- Dr. Rebecca Bryant
The 14th event in Sidestreets' Conversations on Culture series in Kyrenia
was a reading and discussion by Dr. Rebecca Bryant
recently published book The Past in Pieces: Belonging in the New Cyprus.
gave a short reading and discussed the research for this book and its conclusions.
On April 23, 2003, to the surprise of much of the world, the ceasefire line that divides Cyprus
After almost three decades of closure, the opening was a euphoric moment that led to expectations of reunification.
But within a year Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected at referendum a United Nations plan to reunite the island, despite their Turkish compatriots' support for the plan.
In The Past in Pieces, Bryant
tells the story of the opening through the voices and lives of the people of one town that has experienced conflict.
Bryant uses research in one formerly mixed town in northern Cyprus in order to understand both experiences of life together before conflict and the ways in which the dissolution of that shared life is remembered today.
By examining the ways the past is rewritten in the present, Bryant explores why the momentous event of the opening has not led Cyprus any closer to reunification, and indeed in many ways has driven the two communities of the island further apart.
Rebecca Bryant is Associate Professor of Anthropology at George Mason University and Visiting Associate Professor at Middle East Technical University's Cyprus campus.
She is a cultural anthropologist who has been conducting research on both sides of the Green Line since 1993.
is the author of Imagining the Modern: The Cultures of Nationalism in Cyprus
(London: I.B. Tauris, 2004) and of The Past in Pieces: Belonging in the New Cyprus (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press
How we perceive the future has a significant impact on how we construct and present the past, and how we perceive and present the past has a significant impact on how we shape the future; as Rebecca Bryant
has noted, "Belief rests on imaginations of the future and hence on visions of the past."
The last thirty years of history on the island of Cyprus
have seen, in the wake of ethnic conflict and war, a physical and geographical divison of the island between its Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot populations, along a Green Line
patrolled by UN Peace-Keeping Forces.