Natalia Panagiotou, Annie Sofocleous, Despina Chrysanthou
In #kazanτί we ask “Whose footsteps are we walking on?”. In search of clearing out our roots and Cypriot identity, we observe a confusion (σαντάνωμα) and diversity of perspectives. Divided by barbed wires, by written and verbal official languages and unofficial dialects, by imaginary models of cultural identity (European vs Middle-Eastern), by terms “North/South, Turkish/Greek-Cypriot” and by political parties, the confusion extends into our understanding of who we are. Yet, the lucky game «kazanti», connects all Cypriots into a common identity. In Turkish, “kazanmak’’ means “win, acquire wealth” (καζαντίζω=πλουτίζω). What is it we are winning, if it is to do with an award, in a conflict, with territory or love? Kazanti is played in a minivan and is in constant movement, a form of displacement, yet manages to always be present in mass gatherings. With a humorous approach, kazanti becomes our vehicle, literally and metaphorically, for the in-between place between realities, languages, religions and cultures.
Γιασεμίν (Yasemin) is a local newborn artistic collective whose aim is to set Art free from its traditional settings to involve marginalised spectators and participants, where the benefits of Art wouldn’t normally reach them otherwise. Just like the native plant jasmine, the collective wants to allow Art to ‘smell’ in the whole island to all communities that live in and consider Cyprus their home. Three of the members of Yasemin, Natalia Panagiotou, Annie Sofocleous and Despina Chrysanthou, whose paths crossed recently, view Arts as a catalyst for social change. They all have a background in formal and non-formal Theatre and Performing Arts education from different parts of the world (Cyprus, England, France, Spain, Mexico, Chile) making their collaboration an abundance of knowledge exchange that blooms through their common thirst for understanding the world as a stage and the citizens as actors for a fairer world.
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Evita Ioannou studied Media Arts in Royal Holloway of London. She also holds a Master’s degree in Theatre/Musical Production from Goldsmith’s, University of London. She has been working as a director/producer professionally for the last decade.