Belonging Cyprus edition

Curated by Shirin Zeraaty, Belonging in Cyprus showcases five selected artworks from the original virtual exhibition and a new contribution by a Cypriot artist.

The participating artists are: Myriam Dalal, Alia Gargum, Oleksandra Lytvyn, Amak Mahmoodian, Zariq Rosita Hanif and Efi Savvides.

Belonging Cyprus is part of our ASSEMBLE programme taking place at the Goethe-Institut, Nicosia, 21-24 March 2024. Find out more here.

Myriam Dalal

Myriam Dalal is a writer and researcher, interested in exploring the ties between death, the image, and society. Since 2020, her practice has become focused on writing about her experience in finding a “home”. She holds a Ph.D. in Arts and Sciences of Art from the Sorbonne University in France (2022), and her current postdoctoral research at the University of Luxembourg focuses on the use of arts as a medium in public history to address the question of home for several migrant voices and communities in Luxembourg.

Myriam has been writing about arts and culture for the past 14 years, for many platforms and newspapers in Arabic, English, and French, including Ecriture de Soi-R, the Markaz Review, and Megaphone News.

Alia Gargum

Alia Gargum is a British-Libyan artist based in Newcastle who composes her work through critical and personal exploration of politics and culture, focusing on her heritage through diasporic means.

Sculpture, paintings and installation elements are reorganised and transformed in an organic manner as part of the artistic process.  Alia primarily uses hand-treated steel and hand-manipulated paper to depict signifiers of her past through a contemporary lens.

 Alia’s work explores power dynamics that echo into personal relationships, with a focus on the history of Middle Eastern and North African region power structures. Themes of forced migration, exile and identity also converge in her works.

Oleksandra Lytvyn

Oleksandra Lytvyn is an artist, teacher, and researcher originally from Ukraine. She is currently based in Portugal as a freelance artist.

She has worked and collaborated with various local and foreign organizations and companies, including the Ukrainian contemporary dance platform, Lublin Dance Theater, Linz University of Art and Design, Candoco Dance Company, German Posttheater, European Dancehouse Network, Aerowaves, etc.

As a conceptual artist, Oleksandra experiments with the boundary between performers and audience, performing and media art, narratives and movement, as well as the dichotomy between superficiality and abstraction. Her work explores themes of outsiders, well-being, periphery, authenticity, and more recently, vulnerability.

Amak Mahmoodian

Amak Mahmoodian (PhD) is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist and educator from Iran. She began her career as a research-based photographer at the Art University of Tehran in Iran in 2003. Since 2007, she has been living in the UK where she practices as a visual artist and lecturer in Photography. In 2015, she completed a practice-based doctorate in photography at the University of South Wales.

Working with photography, text, video, drawing, and archives at the intersection of conceptual and documentary photography, Amak’s artistic practice explores the presentation of gender, identity, and displacement, bridging space between the personal and political.

Her work has been shown extensively and won numerous awards. She has published two books, Shenasnameh and Zanjir, which was the winner of The Best Photo Textbook award by Rencontres Arles. 

Zariq Rosita-Hanif

Zariq Rosita-Hanif is a self-taught artist from Malaysia. Working across a range of mediums, including paper, puppetry, poetry and animation, her work explores heritage, culture and nature.

More recently during her residency at D6: Culture in Transit, her work has looked to untold narratives around gender identity, human rights and heritage. She uses mixed-media, poetry and fable-like storytelling, with references to traditional and national symbolism, to convey complex narratives around identity – both self-constructed and imposed upon by others.

Efi Savvides

Efi Savvides is a visual artist and art educator. She is the founder of Artstudio Laboratories, an art education centre operating in Nicosia since 1985. Her work examines conditions of violence and exclusion experienced by minority groups, immigrants and refugees in Cyprus. By engaging in long-term relationships and interactions with affected individuals, families, and communities, Savvides has produced visual material drawn from everyday hardship, protests, and strikes. Her practice spans across archival research and oral histories employing such diverse media as drawing and silk screen printing, found objects and installations, photography and video.

Shirin Zeraaty

Shirin Zeraaty, born in Zahedan, is a contemporary artist, curator, and designer originating from Iran. Currently based in Istanbul, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sculpture from the Art University of Tehran. In July 2022, she completed her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich under the guidance of Prof. Hermann Pitz.

She is the founder of the Art Corner of Tehran online platform, where she collaborates with Iranian artists to offer them an alternative space to showcase their work and introduce themselves.

Shirin’s work explores themes such as language, biography, and the interpretation of works within the contexts of nationality, gender, and institutional structures.