BFPAF 2023: Celebrating 10 Years Fringe

September 14, 2023

Since 2014, Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival has proudly formed spaces for artistic exploration, for questioning pre-existing dominant narratives, and for showcasing new and experimental work that transgresses artistic and mental boundaries.

As an indispensable part of the Home for Cooperation’s peacebuilding agenda, the Festival, allows us to cultivate spaces for co-creation, and foster much-needed dialogue and artistic exchange. It ultimately becomes a collective space dedicated to building sustainable networks of and for collaboration.

Embedding creativity into a social process, the Festival reflects on the role art can play at a moment and a space of transition. At the same time, it challenges and highlights the potential impact of peacebuilding through arts.

In 2023, we did not only celebrate Buffer Fringe’s 10th edition, but also all those who have in their own way helped build what we now call Buffer Fringe.

Over the last 9 editions, the Festival has grown in reach and spirit due to the heartfelt contributions of incredible artists and community members that have surrounded it.

2023’s theme Turning Point implies an achievement, yet a critical reflection in our commitment moving forward. It poses a reflection on the role of arts and Festivals in conflict transformation, acknowledging that Buffer Fringe assumes a deep responsibility in its peacebuilding mission.

While inviting artists to explore the limits of their art forms, the theme also called for an exploration of our imagined future, both deeply personal as well as collective.

At the same time, the Turning Point was a symbolic tribute in memory of our collaborator and friend Achim Wieland who passed away recently. Achim was the first Artistic Director of the Buffer Fringe Festival who introduced a theme for artists to respond to. And the theme was Breaking Point. 2023 Festival was dedicated to Achim, ready to venture into what this turning point will bring.

Buffer Fringe 2023 followed the 2022 edition’s legacy of collaborative curation model and invited Ahmad Baba, a Buffer Fringe alumni and a Lebanese multidisciplinary performance artist, dance movement therapist and curator to join the creative team. The festival also collaborated with the local NGO Visual Voices (VV) on the curation, through VV’s artistic director Eleni Angastiniotou. This collaborative model ensured that the festival maintained its commitment in creating and fostering synergies not only in regards to selected performances but also within the organization team.

Buffer Fringe 2023 was launched on the 5th of October, at the Home for Cooperation with main stage performances and parallel activities including installations and interactive exhibitions. On its second day, the 6th of October, the festival moved to the Gardens of the Future hosting 3 performances. The last main festival day took place at the Rüstem Bookstore with two performances and a closing party.

In 2023, the festival also introduced workshops for the first time as part of its programming. 3 free workshops by international artists were offered at the Rüstem Bookstore and at the Common Room by Prozak.

Throughout the festival, 12 performances/installations and 50 artists from 9 countries including Cyprus were hosted. All performances were sold out and around 600 people attended the festival activities in person, and 7,100 people engaged digitally, while the Festival’s social media content reached around 437,000 people.

Explore the festival program and the events here.

Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival 2023 benefited from a financial support offered by the Embassy of USA in Cyprus, the KYPRIA grant and a grant under the Active Citizens Fund through the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021, financed by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.