Since 2014, Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival, which is organized by the Home for Cooperation, has been questioning sensitive topics, challenging and playing with dominant narratives, giving space to artists to express new ideas in innovative ways, enabling audiences from diverse communities to engage in dialogue, and initiating discussions to promote understanding.
Buffer Fringe showcases new and experimental work by local and international artists, and challenges physical and artistic barriers through the transformative power of the arts. It creates the environment to question preconceived ideas about the performing arts, and the relationship between artists and audience.
Our 9th edition marks the inauguration of an inclusive model of festival curation, with the participation of three curatorial teams (two individuals and one group).
A manifesto for the post-pandemic Festival
The precarity of our times makes all the more important, the social and collective responsibility to change, to engage and to share – which we feel strongly from our vulnerable place: a buffer zone. In 2022, our vision embraces a cross-cultural / cross-disciplinary / cross-generational approach, and we continue to encourage a decolonizing agenda. We are particularly concerned with the role the arts can play in addressing the fault lines of post conflict societies. These fault lines can become hubs for activist interventions to deconstruct and decolonize the dominant divisive narratives locally and internationally.
A space for sustainable solidarity
Participating in global conversations aiming to create an interdisciplinary and collaborative festival, we emerge from the Buffer Zone of Nicosia, and with our partners strive to create a festival model that provides spaces for collective practice, ideas, exchange and collaborations.
We also acknowledge the importance of arts to resist and to recreate through the socially, economically and mentally challenging uncertain times. Hence, in 2022, we are working on new models of sustainability and collective practices with the multiple agency of a team of curators and a creative coordination and consultation team.
Advancing with the theme of Pockets (beyond), the Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival aims to initiate a discussion on who is visible/invisible and why. Pockets become a space to start thinking about difference and identity, past and present, inside and outside, inclusion and exclusion. They give agency to the marginal, the forgotten, the invisible.
The beautiful thing about Pockets is their versatility and nuance. Pockets are enriched spaces of resistance against the inhumanity of the new world order, but also places where we keep things we need or love: pockets contain and hide things, yet they also keep them close to us. Pockets can also be traces and remnants of the past that stay alive in the very stitches that comprise them. A pocket may even look like a blind spot; but blind spots oppose the logic of the main frame, go beyond the conventions and status quo.
Beyond implies a disturbance of direction, a restless movement. Beyond promises the future and yet acknowledges a sense of disorientation brought by the precarity of our times.
In Buffer Fringe 2022, beyond becomes a pocket of curiosity and imagination and begs the following:
- Will there be a place for me to live and to create?
- Can a pocket become an alternative space to live and to create?
- What is beyond our blind spots?
- How can artists puncture dominant notions of culture, race, sexuality and environmental and human crises?
- How could everyday life and art intersect?
- What power do we have to ask these questions?