Alana Kakoyiannis

Creative Fusion in Nicosia

Nicosia -also referred to as Lefkoşa in the North & Lefkosia in the South- contains the most underground activity by far on the island Cyprus. The cultural scene is vibrant and increasing, however spread thin. Over the past decade more and more young Cypriot artists, having studied and worked abroad, are returning and creating their own opportunities, often self-funded, with some help from the government. Their efforts to revitalise the arts and culture scene are helping Cyprus to participate in the ongoing dialogue that exists amongst artists, writers, thinkers and scientists globally.


Alana Kakoyiannis - Selfportrait by Alana Kakoyiannis

My name is Alana, I'm a filmmakers here in Nicosia, Cyprus.

To get to know the local art scene, I'll first recommend you to visit AccessArts. This self-funded, independent project aims to promote, support and develop the arts scene of Cyprus. It was founded in 2004 and since then has built up a helpful and effective resource network of artists and organisations. They first published the magazine Arteri - dedicated to the creative industries - in 2007. If you want I can arrange a meeting with AccessArts' founder, Nema McMorran. She will give you all the ins and outs of the local scene and her passion for free voice and expression will surely inspire you!

Time to meet up with another one of my contacts: Ellada Evangelou. This talented lady holds an BA in English and a MFA in dramaturgy in addition to currently acting as the co-ordinator for the Rooftop Theatre Group. Rooftop is made up of theatre professionals and enthusiasts, from both major ethnic groups – Greeks and Turks - in Cyprus. They want to uncover themselves and their culture through theatre and have recently brought these activities to a higher level, involving kids. Today you will have the opportunity to talk to some of the actors and even participate in one of their rehearsals!

Arts & Science
Furthermore I recommend you the Artos foundation. The contemporary arts and science foundation concentrates on the areas of research and creativity. Artos allows for artists, thinkers, writers, scholars and researchers to co-exist and creatively interact with each other. You are lucky, because I've got Achilleas Kentonis to agree to meet you for a chat. Achilleas is a visual artist and now a PhD candidate at the Aegean University, but also Artos' co-founder and director.

Streets where we live
Then you will meet Anber Onar; co-founder of Sidestreets. Anber is an independent artist and scholar. At Sidestreets, she develops the arts and culture programs. Sidestreets organises art exhibitions, art projects, seminars and other activities. Next to that, Sidestreets has an artists-in-residence program and works with community initiatives. This will be a nice opportunity for you to meet some artists and dive into the community of Nicosia with them.

No no no
Laiki Geitonia: traditional neighbourhood in the Old City that sells trinkets and souvenirs. The food is less than adequate.
The Mall of Cyprus
Casinos in north Lefkoşa
Town Hall
Avoid the War/Political Museums in general

Avoid wandering in Nicosia's old town alone at night, especially in the North where the streets can be quite desolate.

Book a room at the ResArt hotel; the first Art "Hotel" in Cyprus. This really is the place that welcomes a variety of people from the arts, sciences and other areas, from abroad to come together to exchange views and ideas. Be sure to book in advance, limited rooms available.