The division of the country of Cyprus appears to me to have more serious implications than the current divisions still existing in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where I live. Political conflict in Cyprus has divided the country into a Southern Greek region and a Northern Turkish region. The border of the Buffer Zone is known as the “Green Line”, which is under the control of the United Nations.
The division of the country has created logistical restrictions requiring travellers to physically pass through a border from one area to the other. After the division of Cyprus in 1974, many donkeys which belonged to farmers were abandoned left to roam wild. Since then, the number of wild donkeys has multiplied. The wild donkeys are protected by the common law from both sides of Cyprus with a lot of wild donkeys living in no man’s land in Northern Cyprus. I am interested in the fact that while the political conflict has resulted in a loss of freedom for the people of Cyprus, Cypriot donkeys have acquired more freedom and have become a symbol of anarchy in the country.
After checking the Crossing Points – Green Line Regulations, I discovered that exceptions occur for the transportation of goods, such as vegetables, firewood and one bouquet of cut flowers: I was allowed to transport these through the border. So, crossing the border of the country with carrots, firewood and one bouquet of cut flowers from Southern Cyprus, I travelled to Northern Cyprus. Once there, I met some of the wild donkeys and gave them the presents that I had brought and tried to feed them. This site specific intervention was my response to the political division of the country.
Location of video: Cyprus
Date: July 2022
Duration: 14 mins (looped)
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