1st Diversity Arts Festival

Celebrating Difference and Diversity in the Arts and Cultures of Cyprus


The University of Nicosia’s 1st“Diversity Arts Festival” celebrated the island’s diversity in arts and cultures on Thursday, 10 October 2013. The Festival’s tripartite program consisted of academic presentations, an art and design exhibition, and musical performances by artists living on the island.

Giorgos Moleskis, President of the Union for Cyprus Writers, commenced the Panel Discussion on diversity and the arts in Cyprus with a presentation on the representation of the homeland in Cypriot poetry. Stavros Karayanni, Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities at European University Cyprus explored various intersections among Cypriot landscape, memory, and art in his presentation. Anber Onar, co-founder of Sidestreets Educational and Cultural Initiatives and Elizabeth Hoak-Doering, Associate Professor in the Department of Design and Multimedia at the University of Nicosia each spoke on the subject of visual arts in Cyprus. Michael Hadjimichael, Associate Professor in the Department of Communications at the University of Nicosia discussed musical diversity on Cyprus radio. Panel moderator was Paul Stewart, Professor in the Department of Languages and Literature at the University of Nicosia.

Click here to access the agenda of the Diversity Arts Festival.

Click here to access the bios of the presenters and moderator of the Panel Discussion.

Click here to access the photos of the Diversity Arts Festival.

Click here to access the videos of the Diversity Arts Festival.

The Diversity Art and Design Exhibition featured paintings, photographs, posters, installations and videos by the students of the Department of Design and Multimedia, University of Nicosia. The works explored diversity, migration, difference and identity within the context of contemporary Cyprus. Overarching themes considered in the students’ works included: how we perceive our individual and collective selves and how we can visually reflect on the ways our social environment shapes behaviors. The exhibition was held at the University’s Art and Design Studio.

Batukinio, Haji Mike and Med Dred, Peter Attah, Pinky, Monsieur Doumani, and The Jazz Trio took the stage afterwards at the Open Amphitheatre. Batukinio is a Brazilian percussion group. They were joined by guitarist Hasley Clauberg. Haji Mike and Med Dred performed live Roots Reggae music. They were joined by MC Peter Attah and vocalist Pinky. Monsieur Doumani is a trio that has recently gained many fans both in Cyprus and abroad with the 2013 release of their album “Grippy Grappa.” The band rearranges Cypriot traditional songs using a tzoura, guitar, and wind instruments. The Jazz Trio performed a number of jazz standards on the piano, bass, and drums. The ensemble’s members perform at Windcraft every Monday at 9pm.

Entrance to the Diversity Arts Festival was free and open to the public. Beer sponsor was Aphrodite’s Rock Brewing Company, while snacks (including samosas, pirozki, lahmajoun and vegetable skewers) prepared by the Millennium Cafeteria were made available at affordable prices. The official media sponsor was SUPER FM Radio.

The Diversity Arts Festival was organized by The Cyprus Center for Intercultural Studies, in collaboration with the University of Nicosia’s Department of Student Affairs and the Department of Design and Multimedia. This initiative, by The Cyprus Center for Intercultural Studies, is one of many projects that strive to raise awareness about diversity and respect for difference in the community, promoting thus a culture of peace.