The Art of Provoking - Nicosia, Cyprus
When you think about Cyprus, the first things that usually come to mind are the beautiful beaches and the wild partying of Ayia Napa. However, what really struck a chord with me was the fascinating political past and present of the country, so beautifully represented in the graffitti sprayed all over Nicosia, Cyprus' capital.
Cyprus is very different from the other Mediterranean islands surrounding it. Nicosia, for example, is the last remaining divided capital in the world, with a United Nations buffer zone separating the Greek Cypriot and the occupied Turkish Cypriot sides from each other. Whilst today the atmosphere is visibly more relaxed between the two sides, there was a time not too long ago where fighting each other violently, and to this day, the issue is very strongly felt by quite a lot of Cypriots.
While some of them feel a strong sense of patriotism, a Cypriot friend of mine told me that this was uncalled for, since "we all know what happened the last time we were too nationalistic".
This background is perhaps what has created a generation which is politically active, and very involved in the political thought of the country. The art adorning the city's buildings might not be what the administration wants out of its people, but for me they are hopeful signs of a generation that cares.
“Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.” - Banksy
What are your thoughts about graffitti and the messages they spread? Leave your comments below!