Occupied Famagousta Cyprus - "After, before" - family photographs and interviews

"After, before" - a Project that consists of archives of family photographs, interviews, and videos

By Alexia Makridou

The Project

“On 13 August 1974, around 12:00 p.m, we have left our home in Famagusta without realising that we would not see it again for 40 years now; We left our lives in our house, our souls... We believed that once the initial violence calmed down we would be allowed to return... We knew that the 2nd invasion was about to happen... I was terrified. It never crossed my mind though that the particular evening was the last evening I was spending as an adolescent in my beloved town. We left and never returned back. And I am still waiting. It's like I have been living another life, a previous life; this is how I feel. Despite it sounding somewhat exaggerated, I feel that the invasion severed the cord to the life that I had once known". (my mum's words, April 2014).

How difficult is the process of preserving an authentic version of the tragic events of the past? What are the effects of a traumatic past on its inheritors? And what are the second generation's responsibilities to its received memories? . . .

The particular project consists of a body of work made up from archives of family photographs, interviews and portraits of refugees, images of the family belongings saved, double exposure images and collages; all focusing on the engagement with the losses of the past. These events happened back in 1974, but their effects continue into the present.