To the next 60 years…
My personal relationship with the Goethe-Institut Cyprus started 45 years ago. Shortly after the invasion, in turbulent and difficult times, here, on the Green Line dividing Nicosia, I was learning my first German. This interpersonal relationship not only continued in the years that followed, but also expanded through the many important collaborations that have developed between the Rialto Theatre and the Goethe-Institut since the theatre's founding in 1999.
In almost 22 years of operation, the Rialto Theatre has included dozens of artists and performances from Germany in its programming thanks to this fruitful and creative collaboration. I single out the contribution of the Goethe-Institut to the development of contemporary dance, through the institute's participation for years in the organization of the "then" European Dance Festival (1998-). Dozens of important choreographers and dancers from Germany participated in the festival, which later evolved into the Contemporary Dance Festival. It was not only the presence on stage of so many outstanding groups, choreographers and dancers that made these collaborations valuable, but also their interaction with the audience and the artists here, through parallel activities, workshops and discussions.
Of particular importance is also the Goethe-Institut's support to the annual institutional film events, those of the International Short Film Festival (2010-) and the International Film Days Festival (2001-). In addition to invited filmmakers and their films, professionals from the film industry participate almost every year in workshops, master classes or are members of their juries. Through these collaborations, close relationships and exchanges have developed with individuals and international film festivals in Germany.
The Goethe-Institut's contribution to the organisation of the European Capital of Culture held in Paphos in 2017 was multi-dimensional.
Among the many collaborations in activities of the Capital of Culture programme, a special place was occupied by the production and implementation of the project Remote Pafos by the well-known theatre group Rimini Protokoll. After many visits and exchanges, the team from Germany created a unique route in the city centre, a performance accompanied by a special sound field, changing the way the city can be experienced.
The two organisations also collaborated on Folkwang University's alternative production Lysistrata. A production that brought together female actors and performers from Cyprus, Brazil, Nigeria and Germany and was presented at the House of Aion in the Paphos Archaeological Park.
An important part of the European Capital of Culture Paphos2017 programme was also the bicommunal action "Myths and Tales from / across the Divide'', an organisation of workshops and performances referring to the different narratives and myths that prevail on both sides of the dividing line.
I believe that the Goethe-Institut in its 60 years has contributed in many ways to the creation of a creative and fruitful dialogue between the arts and artists of the two countries, contributing significantly and undeniably to the development of the arts in Cyprus.
I wish the Goethe-Institut a creative course forward with many successes for its next 60 years!