The Famagusta Ecocity Project

Emily and Vasia Markides


Vasia and Emily will be doing a joint presentation.  Vasia will show clips from Hidden in the Sand, a 37-minute documentary about the ghost city of Varosha, Cyprus, her mother’s hometown.  Cyprus is characterized by a coup and an invasion, which divided it into two. Greek Cypriots currently live in the South, and Turkish Cypriots were forced to flee to the occupied North, joining thousands of settlers from Turkey who now inhabit abandoned refugee homes.  The film is about Varosha, the only place in the occupied North that has remained unsettled since the invasion.  It is a ghost city, held hostage by armed guards since 1974. 

The clips from Vasia’s film will provide the basis for Emily to share her vision for transforming Varosha – the enclosed section of Famagusta - into an ecopolis, an ecotope of creativity and sustainability.  Varosha offers the opportunity for collaboration, experimentation and conflict resolution to take place between the Greek- and Turkish-Cypriots who would live there. It would be a model sustainable community that combines energy efficient solar homes, centers for local employment, onsite energy and food production and workable mass transit, restoring the railroad that once connected Famagusta with the rest of the cities of Cyprus. History and mythology will offer the backdrop of a past riddled with conquest by the Crusaders, the Franks, the Lusignans, the Venetians, the Ottomans, the British and now the Turks.

We are hoping to create a dialogue amongst the group in order to come up with the best possible approach for manifesting such a goal.

Throughout the week at Mapping Meaning, Vasia will be filming her mother, thus launching the production for her documentary film about Emily’s life and vision.