Deconstructing Nationalist Assemblages: A Visual Essay on the Greek Cypriot Memorials Related to Two Violent Conflicts in 20th Century Cyprus
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Deconstructing nationalist assemblages is a visual essay which analyses the memorialization of two conflicts in Cyprus ‒ he independence war of 1955-1959 and the Turkish invasion of 1974, focusing on the memorials in the part of Cyprus controlled by the Republic of Cyprus. Embedded in a discursive-material knot perspective, the essay defines the memorials as the material components of nationalist assemblages, which have the agency to invite for particular interpretations. After providing the historical background of the Cyprus Problem, and the two conflicts, the essay first analyses the statues and commemoration sites which support a (post-)antagonistic nationalism, but then also discusses (and shows) how this still dominant model is undermined in two ways. Firstly, the practices of everyday life undermine and neutralize the invitations for respect and agreement that the memorials communicate and expect. Secondly, as the Cyprus space cannot be totally controlled, memorials that invite for alternative and counter-hegemonic readings have also appeared. The conclusion briefly reflects about the possibilities for further self-enemy re-articulations.
keywordsCyprus problem; antagonism; conflict; nationalism; memorialization; hegemony; Discursive-material knot; invitation; visual essay; photography.
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