Achim Wieland

Selfie Achim Wieland Photo: Achim Wieland Name: Achim Wieland
Age: 52
Occupation: Director / Visual Artist
Your part in the workshop: Director / Dramaturgue / Workshop Leader
 
How do you call yourself in terms of origin?

My passport states that i am German but I often wonder what this actually means. Having lived all my live in different places, i always tried to avoid mentioning my country of birth / origin as it immediately conjurs up the most limiting clichés and stigmas. I find national identities suspicious.
 
Why do you attend the project?

Marios Ioannou and myself initiated this project out of a need to create an open platform for sharing personal stories without prejudice. Especially in Cyprus, i became very curious about people’s very personal tales and their honest and untainted sentiment beyond the established political narrative.
 
What did you learn so far about the „other side“?

My instant reaction to the question: Which „other side“?
After six weeks of working with participants, „otherness“ seems to be a mere ghost.
 
What surprised you the most?

I am surprised and moved by the emphathy the members of the different communities developed for „the other“ in such a short time. How similar stories outweigh different ones. How on the second day of the workshop, one of the participants from „the other side“ was held up at the border control and another particpant instinctively suggested to wait so the particular person wouldn’t feel so foreign on their own island. Fantastic.
 
What scared you the most?

I was worried about the prejudice participants might have about each other. Half the way through the workshop and working toward the final performance, we realized that there are literally none left.
 
What did you learn about yourself?

Not to trust all the things that i assumed to be true. To question my instincts.
 
Do you speak with your friends about these experiences?

Yes.

And their reaction?

Very encouraging and supportive but i am afraid we should be courageous and talk about such initiatives beyond the comfort zone of friends.

Where do you see Cyprus in ten years?

I am a romantic with a strong believe that emphathy, understanding and love will prevail over hatred in the long term.