The poor cannot be free. This is the core issue raised by Cyprus, a country on the outskirts of Europe and in the immediate vicinity of the Middle East, which has been hard hit by an economic crisis and mounting youth unemployment. For the Freiraum project, the Goethe-Institut in Nicosia is joining forces with partners to examine the nexus between education and freedom: freedom is contingent on economic independence, which in turn is contingent on education.
At their first meeting in Rome in April, the Rome-Nicosia tandem decided to fuse their questions as well. The special know-how and backgrounds of their two project partners, the cultural activists at the anti-Mafia association daSud and the creative researchers at the ARTos Foundation art centre, were decisive in the choice of format: it soon became clear that the artistic approach to the questions should be geared towards the most modern digital means of expression – film, video, augmented and virtual reality, graphic novel – and that the results should be made accessible to everyone by means of a specially produced app.
After a colloquium in Nicosia in April and a "stencil lab" in both cities last summer, two murals (graffiti) were created in public spaces in both Rome and Nicosia in June and July. The footage of the making of the murals, shot with a 360-degree camera, was transformed by the specially developed app into a complex augmented reality and into downloadable templates with which to reproduce the graffiti in other cities. On 18 October, the street art, the augmented-reality app and free downloadable graffiti templates were presented at the daSud Library as part of the Restart! festival. A final presentation will be held in Nicosia on 24 November.
The ARTos Foundation
is a center for contemporary art and science dedicated to encouraging both scientific research and creativity: a space where learning, chaos and imagination are brought together. Artist/creators and scientist/creators are given the freedom to let their inspiration guide them – while being supported at a local and international level.
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