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A Joint Place
in Kaimakli (Nicosia)

Kaimakli is a traditional neighbourhood on the eastern edge of Nicosia located along the buffer zone that divides the island into two, following the 1974 war. The neighbourhoods’ somewhat edge condition protected it from the rapid development taking place in the early 1980’s but also increased its isolation over time. During the last decade, the empty houses and low rents attracted an inflow of new inhabitants, and has given rise to a mixed social structure of migrants and young artists, new and old residents. The larger Kaimakli area is home to 7,000 people, of which 1,500 live in the centre of the historic quarter.  Currently, the area is lacking community cohesion and public space is suffering both in its activation as well as its perception as a shared good, available and nurtured by all. 


The A-Place partners will meet for a week in picturesque Kaimakli, to discuss and develop spatial and artistic practices engaging artists, community members and local placemakers. This week-long programme, organized by Urban Gorillas, will bring together representatives (team members and students) from the nine project partners to develop projects aimed at exploring and redefining notions of place, publicness and community.  The results of these projects  will be displayed in the annual “Pame Kaimakli” neighbourhood festival taking place on the 11th of July 2020. 


Since 2013, Urban Gorillas, an NGO with a base in Kaimakli, organizes the “Pame Kaimakli”  festival together with a group of neighbours. The festival undertakes activities that use artistic and spatial practices to facilitate the interaction between community, artists and public. Private, public and leftover spaces are activated through community engaged art-based actions aiming to cultivate social exchange, stronger community ties and to highlight social, cultural and political issues. This year the festival will host A-Place project and the partners’ activities. 


Planning phase 

During the planning phase of the activities, Urban Gorillas have initiated community research, establishing the groundwork that will enable A-Place partners to intervene in the neighbourhood and initiate the co-creation process. With this purpose, a number of neighbourhood assemblies, open calls and meetings with artists and the municipality have been taking place.  The aim of these activities has been to identify people, places, ongoing community projects, problems and opportunities that A-Place partners can address during their one week stay in Nicosia.  


Activities in Nicosia 

An intensive programme has been designed to foster research, interaction with the community, and cultural visits. These activities will enable A-Place members to know the local culture and spirit of the place. 


After the introductory phase, participants will design and implement actions with local community members combining a variety of media: installations, performances, video, and photography. The actions will address existing problems, such as the lack of viable public space (physical or conceptual) and the unused spaces in the neighbourhood. The outputs derived from the actions could include: urban furniture, installations in public space, workshops, video and photography exhibitions. The process will facilitate the creation of connections between  participants and local residents, while contributing to stronger community ties and a new sense of publicness. The results will be shown to a wider audience during the festival. 


Through these activities we aim to transform the neighbourhood into a creative centre through artistic and social processes, while preserving its strong local identity. Our intention is to build on previous experiences of the “Pame Kaimakli” festival and explore novel artistic practices as a means to foster exchanges between the neighbours, local and invited artists and the general public. 


In particular, the purpose of these activities are: 


  1. To develop and apply creative placemaking practices. A-Place partners will work with social groups to discover with them meanings, stories and places.  

  1. To create cross-disciplinary learning spaces. An innovative learning space will result from the intersection of the diverse practitioners (artists, educators, architects) with the community.  

  1. To explore the role and potential of networked artistic practices. The planned activities will foster a creative placemaking process, engaging residents and other stakeholders in a joint research process. They will contribute to add new layers of meaning to the neighbourhood and to provide tools to motivate residents to become active place builders.


The activities will be carried out with the participation of: 


Local administrations: 

Cyprus Ministry of Culture 

Municipality of Nicosia 



Artists selected via Open call https://www.facebook.com/events/598978917341545/ 


Architecture students: 

School of Architecture, University of Cyprus 

School of Architecture, Frederick University 

School of Architecture, University of Nicosia 


KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture 

Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana  

School of Architecture La Salle