An art program, for all Cypriots to create together, was designed for the first Cypriot Seeds in 1998. It was such a successful experience for the youth that it remained an innovative, annual component of the Cypriot program.
In 1998, with our Artist-in-Residence, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots designed a Cypriot ‘tree of life,’ with each person creating a branch depicting their personal experience and vision for Cyprus. Projects in following years included paper-mache masks and giant theater puppets, created and worn by the Cypriots in parades.
Another of the Art Projects represents their vision of the past, present and future of the island of Cyprus:
Left arm, representation of the past (Oktay, Turkish Cypriot): The arm represents the past of Cyprus. At the beginning of the history of Cyprus, there was a peaceful state, and the branch represents that things were going good. But, as this tornado represents, then came bad things, such as war. Then there was separation. The red part represents Turkey, and the blue part represents Greece. They were separated …the olive branch has turned out to be thorn. There is bleeding everywhere, which represents the losses in the wars. The black represents the bad memories.
Left leg, representation of the past (Sineha, Turkish Cypriot): This picture represents the past. Lightning and fire symbolize hate and violence during the wars in the past. The tree, burning, represents the pessimistic thoughts, emotions, and people living under tragedy and terrible events during times of war.
Head, representation of the present (Tony, Greek Cypriot): We drew the head, which is the present. I don’t really like it, but the truth is cruel … we have to accept it. That is why we didn’t do something nice. Inside are the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots who are separated by a green line. The gun and bullets also show the separation here in Cyprus. The present is black. But then there is gray. The steps represent how we are trying to lead ourselves to peace … but it is hard. We drew only one eye, half a nose, half a face. Because we are separated, we are not whole people. We can see Greek and Turkish Cypriots as one nation, but now we are divided, and until we are together, we are incomplete.
Future Seeds of Peace Shirt (Iley, Turkish Cypriot): Our idea is that Seeds of Peace will continue to be an international camp. The dove carrying the olive branch represents the Seeds of Peace community, because they are flying and trying to bring peace everywhere. The olive branch represents the peace, which Seeds will hopefully spread all over the world. The blue represents that there is no end to peace, and we will feel free and comfortable if we live in peace. Hopefully, this dove will reach its destination, and the seeds of peace will grow and flourish.
Right arm, representation of the future (Andrea, Greek Cypriot): The maze represents the present. The light of peace shines on the maze, and from it grows a better future. This vein represents peace, trust, and power, which all lead to Cyprus. We represent Cyprus as a united island, with peace, power, and trust among the people. The orange represents confidence. The hand has broken through the wall that has separated the two parts of Cyprus. A dove breaks through with an olive branch … flying towards a brighter future in a Cyprus covered in peace.
Right leg, representation of the future (Nadine, Greek Cypriot): The basic concept is a wall, representing division … but the wall is falling. The flowers are symbols of a happy and prosperous future. Inside the leg are pictures of different Seeds of Peace. That’s what we believe is the future!