National identity and the politics of belonging in Greek Cypriot visual culture
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractFor decades the display of blue and white colours in Cyprus have been synonymous with Greek nationalism. During British colonial rule in Cyprus, there was a rise of nationalism. As a result, the Greek population of Cyprus demanded Enosis (union) with Greece. The rise of Greek nationalism during the National Liberation Struggle 1955-59 was, for the most part, denoted through a national ‘spectacle’ that included the national anthem and the flag. According to Rebecca Bryant (2004: 164), ‘anything which bore the blue and white colors of Greece […] could be constructed as symbolic of Greek nationalism’. This chapter investigates the visual representation of Greek flags and the way images convey nationalism in Cyprus. It focuses on the work of Greek Cypriot artists Takis Frangoudes and George Georgiou, who both employed visual strategies to expose historical and socio-political events in Cyprus. It will explore how the usage of ‘national spectacles’ represented the political events during the anti-colonial struggle. It will also examine how the usage of the blue and white colours of the Greek flag constructs a sense of collective and political belonging during the long and violent history of Cyprus.
CitationPhotiou, M. (2021). 'National identity and the politics of belonging in Greek Cypriot visual culture'. In Wagner, A., and Marusek, S. (Eds.). 'Flags, Color, and the Legal Narrative Public Memory, Identity, and Critique'. New York: Springer.