We are very excited for you all to meet Vasia Markides, an artist, filmmaker and video journalist who will be speaking at the DELVE: Architecure + Art event on December 9th in Brooklyn. Vasia has spent the past several years founding and developing the The Famagusta Ecocity Project, a growing movement in Cyprus to transform an occupied ghost city into Europe's model Ecocity and center for peace and reconciliation. She'll be talking about her path as an artist and filmmaker on this journey at DELVE on 12/9. You definitely won't want to miss this. Please get tickets here if you haven't already!
Vasia took the time to answer some questions about her practice. Thanks, Vasia!
How does the built environment play into your work as an artist, film maker and video journalist?
My current body of work has everything to do with an environment that was built prior to 1970's and has been left to decay ever since. What motivated me as a storyteller was being in the presence of a place that humans long to return to but are prohibited, which has become a breeding ground for plants and animals that inhabit homes, churches, schools and hotels. This transformed environment becomes the playground in which to re-imagine the area as a living ecosystem where both humans and nature thrive in coexistence. How do we undo the mistakes of the past 40 years, in a place that has been “protected” in some ways from the concrete hysteria that has consumed the rest of the developed world? How do we create a city that is designed for people not for cars? An environment that brings the human out of the sealed, sterile box and back into the natural world, while still maintaining the comforts and conveniences of so called modern life? How do we merge the current technological era with the parts of our being that will always need fresh air, green spaces, and natural environments to thrive in?
Where else do you seek visual inspiration in addition to the all the work you have done in Cyprus?
In nature, travel to places known and unknown, films, museums, galleries, the city, books, dreams.
What are your favorite art making tools?
Camera, mics, sound recorder, computer, graphics tablet, iphone, oil paint, brushes, palette knives, pencils, pen, paper, intuition.
To get yourselves up to speed for December 9th, don't forget to watch this talk Vasia gave at TEDxLimassol that tells the fascinating story of her journey through the Famagusta project, or check out one of the many articles that has covered her project, like the BBC or CNN:
Bio, Vasia Markides:
New York and Nicosia based Founder & Director of The Famagusta Ecocity Project, a growing movement in Cyprus to transform an occupied ghost city into Europe's model Ecocity and center for peace and reconciliation; Filmmaker, Artist and Video Journalist with a BA in Anthropology and Studio Art from Middlebury College and an MFA from Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts; A painter originally, Vasia turned to filmmaking in 2003 when the Turkish army slackened the checkpoints separating the north and south parts of Cyprus. In 2008, she completed "Hidden in the Sand" as her Master’s thesis project, a chronicle of her mother's hometown under Turkish occupation, which now remains off limits within the six square kilometer fenced off ghost town of Varosha. "Hidden in the Sand" has screened in venues and festivals across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Germany, Cyprus, Turkey, and Portugal. Co-founder of Eleventown Productions, a New York-based video, film & animation production company working with clients such as Oxfam America, Global Nomads Group and other human rights organizations. Recent documentary editing work includes "Olympia Dukakis: Undefined", a biographical film on the Oscar-winning actress. After launching the Famagusta Ecocity Project and directing a documentary about the movement, her team's work gained worldwide attention through media networks that include CNN, BBC Magazine, BBC Outlook, Associated Press, Huffington Post, National Geographic, Boston Globe, ABC News, U.S. News and World Report, and more. She also recently spoke at TedX Limassol. In addition to working on her personal projects, she freelances as a video producer, film editor, and swimming instructor in New York City and Cyprus.