Let’s talk about peace over dinner: A cultural experience on memory, dislocation and the politics of belonging in Cyprus.
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractOn Saturday 9 April 2011, Greek Cypriot artist Lia Lapithi invited a group of eighteen guests to join her for her own version of the Last Supper, a four-course dinner that took place in the warehouse of an old furniture factory in Nicosia, Cyprus. The dinner was the first project of a series of orchestrated meals that Lapithi hosted and participated, where the theme was hospitality and politics in Cyprus.1 Significant to Lapithi’s work are autobiographical experiences and the geopolitical division of Cyprus. Born in 1963 in Cyprus, Lapithi experienced at a young age the traumatic 1974 division of Cyprus and the on-going occupation of half of the island by Turkey.2 This article explores the significance of an orchestrated meal for the politics of belonging and remembering in contemporary Cyprus. It analyses the representation of the event by Lapithi, who engaged in questioning the meaning of peace by serving food as a ‘medium’ and as a ‘symbol of peace’. It also explores Lapithi’s strategies in communicating her own memories and experiences as a refugee who can visit her family’s house over the occupied northern side of Cyprus only as a guest. Through the discussion of food/taste and visuals, this article will consider how the dinner acts as a means of catharsis for the participants and develops a critical understanding of contemporary events in Cyprus and our reaction to them.
CitationPhotiou, M. (2017), ‘Let’s talk about peace over dinner: A cultural experience on memory, dislocation and the politics of belonging in Cyprus’, Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture, 8:2, pp. 175–189
JournalCrossings: Journal of Migration & Culture