One organisation in North Cyprus whose main aim is to integrate cultures through art is Sidetreets Educational and Cultural Initiatives Ltd, (it’s known as Arasokaklar in Turkish). This initiative, based in Lefkoşa, has been going for some years and is rather successful in its efforts to combine art with seminars and projects as well as providing in-house facilities for residential programmes within the local community.
Sidestreets is a totally independent, privately funded organisation with a mandate to “generate spaces of creative and critical engagement with language, the arts, and culture in general, by promoting social, cultural and artistic development within local, regional, European, and international frameworks.”If you are an avid reader of Cyprus Today you will often find information on seminars and evenings offering interested parties the opportunity to join in on discussions on poets, painters, writers and artists. Some very interesting evenings have been held so far with discussions on the likes of distinguished international artists such as Edgar Allan Poe, Ingmar Bergman and William Blake.
Plenty of activities are held by Sidestreets which include art exhibitions and projects, poetry readings, film screenings and analyses, and seminars and round-table discussions with distinguished experts and professionals, so if you are a budding academic then you have a free rein to join in.
Both Turkish and Greek Cypriots are frequent visitors to the centre in Lefkoşa, and visitors are also very welcome, with additional events and functions being held at the Onar Village hotel complex in Kyrenia on a regular basis. There have been creative writing courses for the general public to participate in as well as exhibitions which are shown at the Sidestreets venue.
Sidestreets communicates in various ways, one of which is via their Facebook group – Sidestreets North Cyprus –where you can become a member, receiving updates on forthcoming events. They also have their own website www.sidestreets.org.
If you would like more information on the organisation then why not visit them at their venue at 22 Mahkemeler Önü, Lefkoşa, tel : +90 (0)392 229-3070. You can also find out more about the various groups and charities in North Cyprus, via this link.