers in music festivals and I will jam with other musicians. In this way, people will learn about the Green Line and they can give their own input regarding the subject of what limits us and what sets us free, as well as what unites us as humans. People will get together, we will sing and move with each other, consciously breathe and heal through our own voices, our own movements, through a series of vocal, breathing and body expression exercises.
In order to make this project come alive, we need funding. I have been organizing peace events all around Europe for the past 4 months, aiming to add more concerts in my schedule soon for this specific purpose. Next fundraising gigs will take place in London, where musicians from all walks of life and with different nationalities have agreed to collaborate and come together united for a single cause: Sing for Peace. Dates and venues to be announced soon.
Another way to receive invaluable help is to apply for foundation funds. We are happy to announce that we are submitting applications for both the documentary and the festival to the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation in order to receive their grant; successful applications will be announced in October 2018.
I am also preparing a crowd-funding campaign on ULULE (crowd-funding website) in order to launch when we are ready, where supporters can donate anything they want in exchange for a present. Highest supporters will receive a home concert! My vision is to be able to create peaceful marches in different countries with walking music and dance performances, where people can participate for free and unite their voices.
DOES THIS RESONATE WITH YOU?
DOES THIS RESONATE WITH YOU?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved, participate, help organise, have suggestions/ideas, design, promote in your area or bring to your area/country expanding this notion of world peace and inner peace.
“People form around Maria Tombazou as if drawn to a magnet. There’s a guitar slung over her shoulder and she’s singing. Barbed wires and concrete walls block the streets. There are watchtowers and checkpoints in the distance. This is along the Green Line in Cyprus, a no-man’s-land patrolled by United Nations peacekeepers.
But the fences and the concrete and the border guards can’t keep out the music. It can be heard in the north, by the Turkish Cypriots, and in the south, by the Greek Cypriots.
Maria’s voice gets louder – a honeyed, thrilling alto that could fill a concert hall – as she strums her guitar. The longer she sings and plays, more and more people gather, as if she was in Times Square.
Soon everyone, whoever they are, wherever they come from, is dancing.”