Bridges towards Europe through social media conversations
Here at the Open Cyprus blog we are always interested to read news and views on Cyprus coming from outside. Too often we as Cypriots look inwards for solutions. Too often we feel that our geographical location on the periphery of Europe increases the distance from our fellow Europeans. Although to be fair we could do with a few more flights to and from the continent!
Our friends at europecafe have offered an overview of the political situation in Cyprus which contains a number of realities, but their piece would be more complete with a closer look at the diversity of Cyprus – as a country and as a people. So here at Open Cyprus we would like to supplement the picture with our own experience of Cyprus, by going ‘local’, as for most of us the politics being played on the international arena were, are, and will remain well beyond our influence and control.
Firstly we would like to comment on the use of language. Language, as we all now, is powerful, some would say the source of power itself. So a quick scan of europecafe’s overview presents us with words such as ‘problem’, ’embarrasses’, ‘strained’, and ‘opposing’, which when used in certain contexts are correct but are by no means the sole version of reality in Cyprus.
Looking below the surface, one can find a host of stories that offer an alternative version of things happening on the ground and which complement what is indeed a complicated picture of conflict, loss, negotiation and sporadic hope.
Cast your eye closer – Google Maps does that quite well these days – and you will see a previously desolate Buffer Zone, patrolled by dreary United Nations personnel, springing to life thanks to a growing number of Cypriots concerned about their future. The Home for Cooperation, built out of a dilapidated building, is now a buzzing multifunctional centre for civil society. A few metres down the road, the guys at the Cyprus Community Media Centre, or CCMC for short, are busy convincing people that communication can help break down barriers and stereotypes in everyday life.
Yes it will take time. Yes they need more support. Yes more people need to get involved.
But it will happen.
And that’s why the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union is important to bring the European blogosphere closer to Cyprus, to dig a little deeper into Cyprus, to get in touch and inform the digital world on this tiny island that there really is so much to share about how Cyprus and Europe can move on from the stalemates that are affecting us all at this moment in time.
Start posting the questions on Twitter #cy2012eu or #cy2012eublogs, and guaranteed that Open Cyprus will be in the thick of things!