'To better days: A response to protests in Cyprus' is a collection of poetry and art presented online on thisunrealcountry.com, on March 21, 2021. It was a response to the mass protests that took place in Nicosia, Cyprus, in February of 2021, the first of which was met with extreme police violence.
The original upload can be found by clicking here.
Description of the Collection From This Unreal Country
“The most tragic form of loss isn’t the loss of security; it’s the loss
of the capacity to imagine that things could be different.”
― Ernst Bloch
Art is a form of protest. Art can change the way we think and the way we interact with the physical environment. The importance and the power of artistic expression in the midst of political turmoil and the ubiquitous violation of human rights is therefore unquestionable. While protests continue to be banned through decrees claiming to curb the spread of coronavirus, effectively outlawing resistance while allowing the unrestricted working of capital by permitting people to flood malls and department stores, art has a vital role to play in amplifying and providing a direction for the voices demanding social, political and environmental justice on the streets.
In light of the demonstrations organised on February 13 and February 20 in Nicosia against pervasive political corruption in Cyprus, the mishandling of the pandemic that saw the stripping of fundamental human freedoms well beyond what can be justified in the name of safeguarding public health, the ongoing closure of checkpoints, the government’s inhumane migration policies and the general unsustainability of the government’s priorities on multiple fronts including healthcare, education, and welfare, we invited people to submit material inspired by the above.
The significance of the two protests lies in the way they exposed the broader forces at play in the present-day social and political landscape of Cyprus: the unprecedented police brutality against non-partisan and anti-fascist voices of dissent that marked the first protest on February 13 exposed through the visceral stigma of raw violence the unrelenting authoritarian streak of the current administration, while the massive and polyphonic response to the second protest on February 20 declared that we come in numbers and we’ve had enough. The preponderance of young people at the protests is mirrored in the artistic responses to it – we’ve inherited a world in ruins, out of which hope will always emerge.