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Rethinking the history of Cypriot art: Greek Cypriot women artists in Cyprus

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posted on 18.04.2013, 12:44 by Maria Photiou
This thesis brings together women artists art practices situated in five key periods of Cyprus socio-political history: British colonial rule, anti-colonial struggle, 1960 Independent, the 1974 Turkish invasion and its aftermath of a divided Cyprus, which remains the case in the present day. Such study has not been done before, and for this, the current thesis aims to provide a critical knowledge of the richness and diversity of Greek Cypriot women's art practices that have frequently been marginalised and rarely been written about or researched. As the title suggests, this thesis engages in rethinking the history of Cypriot art by focusing on the art produced by women artists in Cyprus. By focusing primarily on the work of Greek Cypriot women artists I am interested to explore the conditions within which, through which and against which, women negotiate political processes in Cyprus while making art that is predominantly engaged in specific politicised patterns. The meeting point for the artists is their awareness of being women artists living in a colonised, patriarchal country under Greek Cypriot nationality. While these artists assumed very different positions in their experience of the several phases of Cyprus history, they all negotiate in their practice territorial boundaries and specific identity patterns. Significant to my thesis are a number of questions that I discuss in relation to women artists professional careers and private lives: nationalism, militarism, patriarchy, male dominance, social and cultural codes, ethnic conflict, trauma, imposed displacement through war, memory and women's roles, especially as mothers, in modern and contemporary Cyprus. Thus, I address questions of how women artists in Cyprus experienced such phenomena and how these phenomena affected both their lives and their art practices.



  • The Arts, English and Drama


  • Arts


© Maria Photiou

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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