Theatrical Reconstructions of the Buffer Zone
This body of work explores the transgression, transformation and restaging of boundaries in Nicosia, Cyprus, employing theatre and theatricality as a device to do so.
The trickster archetype is recognised in many ways as a playful and mischievous boundary crosser. It is a character which ‘disrupts normal structures’ and then ‘re-establishes them on a new basis’ (Mattick). Hence, this project explores manifestations of the shapeshifting trickster Karagiozis, a Greek Cypriot shadow puppet of Turkish origins.
Initially for this project, Karagiozis – who is generally described as a poor hunchbacked Greek, clothed in patched and ragged attire – is manifest in a participatory costume-installation. Aptly, the participant is clad in patched and ragged archives; swathed in a double dose of liminality, history and memory.
The paper costume made for this initial exploration was scanned, and like the boundary-crossing Karagiozis becomes the skin of a transgressive, boundary-crossing pavilion. Containing a mutable, even carnivalesque theatre troupe, the pavilion is utterly liminal, and roves in and across the buffer zone. Within, oral history is performed; subversive grassroots memory is thus consolidated and transported.
Finally, through devices both spatial and narrated and in the spirit of the shared artefact Karagiozis, this final theatre complex design ‘re-constructs’ the Moat – a site on the fringe of Nicosia – as an activated site of non-separation.