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Monday 22 April 2019

Cypriot and Greek diasporas in comparative perspectives

The Diaspora workshop which took place on Sunday 7 April in Nicosia, Cyprus mainly focused on Cypriot diasporas. The workshop was opened by Isik Kuscu Bonnenfant, who introduced the British Academy funded project titled ‘Reuniting Cyprus: The British Cypriot Diaspora as Peace Agents’. The team is interested to conduct the project by looking into the diasporas as peace agents in the reunification of Cyprus. Some of the core questions of this project that Neophytos Loizides analysed concentrated on the diaspora’s political engagement. Important research questions focus on the participation of the diaspora in a prospective referendum, on diaspora’s representation in the elections, and on the properties issue. Other presentations dealt with different aspects of the relation between diaspora and homeland in conflict. Themes covered were Turkish Cypriot diaspora electoral demands post 2004 (Isik Kuscu and Hayriye Kavheci), the transformation of Turkish Cypriot diaspora in Turkey and student peace activism (Yucel Vural and Ibrahim Ozejder), the role of post-1974 diaspora intellectuals redefining new reunification narratives (Nicos Trimikliniotis), and on the myths surrounding size of Cypriot diasporas (Mete Hatay). Foteini Kalantzi gave a presentation entitled ‘The Greek Diaspora at SEESOX: Homeland – Diaspora Nexus in times of deep economic crisis’ in the panel ‘Cypriot Diasporas in Comparative Perspectives’. She presented the project’s three main areas of investigation, namely the new emigration, diasporic philanthropy and diasporic political engagement. She also spoke of the project’s methodological innovations, namely the survey with the respondent-driven sampling, the commission work and the digital map.