Additional Information About This Project
A 1996 note from the project coordinator:
I am a citizen of the United States of America. During the 1995/1996 academic year, I taught in the Department of Communication and Media Studies (CMS) at Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the northern portion of the divided island of Cyprus. The TRNC is recognized only by Turkey as an independent nation. The Republic of Cyprus considers the TRNC territory occupied by Turkish troops.
Before I came to EMU I researched the Cyprus situation. I found it difficult to find information that provided a Turkish Cypriot perspective on the situation on this island 30 miles off the coast of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.
As I spoke with people in the U.S. and Europe, I found that they also suffered from this lack of information. The voices of all Cypriots in general, but Turkish Cypriots in particular, seem to have been lost in the world arena.
This site began as an attempt to address this situation. It started as a project in a multi-media class taught in the Spring of 1996 in the Department of CMS at EMU. Turkish Cypriot students collected information and interviewed friends, neighbors, and family members about their personal experiences during events on Cyprus over the previous 35 years. Turkish students helped hand code the original web site. The results of their outstanding efforts are presented in this site.
To accomodate the problems with a developing infrastructure of Internet services in the north of Cyprus in 1996, this site was constructed with limited graphics and photos were reproduced in black and white.
Since its inception as a class project, this undertaking grew to include additional students and faculty members at EMU; the project greatly benefitted from their participation.
I look forward to one day including the oral histories of Greek Cypriots in an expanded "Voices from Cyprus."**
Although I left Cyprus in 1996, I continue my role as the coordinator of this site from the University of San Francisco in the USA.
John W. Higgins
A 2011 update:
**In 2010, I returned to Cyprus as a Fulbright Scholar, teaching at the Faculty of English Studies at the University of Cyprus in Nicosia. Students in the class, "Self-Reflective Writing: Digital Storytelling and Oral History," conducted interviews with family members and neighbors. Their efforts have been added to the site, now re-named "Voices from Cyprus."
Articles about the 1996 and 2010 oral history projects and the 2010 digital storytelling project:
Higgins, John W. 2015. "Self-reflexivity in Oral Histories: Pedagogical Practices in Cypriot University Classrooms." Chapter in Challenging History: Oral History Work in Cyprus. Ed. Holger Briel. Nicosia: U of Nicosia Press.
Higgins, John W. 2011. "Peace-building Through Listening, Digital Storytelling, and Community Media in Cyprus." Global Media Journal: Mediterranean Edition 6.1. 2011.
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