Alev Adil

Completed PhD - A Poetics of Exile: the place of memory in the new media environment


A Poetics of Exile: the place of memory in the new media environment

Nicosia, a medieval walled city in Cyprus, was divided by a ‘green line’ in 1964, again in 1974, and remains the last divided capital city in Europe. While the border between the two communities was opened in 2003 the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities live separated by a ‘dead zone’. Using film, photography and poetry I will create a website in order to explore how political discourse, autobiography, collective and individual memory, negotiate the recollection of war and the aftermath of trauma.

The digital space I create will act as a literal and representational database and archive, an architecture of memory, and a practical and theoretical navigation of the transformative possibilities of multiple negotiations and journeys through and across that space. I archive and explore how the border zone in Nicosia is a material manifestation of memory, how the city ‘remembers’ its past physically, and through the reactions to those ruins of a range of individuals from those born in Nicosia before 1963, 1974 and since; and my own reactions as a diasporic Cypriot who left after 1974.

My research questions cohere around memory, the disrupted space of subjectivity and the transformative potential of virtual spaces. My methodology is to identify key technologies of memory (individual, collective, official, poetic, demotic), and through their representation and their mediation to explore the double nature of memory and the medium of its transmission. Thus much of my work is interstitial, and often includes autobiographical readings of theory which incorporate text and still/moving image, and my methodology is self-reflexive – poetry will ‘remember’ and speak to image and also invade and disrupt the discursive flow of theory.

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  • Professor Deborah Cherry

    TrAIN Member

    I studied in the UK (Edinburgh and London) and I have worked in the UK, the USA, and in Europe, where I am now at the University of Amsterdam. Following my PhD I have written extensively on art in Britain in the nineteenth and early twentieth century with two books, Painting Women (1994) and Beyond the Frame: Feminism and Visual Culture (2000) along with exhibitions such as ‘The Edwardian Era’ (co-curated 1987).
    Find out more about Professor Deborah Cherry