Monday, 21 December 2015 06:07

Connecting the dots

the website of cultural mapping the website of cultural mapping

Limassol is a town brimming with active cultural associations, NGOs, organisations, independent artists and other cultural actors organising a great number of cultural activities, festivals and events.


These, along with archaeological sites and museums, can now be found on one map via ‘Limassol Cultural Mapping’ at www.limassolculturalmapping.com and as a phone app.
The map records the cultural identity of Limassol, looking to promote a regionally-coordinated cultural strategy and support culture in its broader sense: as an integral component of the citizens’ daily life.


The project, which started back in 2012, is based on a Canadian model, introduced as a tool to get a better idea of each city’s cultural identity.


In Limassol it was initiated by a small group of individuals who are part of the 13-member Coordinating Council of Limassol Cultural Associations (CCLCA), a non-profit organisation which manages the Limassol House of Arts and Letters with 36 arts associations under its own umbrella.


For its launch, associations and the public were invited to exchange views on the idea of what culture is.


“We wanted to be sure that everyone shares the same point of view on culture: that it is not merely an event or a venue, but the way we live together in a society respecting artistic and cultural diversity,” explains Diamanto Stylianou, the project’s coordinator.


The association (CCLCA) started to create its online map of Limassol in collaboration with the Visual Sociology and Museum Studies Lab (VSMS Lab) of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) involving every social, cultural and political actor of the city through an Open Call for participation – associations and independent artists alike.

 

For the research stage a questionnaire was created to collect details of the 36 existing member associations of the House of Arts and Letters and of anyone else who wanted to be listed, managing eventually to obtain a sample of 61 organisations – a significant number if one considers the early and rapid development of Limassol’s cultural industry.

 

Movers and shakers
Result showed that only about 13% of those registering actually owned premises and worked with mostly volunteers of which few have an academic background in the fields of cultural studies or event management.


The project’s implementation was made possible through the contribution and dedicated work of several actors, the three key committee members being the Initiator, Nenad Bogdanovic, (member of the Board 2011-2014), Evros Alexandrou (currently the president of the Board) and seeing the project though to its fruition: project supervisor and coordinator, its translator and web page designer, Diamanto Stylianou.


The project, which had taken a break after the 2013 financial crisis, had started back up earlier this year and received assistance from the Cyprus Human Resource Department via interns and has recently received funding from the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture to cover the costs of its establishment.


Another important collaborator was Frederick University, whose laboratory for the development of phone applications for non-profit organisations under its Director Andreas Constantinides and through student Iasonas Iasonos, developed the project’s phone application for Android (available on Google Play Store) and iPhone (available on App Store).


“While the project does indicate that Limassol’s cultural sector is not ready to be considered an industry, it certainly is a step in the right direction for a city which has so much to offer and which boasts such a rich cultural events calendar,” concludes Diamanto Stylianou.


The website currently has more than 100 listings,which include museums, associations of all the Limassol municipalities and other independent structures with their full contact details. It is a practical tool allowing all cultural associations, small and large, to be found easily.


Members of Limassol’s art and culture scene are invited to ‘drop their own pin’ on the map, by filling in a form on the website to continue growing the map. Further details can be obtained through the website www.limassolculturalmapping.com or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Article as featured in The Cyprus Weekly of December 18, 2015

 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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