Gynaikopazaro II (Women’s Bazar)
Telemachos Kanthos
1971

Women’s History Walks

An important part of the year-round activities of the Center for Gender Equality and History (K.I.I.F.) consists of the organization of free women’s history walks in Nicosia. These are alternative “tours” seeking to make visible some aspects of women’s history in response to specific points of interest. We are proud to note that K.I.I.F. is the first organization in Cyprus to have prepared and organized such walks. 

Particularly, on Saturday, 29 October 2016, K.I.I.F. organized probably the first women’s history walk ever occurred in Cyprus. Its title was Reviving the Invisible History of Women – A Walk in another NicosiaK.I.I.F. aspires to keep these walks a continuing and sustainable part of its year-round activities (for information on the next planned walk please press here). 

Until today, K.I.I.F. has organized four women’s history walks which took place in the old city of Nicosia and have all been prepared and presented by a group of women, volunteers of K.I.I.F. Considering that women’s history in Cyprus is depressingly under-researched, the team selected the points of interest after extent research and investigation on mainly primary sources. Reflecting the collective nature of the work, the members of the team were all “guides”; hence a different person presented each point of interest. 

The aim of the walks is to give the opportunity to the organizers and the public to look at the urban landscape – monuments, statues, street names etcetera – from a gendered perspective, to find elements portraying the history of gender relations and of female presence and contribution, and/or to narrate the history of Cypriot women which is depressingly invisible. In general, each individual walk may have a different focus. K.I.I.F. aspires not only to continue this tradition but also expand it even further than women’s history to a wider range of subjects falling under the general subject of gender history.

Moreover, it is important to note that the walks organized by K.I.I.F. attempt to draw on a multicultural and multi-communal (i.e. Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians, Catholics, immigrants etc) perspectives of history, therefore they avoid and question not only the dominant patriarchal narratives of history but also the nationalist narratives. If you are interested in participating as a volunteer in the preparation and the guiding of the walks please send us an email to info@kiif.com.cy.

PAST WALKS

29 October 2016 – The first women’ history walk took place. Its title was Reviving the Invisible History of Women – A Walk in another Nicosia. The walk was in Greek and it lasted for approximately three hours. The walk was funded by the program Youth Initiatives of the Youth Board of Cyprus (ONEK). The characteristics of the activity and the points of interest are described in a booklet published with the end of the activity.

26 November 2016 – This time K.I.I.F. presented the walk within the framework of the fourth festival “Genders and Power” organized by Sispirosi Atakton. The walk was titled “Revitalizing the Invisible History of Women – A Tour in another Nicosia”. The route was circular and had a duration of about three hours. It started and finished at the Phaneromenis Gymnasium building, which during the nineteenth and the first decades of the twentieth century operated as an all-female school and was actually the first official school for girls in Cyprus, established in 1859. The walk was in Greek but an on-the-spot English interpretation was provided by the organizers of the festival.

11 March 2018 – Another walk in the old city of Nicosia, with some changes in regard to the points of interest. The walk was once again funded by the program Youth Initiatives of the Youth Board of Cyprus (ONEK). It was in Greek as well as in Greek sign language, therefore accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. To read the map of this route published by K.I.I.F. please press here.

20 April 2018 – K.I.I.F. presented a special walk on women’s history in the old city of Nicosia within the framework of the 41st Pancyprian Symposium of the UNESCO ASPnet Schools. The walk was adjusted to cover the needs of the students and focused on women’s history and cultural heritage. To read the map of this route published by K.I.I.F. please press here.

18 November 2018 – This time K.I.I.F. was invited by POGO women’s movement, and particularly the local branch of POGO in the Larnaca district, to organise for them one of its historical walks. The walk took place on 18 November 2018 in the old Nicosia. The walk put particular emphasis on the history of the labour women’s movement in Nicosia. To read the map of this route published by K.I.I.F. please press here.

8 June 2019 – In the framework of the programme «Working Woman: A Gendered View to the past and the future of work», the Center for Gender Equality and History organised on Saturday 8/6/2019 a walking tour within the walled city of Nicosia titled «Reviving the invisible history of women: A walk in another Nicosia». The participants were members and friends of the club PAOK Klirou. During the walk, particular emphasis was given on the working conditions of female workers and on the process of their organisation over time. At the end of the tour, the participants exchanged their thoughts, coming to the conclusion that despite the improvement in women’s working conditions, a lot of the demands remain unsatisfied. To read the map of this route published by K.I.I.F. please press here.

9 November 2019 – K.I.I.F. was invited by the Association for Historical Dialogue & Research (AHDR) to organise for them one of its historical walks in the old Nicosia entitled walking tour: making HerStories Visible. Special emphasis was given on the presentation of important historical women figures and stories. During the walk the discussion focused on the issue of the invisibility of women in historical narratives as well as in the urban landscape. To read the map of this route published by K.I.I.F. please press here.

27 November 2019 – In the framework of the programme «Working Woman: A Gendered View to the past and the future of work», the Center for Gender Equality and History organised on Wednesday 27th November 2019, a walking tour within the walled city of Nicosia titled «Reviving the invisible history of women: A walk in another Nicosia», during which stories of working women in Cyprus came to life giving participants the opportunity to discuss the past and the future of working women. The participants were members and friends of PEO. To read the map of this route published by K.I.I.F. please press here.

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