As President of the Cyprus Writers' Union, as a writer, or as a member of the audience out of personal interest, I have had the pleasure of taking part in several of the events of the Goethe-Institut that took place in Nicosia. It is characteristic of their activity that the events of the institute do not aim exclusively at promoting German culture in Cyprus, through the work of musicians, painters, writers, actors, etc., but also at fostering, at the same time, dialogue and collaboration with Cypriot artists. We had presentations of German authors through translations of their works into Greek, with the participation in the panels of Cypriot writers, literary workshops, art exhibitions, music concerts, with the active participation in a dialogue of German and Cypriot artists.
Artists from all communities of Cyprus participated in a series of events which embraced various sectors of culture. And this is very important if we take into account the division of the island and the communication problems that exist between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot artists.
Although the division formerly inflicted on the German people is very different from the separation imposed on Cyprus and the way to reunification will certainly also be different, the experiences and ordeals of the German people of the institute made them sensitive to this issue. This, I believe, led them to organize such events and programmes that bring people from both communities closer, thus contributing to the communication and mutual understanding that we so desperately need as Cypriots.
The location of the Goethe-Institut, as well as the policy it has pursued over the years, have greatly contributed to the success of this goal. Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot writers and artists have participated in joint events, got to know each other and collaborated creatively with their German counterparts. Through these activities, friendships have emerged and collaborations were developed, which continued after the events of the institute, providing a note of optimism for the future of our island.