The “Kypria” international cultural festival celebrates 20 years and its inclusion in the calendar of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU could be considered a fitting anniversary gift. Multiculturalism and cultural interaction will be the main messages of the festival, according to Mr. Pavlos Paraskevas, Director of the Cultural Services of the Republic of Cyprus.
The “Kypria” international festival has long been regarded as the highlight of the island’s cultural calendar, and this year should not be different. In fact, with Cyprus assuming the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in July, the “Kypria 2012” will last longer than usual, with the festival starting on August 30 and lasting until October 20.
From “Cultural September” to “Kypria”
The director of the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus, Pavlos Paraskevas, remembers the beginning of the festival. “The first attempt was in September 1991. The festival was named ‘Cultural September’ and it was repeated in September 1992 under the same name. The ‘Kypria’ name was established in 1993 and this year the festival has reached its 20th year under the current name”, Mr. Paraskevas says.
The festival’s main goal was to bring in notable performances from Greece and other countries, but also to serve as a stepping stone for Cypriot artists. “It was an opportunity for Cypriot artists to present our own cultural product”, the Director of the Cultural Services explains, while adding that since there was nothing remotely similar to this before on the island, the “Kypria” became a motivation for creating other cultural festivals in Cyprus. In fact, in recent years there has been a notable increase in the participation of distinguished local performances at the “Kypria”.
A cultural crossroad
The Cultural Services aim to make the “Kypria” a special part of the Presidency. The inclusion of the festival in the cultural calendar of the Cyprus Presidency has inevitably affected the programme and the choice of the performances. “We have set a distinct framework for this year’s festival. The proposals had to follow the concept of highlighting the integration of cultures in Cyprus, to show the manner by which the culture of the island was affected by its neighbours -Europeans or not- and how the Cypriot culture was communicated to Europe”, Mr. Paraskevas points out.
Multiculturalism and cultural interaction in Cyprus will be the main message of this year’s “Kypria”. “We want to highlight that art formed in Cyprus is affected by both the East and the West, whose effects pair harmonically to produce something truly special”, Mr. Paraskevas concludes.
You can find the full programme of the “Kypria 2012” International Cultural Festival in pdf format on the right of the page.
Find more photos here