Time gives us direction. It gives us a comprehensive understanding of our lives in a measurable way. Its irreversible nature forces us to always look ahead more than we look back. Time also allows us to heal but also forget.Since the first years after the war when the slogan “I don’t forget” was born in an effort to solidify the population’s feelings at the time, Cyprus has slipped out of time.
In trying to put a break on time’s deathless path Cypriots cling to the past as a reassurance that nothing cannot be undone. Intemporality is a way of life in Cyprus.
As a Greek Cypriot, documenting my homeland was a test and a challenge for me. After the Turkish invasion of 1974 the North part of the island – a rogue state only recognized by Turkey – has been slowly transforming itself into a new reality. The influx of Turkish settlers has created an even deeper schism between the two sides. Newly constructed roads, and newly erected settlements are a small testament to the permanence of the situation. Life on the island has “settled” in a new way of life and a feeling of acquiescence permeates the air. Each side North and South leaning on their cultural roots as a means to passively fight each other. This journey was my attempt to understand my roots in a country from which I sometimes feel close to and sometimes feel alienated from. A journey of desperateness, or perhaps a journey of reconciliation, either way, in the end I let go of my inhibitions and sought for nothing in particular but ‘aimlessly’ let my voyage become my project.
Cyprus. Years 2010-2012
All Photographs and text by Alexandros Demetriades