Roads to nowhere – through the late nineties into the 21st century the ‘holiday home’ market in Cyprus was booming! Whole estates planned, roads and infrastructure installed, ready for the overseas buyers wanting their slice of sun away from home.
Then the 2008 global financial crisis was followed by the collapse of the Greek economy and vast swaths of building projects were cancelled.
These ‘roads to nowhere’ still exist, complete with lighting and access drop curbs.
Spending time away with the family this week with a return to Cyprus. Never too far from the camera though and always wanting to capture what I see around me.
During today’s trip to Polis Beach I immediately clocked the remnants of a concrete machine gun bunker listing into the sea. More likely a left over of the Second World War rather than of the 1974 Turkish invasion.
My obsession with this dark corner of Cypriot history keeps growing and I have a tremendous urge to visit and explore the Northern ‘occupied territory’. High on my list to visit is the city of Nicosia. As the last city on earth to have a wall and duel occupancy, it has an allure to me to document the aftermath of a war which is still felt nearly five decades later.
Protests from April against the proposal to build upon the gardens adjacent to the town hall. The plans are to build a huge church on the land with the people wanting the retain their green space within the expanse of Paphos.
In the heart of Kato Paphos lies the church of Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa. A stone Catholic Church from the 16th century which sits amongst the ruins of a significantly larger church from the 13th Century.
At the invasion of Cyprus by the Turks in 1974 Turkish Cypriots fled their homes on mass. Even 45 years later whole villages remain standing, abandoned.
Evretou sits on the banks of the reservoir by the same name. Shells of buildings, stripped of possessions, stand empty.
These particular images were taken of upper Evretou during a visit in April 2019. The lower portion of the village was unreachable due to recent rainfall raising the level of the reservoir and blocking the road to it.
In recent weeks I was asked to help prepare a showreel for a family members funeral. Although I would have met him sometime ago as a child I don’t actively remember meeting him, although have some memories of meeting his wife.
The lady was my great aunty Barbara and the deceased family member in turn my great uncle. Barbara is one of my fathers mothers 8 siblings with 8 girls and the one boy. Unfortunately only three are still alive.
The importance of this post is in the images. I recognise some faces but not many. It brings us to reflect upon the fact that once we have left this world, all that really survives us are the photographs which map out our lives. Mostly of happy memories of family gatherings or events. Even once those who are living now are gone, those images if still around, will be all that stands to remember them by. These people lived.