If you ask me to describe Limassol a few years ago, I would be able to say few things. First one would be the ‘Leymosun Türküsü’, a very famous folk-song about city in turkish which tells about the narrow streets of the city, hairs of a beatiful women through the waves of sea, tree of Cümbez ( Sycamore according to translation) and more. For those who wants to listen, I am leaving the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA4D2DUxSgc . Second one would be the stories and the passion of my relative from Limassol and the strong community of Turkish Cypriot immigrants from Limassol. They always talk proudly about Limassol and keep their connection with the people from their city. And a couple of visits with the family, after the opening of checkpoints.
However, I found a wonderful opportunity to discover Limassol this saturday. I went for a photography walk with the organization of KEY – Innovation in Culture, Education and Youth, which is a non-governmental organization located in that city. It was my friend Rita Neophytou who brought the event to my attention and immediately, it appeared to me as a perfect opportunity to know more about Limassol. Because I beleive that the best way to explore a place is through walking, plus when this walking is accompanied with capturing the moments through photography, it becomes even much better way of discovery. It was an opportunity to meet with new people and look closer to the story of Limassol.
We started to journey from Nicosia in an amazing spring morning and reached to centre of Key lately, after getting lost a bit in the city. Day started with name games, an introduction to essentials of photography and provocative discussion on te same topic with Orestis. After Lunch, it was time to walk around and explore the city. At this point, I want to go back to title of my post for the non-greek and non-turkish speakers. Merak(i) means curiosity in word but the actual use of it involves passion and soul as well. It is a word that is used by both societies in the island, therefore putting your merak(i) in everything you do is essential for success. Because everything starts with merak, and we start to die from inside when we lose our merak.
After this bracket, we can go back to the event. The aim was to unlock Limassol through walking, photography, creating community around that and showing a different perspective and an image about the city. Probably, the story number one that remained in my mind is about the περιπτερο τζαμουδα, garden of allah. According to story there was a small mosque on the square and a beautiful garden called garden of Allah. Now the garden is still beautiful, because there is an incredible tree there with its shade that gives freshness and protection from crazy cypriot sun. Mosque is not there anymore but the small kiosk there has the name ‘Camuda’ which means small mosque according to our guide.
During the walk, I witnessed and felt our common and shared cultural heritage in the island once again through the stories I listen, the architecture of buildings, things I witness and of course people I walk with. I beleive that our identity on this island as Turkish Cypriots or Greek Cypriots are complete only with the presence of other. We are ourselves only with this synthesis of people that lives in the island. With the Maronites, Armenians, Latins and many other who feel an attachment to this island, who contribute to life here are part of this richness. Because being Cypriot is not about a restricted identity but rather it is something that preserves all of the richnesses that comes from its diversity that is accumulated since centuries because of the influence of different civilizations.
The main message of Limassol Unlocked event about photography was also very stunning which is explained by Orestis through his unique way. The message is when taking a photograph the most important thing is your perspective, your creativity and the thing you see in the moment. Because there is a difference in looking and seeing, two person may look to same thing, but they rarely see the same image. You may have the best camera, but if you dont know how to reflect your perspective and creativity it does not mean too much thing.
In this writing, I tried to reflect my thoughts and feelings that started to appear on saturday night, after an amazing day I had in Limassol. Somehow, ı builded the structure of this piece of blog post, the shape of my feelings with the inspiration that came to me when ı was having shower, and ı am completing this writing from library of Eastern Mediterranean University. I would love to give great thanks to KEY – Innovation in Culture, Education and Youth, Froso, Giannos and all others who contributed to the organization of this event.
- “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
— Ansel Adams
- “A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.” -Diane Arbus Here, you can check some photographs from the day 🙂 Enjoy!
Last note: Do not forget to put your merak(i) in everything you do 🙂