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Dance House Lefkosia

I remember…

The following collective text was created by the participants of the Atelier Processes of Healing: Becoming Well Again which was organized by Dance House Lefkosia, Dance Gate Lefkosia-Cyprus in collaboration with EDN- European Dance Development Network. During the closing session, Petros Konnaris, the facilitator and one of the curators, asked the participants to write one after the other what they remembered from the past two days of the Atelier starting with ‘I remember’.

This is the collective text:

I remember looking at Nicosia streets and realizing how much I don’t know about it

I remember the mother who collected artillery shells and transformed them into poetics. And I future remember to speak from nearby….

I remember walking up to the buffer zone for the first time. Being from Berlin and living around so many signs and memorials of a divided city, this active border really hit me, but also there was a spark of hope.

I remember the final part of Melissa’s walk on asking as to breath and when exhaling to get the energy from the ground. 

I remember vividly the lecture of Dr. Gavriel discussing about the (fault) narratives of history, the so many gaps in the history of Cyprus, the lies that have been said with the historic narrative that caused trauma that has not been healed. 

I remember talking about the genocides and the on happening right now on the Palestine people. 

I remember talking about care and thinking “this topic is so huge, where to start”.

I remember walking into the Kastelliotissa space and feeling a sense of lightness, connection, warmth and relief. Space is essential for feelings of connection and belonging, inspiration and hope.

I remember how touching some moments were as if they came as guiding points to insight as to my being the balance between care of self and other. Too complex to describe but also recognizing the deep trauma of this body of myself as Cyprus land and topos and self so connected, the denial of it and the years it takes to recognize it. SO yes, healing process this has been and its ongoing, to be!

I remember “figuring out care together” and “autonomy” and “going on a slow walk”.  I remember a number on a door from our walk made from heart stickers.  And some cat poop in fake grass that made me laugh. 

I remember, memories popping up in my head randomly through out the program. The awaking of my curiosity about how these memories and connections I felt with my past, my families and my countries affected us and how we can heal through remembering and speaking about them.

I remember rediscovering my city, walking in streets that I haven’t seen in years.

I remember seeing a woman knitting a traditional Greek tablecloth while we were close to the border.

Θυμάμαι το πρώτο καλωσόρισμα ότι ήταν πολύ ανακουφιστικό για εμένα, έκλαψα με την καρδιά μου και ένιωσα ότι βλέπω τον εαυτό μου πιο καθαρά. Ένιωσα μικρή (μεταφορικά μιλάω) και σύνολο του κόσμου αυτού.

Ι remember that healing includes a multiplicity of individual and collective practices around seeing, listening, smelling, dialoging, meditating, feeling, consensual touching, remembering, forgetting, archiving, decolonizing, writing, moving, researching, nurturing, confronting, being aware of, taking time and caring with.

I remember the creation of sacred space to grieve together with people dedicated to the wellbeing of Cyprus serving the global need for healing, that embraces our bodies and the land we inhabit. Setting a precedent a benchmark for respect and care for the younger generation of artists dancers, performers to inherit in Cyprus and abroad. ‘Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

I remember the various forms of healing processes that can and should be adjusted to each one’s own grief or trauma. When we allow our daily masks to fall and connect to our surroundings, whether built, social or psychological, through movement or mere contemplation, we open ourselves to heal, conscious of our reality. If everything fails, the cats in Nicosia are always helpful.

Θυμούμαι να μεν θυμούμαι. Εν εντάξει.

I remember the people. Feeling equal, included and light in my body.

| remember the sound of birds humming and the church bells accompanying us through this two-day healing journey.

I remember the small personal conversations whilst also struggling to situate some of the explorations and discussions in professional and personal practice. I remember the border and the lack of it.  

I remember someone scrubbing my back and pouring water over me and the feeling of letting go. That healing happens in relation to people and in being witnessed. That the ripples might go further than we know.

Θυμάμαι να ζώ το τώρα, να νιώθω πιο ήρεμη σε στιγμές. Θυμάμαι γιατί πρέπει να συμβαίνει η τέχνη με αυτόν το τρόπο και αυτό το σκοπό.

Ι remember how wellbeing can mean staying at the center of the cyclone and wondering to what extend wellbeing is a collective thing and what will happen if we decide to also start spiraling with the cyclone.