Cyprus: The Search for an Inclusive Memory
When: December 1, 2020 • 10:30 am – 11:30 am EST
Where: Online Only
Why has peace been so hard to achieve for Cyprus? What are the deterrents to a positive resolution? What, if any, are the motivations?
To explore these questions, HasNa and students from Georgetown University’s Conflict Resolution program came together to engage in a discussion with prominent Cypriot academics and practitioners on the role of education in the formation and maintenance of competing and common Cypriot identities.
The protracted nature of the Cyprus conflict has cemented two separate histories, deepening underlying schisms between two communities that have lived largely separated from each other since 1963. Today, the island is divided not just by a physical border, but also by narratives of victimhood and pain. Each side has resorted to essentializing the other, and these stances have been informed, amplified, and broadcast through media channels and through formal and informal education.
In preparation for the release of their report, “Cyprus: Education, Memory, and the Path to Peace“, Georgetown Practicum students have coordinated with HasNa to engage in this dialogue on education, identity, and atrocity in hopes of fostering a deeper understanding of the seemingly intractable “Cyprus Problem”.
Dr. Charis Psaltis is an associate professor of social and developmental psychology at the University of Cyprus. His primary interest areas include intergroup relations, culture and ethnicity, communication, language, and aggression, conflict, and peace. After completing his graduate studies at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Psaltis worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Oxford Center for the Study of Intergroup Conflict, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. His papers have been published in a number of journals such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and the British Journal of Development Psychology. He is a founding member and President of the Cyprus Association of Social Psychology, Founder and Director of the University of Cyprus Centre for Field Studies, and co-Founder and co-Director of the Genetic Social Psychology Lab in the Department of Psychology, University of Cyprus. His book titled Interaction, Communication and Development: Psychological Development as a Social Process was published in April 2014.
Sevgül Uludağ is an investigative reporter for the respective Turkish and Greek Cypriot dailies Yeniduzen and Politis. Over the course of her career, Uludağ, who is of Turkish Cypriot heritage, has sought to ease divides within Cyprus by bringing together people and communities from the two violently separated parts of the island. She moves toward this goal by illuminating stories of violence and humanity across Cyprus through her reporting. Since 2002, Uludağ has tackled the issue of missing people and mass graves across the island, devoting her work to uncovering the fate of thousands who disappeared during Greek-Turkish Cypriot clashes in the 1960s and 1970s as the result of mass executions, abductions, and targeted assassinations. The first Cypriot woman to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Uludağ has challenged taboos around ideas and identities of victimization in Cyprus, showing both Turkish and Greek Cypriots that when remembering the atrocities of the past, one cannot overlook the painful reality that within their own communities were not only victims but also perpetrators.