SDDP Envisioning a Future Keryneia
The Envisioning of a Future Keryneia Co-Laboratory was organized for the Keryneia Municipality on April 30 and May 2, 2007 on the initiatives of Rebecca Brubaker, a Future Worlds Center visiting Fulbright Scholar.
Sponsor and partners
The co-Laboratory was sponsored and hosted at the Keryneia Municipality at the buffer zone by Ledra Palace.
The Triggering Question (TQ) was
What are descriptors of an ideal image of a future Keryneia?
In response to the TQ, the 10 participants came up with 65 Descriptors, which were categorized in 12 clusters. Following the voting process, 27 ideas received one or more votes and were structured to create the influence MAP shown below.
According to the participants of this workshop, the descriptor that appeared to be the most influential is:
- Descriptor #3, The human rights of Keryneians to be completely respected in Keryneia
List of all Ideas
The following ideas were collected in response to the Triggering Question "What are descriptors of an ideal image of a future Keryneia?"
- Free City without troops
- All properties owned by original owners
- The human rights of Kyrenians to be completely respected in Kyrenia
- All settlers to be removed
- To be back in our original environment with our original neighbors
- The future Kyrenia to come quickly
- All Turkish troops out of Cyprus
- Kyrenia in a United Cyprus in the United Europe as it was throughout the last 3500 years
- Peaceful and safe City
- I want Kyrenia with its native people as they were before 1974 without settlers and turkish army
- The historical centre to be architecturally restored as it was before 1974
- All British and other foreigners not to gain ownership rights
- A spiritual and cultural beacon in the Mediterranean
- A unique beautiful romantic city
- To be able to live in the house I was born in
- Equal rights for all Kyrenians and Kyrenia itself in the context of the European Union
- A City in which everybody will know eachother by their first name
- A City full of orchards
- A City with the majority as it was before 1974
- The majority will be as before and will rule
- The minority will have all its rights
- A City were many European and international conferences will take place
- All illegal constructions at least will be stoped
- A City where all who fled for their lives will be remembered by name and photo
- A District where all ecclesiastical, cultural and national monuments will be restored in their original glory
- A City in which our children and grandchildren will enjoy life as we did before 1974
- A district with the same schools as they existed before 1974
- Kyrenia the attraction (koitida) of tourism of all Europe and elsewhere to become again
- A safe place to raise a family
- A place where you can see the sea
- As beautiful as before with all its churches with all their antique icons in place as before
- Many writers/researchers will record the drama of the Kyrenians as refugees going back to their town
- Names of streets and places (toponyms) to be as they were before
- All pre 1974 houses to bear the name and the photo of the people who lived there before 1974
- Liberated Kyrenia
- The color of the small beautiful town as it was before
- Kyrenia the 2nd Riviera of the Mediterranean
- To be able to leave you front door unlocked
- A town that the cemetaries are not destroyed
- The turkish flag will not be on Pentadaktylos
- The writting on Pentadaktylos (proud to be called a turk) not to be there
- Kyrenia will be the cultural capital of Europe
- The villages around Kyrenia to have their original picturesque images
- A Kyrenia with a Kyrenian Mayor, not from Limassol
- The lemon blossom smell will dominate in the Spring time
- A City where casinos/betting shops are not to be found
- A Kyrenia with Turkey as a friendly neighbour
- The boundaries (rothesia) of properties to be as they were before 1974
- A picturesque harbour without disturbing symbols
- The town to be developed by its authentic owners
- A centre of peace with a United Nations headquarters
- A place where all human rights will be respected
- A multicultural and multireligious place
- A museum with exhibits of the last 5000 years and names of people who gave their lives for world peace
- The town and the villages to be restored in their original achitectural character
- The reactivation of all government services, banks etc.
- No more mosques or Islamic monuments to be constructed, preferably to be removed
- Kerynians and their descendents to be in charge for their own destiny
- To be cleaned and tidy town as it was before
- A city where a religious wedding takes place in Archangelos church with the couple walking down the stairs
- A place with respect of each other individuality
- To have schools and centers that teach traditional embroideries
- A place to enjoy mountain and sea at the same time
- Reactivation of all sports activities, associations and centres and cultural events(GSPraksandos, anthesteria)
- Kerynia to be a paradise where all citizens (greek and turkish cypriots) will live in peace if there are no external interventions
Discussion of the results
"We thank you for the hospitality!"
Although the co-laboratory was (1) practically organized by the elected representatives of the Municipality, (2) open invitations were sent to almost 4000 people and (3) it took place in the premises of the Keryneia Municipality, one participant felt the need to express gratitude and thank “us” for the hospitality. On further analysis and consideration of the circumstances and the psychological overload for those participants, it was concluded that the “hospitality” did not refer to the explicit organizational aspects, but to the hospitality the facilitators have demonstrated in enabling their deeper thoughts and feelings to be expressed. One of the analysts said characteristically, "the facilitators were hospitable to the souls of those participants".
"Thank you for giving us a great opportunity to remember and talk about our past"
Despite the fact that the whole co-laboratory was about designing the future, envisioning the future, disengaging from the present situation and de-factualizing, one participant was thankful for having had the opportunity to “remember” and “talk” about his past, his memories, and reflect about the many years lost …
On the ownership over their ideas
Before the beginning of the co-laboratory at least one participant wanted to know who is organizing the co-laboratory, why, what interests are there, who is funding it etc. Moreover, he waned to know what would happen with whatever they say in the room. By the end of the first three hours, the participants developed a strong sense of ownership over their ideas. They didn’t want to mix them with ideas of the new group, which was planned to convene two days later. The “descriptors” have assumed for them a role. They became the “designs” of their new Keryneia (even though they didn’t manage to disconnect and defactualize from the past) and as such they were valuable to them. The fact that each and everyone of them left the room with a print out of all ideas, made them feel that they have the designs in their hands. The fact they identified strongly with the most influential factors, made them want the world to know about their conclusions.
On the concept of time
In some strange way, our request for them to “disconnect” from the realities and constrains of today and to envision a future Keryneia didn’t feel unfamiliar to them. Yet, they were not able to “fly” into the future. Instead, when they were “released” from the constrains of today they simply took a journey to their past relying on faded and partly imposed memories. They idealized everything that lies in the past. Many facts and many realities of the past were distorted. There was no attempt to validate or question the truth of their statements. Descriptor 8 (Kyrenia in a United Cyprus in the United Europe as it was throughout the last 3500 years) is an example. The concept of time was not treated in a creative way as was the intention of the facilitators. Instead, time lost its meaning and they simply flew back to an idealized past (which they partly don’t remember and do not wish to validate for correctness).
Politically loaded descriptors
Out of the 66 descriptors produced only 11 are not politically loaded:
- 9: Peaceful and safe City
- 12: The historical centre to be architecturally restored as it was before 1974
- 14: A spiritual and cultural beacon in the Mediterranean
- 23: A City were many European and international conferences will take place
- 30: A safe place to raise a family
- 31: A place where you can see the sea
- 39: To be able to leave you front door unlocked
- 43: Kyrenia will be the cultural capital of Europe
- 52: A centre of peace with a United Nations headquarters
- 54: A multicultural and multireligious place
Three of the descriptors (9, 30, 39) are about feeling safe; indirectly complaining for the presence of army, settlers etc.