Topic: Sunday Mail: Turkish Cypriots insist project will go ahead
Sunday Mail 04/06/2006
Turkish Cypriots insist project will go ahead
By Simon Bahceli
TURKISH Cypriots linked to the beleaguered Manifesta art project say the event will go ahead, despite the sacking on Thursday of all the curators involved.
“It will happen, and it will happen in the way Manifesta envisioned – extremely successfully, and maybe even better than originally planned,” host committee member Rana Zingir Celal told the Sunday Mail yesterday, adding that artists in the north would now be “working independently, unencumbered by having to work in an official capacity”.
One Turkish Cypriot participating artist, Anber Onar, told the Mail, “For the artists nothing is changing. Whether or not there is agreement with Nicosia for Art, it will not discourage this event from taking place. If necessary we will hold a shadow Manifesta in the north”.
Zincir Celal partly blamed “a serious lack of communication” and “an active policy to block any kind of communication with the north” for the cutting of ties between the Greek Cypriot Nicosia for Art organisation and Manifesta.
“Nicosia for Art can now do whatever it likes, and Manifesta can still set up its associations with whoever else it wants,” she said.
Zincir Celal she had witnessed a change in attitude by Nicosia for Art towards Turkish Cypriot involvement.
“It was not like this at the beginning. Something changed at some point,” she said.
She added: “The Greek Cypriots were using Manifesta to present themselves to the international art crowd and Europe. Unfortunately for them the curators have turned out to be more sincere and genuine than they would have liked.”
Now Zingir Celal says alternative funds could be available for staging the event if the Cypriot government pulls out completely.
“More people are interested in providing funds for the event now,” she said, adding that interested parties also included some Greek Cypriots and foreign ambassadors.
Onar and Zingir Celal sought yesterday to play down any idea that Turkish Cypriot artist might seek to make political capital out of the row that has erupted between Manifesta and its Greek Cypriot hosts, with Onar saying, “The political significance is probably more important for the Europeans than it is for us. They have been shocked. They are now saying ‘we can’t work with these people’.”