All major cities in the world have parts which are neglected and where numerous derelict and abandoned houses can be found. What makes Nicosia unique is the reason for the higher than average rate of those buildings in the center of the city. While the reasons for the degradation of parts of big cities are in most cases socioeconomic inequalities, this isn't the case here. Here, there is a Green Line and a buffer zone. Here, there are UN soldiers and roadblocks and checkpoints.
With the photographs of this book-project I tried to express my feelings about this particular side of this city that is both ubiquitous and overlooked. Even though these pictures inherently contain an element of documentation of the physical manifestation of contemporary history, my intention in capturing them was not so much research and preservation, as it was artistic expression.
I was born in Athens, Greece in 1978 and even though over the years I had visited the southern part of the island many times—since my mother comes from a village near Limassol—I never spent time in the capital of Nicosia. That changed in 2002 when, during my mandatory service in the Greek armed forces stationed on the island, I got to spend significant time in and around the old city of Nicosia.
Unlike the locals, who have grown accustomed to this haunting but intriguing scenery, I was unprepared, disturbed and inspired. Ever since I took that first walk along the Green Line, I knew I would have to come back and produce a visual representation of that experience.
This is it.
Nicosia in Dark and White is a photography book of 40 black and white pictures that span a period of four years providing an intimate look inside the long time abandoned buildings adjacent to the Green Line in Nicosia, the divided capital of Cyprus.