Peace Made Visible
sites of Conflict
that Create the Future
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Event Account Go Ganesha Go Nicosia Cyprus
Go Ganesha Go Peace Made
Visible a civic art peace movement created to transcend
the division of people, to transform a given site into a place
of joy and festivity and to allow spontaneity and creativity
of the mind. The first event took place on
May 9-10, 2009 at Ledra Street Checkpoint Nicosia, a point of
the dividing line within the island country
Ledra Street checkpoint was
only opened for passage in 2008. It is the pedestrian zone in
the middle of the old city of Nicosia, capital of the island.
Here the pedestrian zone is cut in half, a checkpoint with
visa entry and buffer zone is an uncomforting reality.
Go Ganesha Go Peace
Made visible started to invited
people from around the world in 2007 and within the island
to create or donate an object in elephant form. The elephant as a new
symbol for peace combines strength, power and peacefulness.
The items were created or donated by the international
community and by the local population. A glocal event, imbedding bi-communal
activities within the international framework. The item were placed
directly at the checkpoint, from both sides of the divide and
therefore acknowledged the desire to overcome the unwanted
obstacle of a dividing line within the
A symbolic gesture with a lot
of meaning. Making visible the peaceful attitude of people on
both sides of the divide and within this world. Setting a visible
framework, that can be touched, photographed and recalled as
real. The desire for peace is a world phenomena, well known
yet often unseen.
At Ledra Street checkpoint it
Art has the power to transform a site and to allow
people to meet.
The event was opened by
African drumming by Druminspire at Lokmaci, played by a
group of Greek-Turkish and international players. The
head of the Goethe Center Mrs. Woermann-Stylianou opened
the event, together with the Deputy Mayor
Mr. Celal Cin, the German ambassador Mr. Zeits and the
initiator of the movement Rose Marie
The drummers were leading the
way through the checkpoint, had their visa stamped drumming,
through the buffer zone into the Greek part of the
The cheerful framework allowed for the
spontaneous decision of the German ambassador to speak at the
event on the Turkish part, it allowed the spontaneous question
and acceptance of the Turkish Deputy Mayor to cross the
checkpoint and to speak at the opening on the Greek side. It
allowed the two Mayors to meet and to experience a cheerful
Mrs. Eleni Mavrou, Mayor of
Nicosia ended her speech with the words "Welcome Ganesha to
And she wished the initiative
a successful continuation of the journey.
Mr. Cin, Deputy Mayor of the
Turkish part of the city underscored how happy and supportive
the Mayors office is with artistic
Many individuals who are generally not accepted into the country crossed the checkpoint. Equipped with elephant sculptures and images they were part of the movement and since the activity was circling back and forth it all seemed natural to constantly pass from one to the other side.
35 balloons for 35 years of division were released into the air by the public on both sides, poetry was read in Greek, Turkish and English that had been created especially for the event, workshops where children could draw elephants for peace were held, in order to show their desire of a peaceful attitude to the children of other countries of this planet.
Never an event had tried to
overcome the division by moving simultaneously from both sides
towards each other.
The idea to invite the people
to speak and make the desire visible: a new phenomenon. This is
not art for the people but by the people. The sense of
participation and being part of an active democratic society
The leader of the Druminspire
band was very grateful for the opportunity to play at the
checkpoint, on both sides and even on the buffer zone. To
allow all to come together and play their part Go Ganesha Go Peace Made
Visible was created.
"Art has a huge potential to
allow transformation, it might be the only one" said Joseph
Go Ganesha Go items are all
donations and remain in Cyprus until the next event will have
For participation write