Waking Famagusta (in post-production) A film by Vasia Markides
A mother/daughter-led urban reclamation effort aims at transforming a 42-year old ghost town in Cyprus into a model ecocity. Greek and Turkish-Cypriots unite to turn the once thriving historic tourist resort of Famagusta, a city occupied by the Turkish military since 1974, into a model for peace, reconciliation and sustainability in the troubled Middle East region.
The district of Varosha, within the city of Famagusta, is located on the northeastern coast of Cyprus. Following the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and subsequent evacuation of Famagusta by its Greek-Cypriot residents, the Turkish army surrounded six square kilometers of the Varosha tourist resort in barbed wire and has held it as a captive ghost town ever since. As the inhabitants fled in haste, they left laundry hanging on the lines and half cooked rice on the stove. Forty-three years later, Varosha remains a shell of a once vibrant and thriving community; a mere bargaining chip for Turkey's negotiations with the Cyprus Republic. Its crumbling buildings are guarded by armed troops to this day, as its aging citizens await a return home.
Historic peace negotiations now aim to reunite the island after 43 years. If this happens, Famagustians will be given the right to return home, and will confront what could be the largest reconstruction challenge the world has seen since the end of World War II.
Visit project website: www.ecocityproject.com