Georgia Theiakou enriches the fragmented memories of varosha
Seeking to rekindle the fragmented memory of the ghost town of Varosha in Famagusta, CyprusGeorgia Theiakou presents her Thesis, ‘Manual of Memorizing a Forgotten City’. Through her work, she explores the identity of the once prosperous city that was overrun and abandoned in 1974, re-forming a sense of reconnection between its former residents and the city itself, and exploring the notion of memory to imagine the past. . A series of four evocative numbers, five memories, a building and 3d printed articles and plans, together awaken and enrich the collected fragments of emotionally clouded memories of the refugees who fled the city 48 years ago.
all images by Georgia Theiakou
the thesis awakens and evokes experiences from the past
As a child of refugees who fled Famagusta during its occupation, Georgia Theiakou began by questioning her own image of Varosha constructed from incomplete stories shared by her family. His research was prompted by a curiosity to imagine what life would have been like for his displaced relatives and the rest of the refugee community in Famagusta today had it not been overrun. The manual explores in more detail the artists own identity and its connection to the city, through a process of retrieving, storing and reusing its collected information.
The multimedia “Manual of Memorization of a Forgotten City” aspires to be a way of representing memory, essentially offering a different reading of Varosha through an archive of information based on narration and interaction, combining the digital with the analog space. The research asks a series of questions, including: “How can this city fully recover when its dilapidated buildings are still a permanent reminder of the past? How important is it to highlight the social aspect of the problem so that the city can regain its discredited historical and cultural power and the dignity of its inhabitants? “.
In addition, the project provokes a commentary on the dominant regime of the existing abandoned city. It acts as a condenser of the fragments of shared memories of its former inhabitants, and consider: “Is our memory a way of processing and accumulating experience? Do we imagine the past? Could these objects be closer to us and touch us more than we think?
a process of combining digital and analog spaces
“The image of the city is one of the greatest pressures this city can withstand. Pressure from the inhabitants to revive the image they have of this city’, Explain Georgia Theiakou. “The last memories that accompany the refugees for so many years make it more difficult to overcome this image because it can be perceived as the abandonment of the dream of return‘.
“Over the past forty-eight years, these people have moved to different places. They raised their families and lived more than half their lives elsewhere. However, they still call Varosi their home. When I ask a relative for a story, it’s quite interesting to see how they all feel very confident before they start telling. And yet, along the way, it shows how difficult it is to tell something that was supposed to be so familiar to them. Although the stories differed, the similarities in the memories were clear,” She keeps.