Father-land: troubled dialogues in a divided island
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Introduction to the making of Father-land, a practice research collaboration between the author and the sound artist and film-maker Stuart Moore, which investigates notions of home and (dis)placement in the divided island of Cyprus. Political and social histories, the legacies of colonialism, occupation, and the Cold War, resonate culturally and also biographically for the film-makers, as both had childhood links with Cyprus through fathers stationed there with the Royal Air Force before the island’s division in 1974, when the United Nations established a demilitarized buffer zone across Cyprus, known as the Green Line. On receiving the 2016 Plymouth-Nicosia Artist Residency Award for Father-land, Parker and Moore spent a month as guests of Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre (NiMAC), in the Republic of Cyprus. Their base in the Greek Cypriot section of the walled city of old Nicosia was close to the Green Line, which separates the Turkish-occupied Northern half of the island from the Greek Cypriot South today. Living and filming here became a quiet reflection on the uneasy stasis of an unresolved conflict, which tore the island in two over forty years ago. Their families played small parts in the island’s past and the challenge seemed to be situating their film’s narrative in a ‘buffer zone’ between a sensitive and contested history and a nomadic and placeless personal reflection.
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