Research and Development
The research for the ghost city of Famagusta developed over the period of one year and included visits to the place, collecting photographic and video material from the 1960s to today, acquiring historical knowledge. talking with people that had been residents of the city before 1974 and visitors of today. A further analysis of the city’s architectural design with references to modernism and an investigation on materials both natural and industrial, was crucial for designing the installation.
Our maquettes are placed on scaled down versions of watch towers, a strong reference to the military presence around the city as well as the UN observation towers in the buffer zone. The height of the towers places the buildings above the human eye level, making them unreachable and distant. The architectural design of the models/ sculptures borrows elements and materials (bricks, concrete, steel fence etc) from existing buildings in Famagusta in a free interpretation of scale and proportion.
The video footage inside the maquettes left and right of the installation, present two different timelines. The black and white archives show life in Famagusta in late 60s up to 1973 while the other one shows footage from the abandoned city of today. Finally the video in the central maquette shows a walking performance where two travellers carry model/ buildings on their backs like luggages. Their journey begins at the Cyprus coast, passes through Famagusta and arrives in Prague.
An Eco approach.
The majority of the materials used for the construction of the installation are off cuts found in the set construction workshop of the Cyprus Theatre Organisation. Other materials were found in situ. The entire installation was hand build by designer Melita Couta assisted by the technical team of THOC.