Communities under Change. Tales from Five Cities; Apac associated photojournalism for art and culture


A Journey Through Europe

The project contains a current catalogue of 260 edited images which is “Tales from Five Cities.”
A combination of individual projects from , 1973-2009 about divided communities under change.
1973, across Europe armed engagements created climates of uncertainty. Five cities, Nicosia, Sarajevo, Berlin, Belfast & Jerusalem paved a journey for the camera and the pen to record historical glimpses of discord and change.
These five cities did not only experienced and portray an outpouring of tragedy & cultural partition, but equally they represent the immense humanist effort in pursuing goals of peace, reconciliation and cohesion.
Juxtaposed against continuum of dispute, the flowing normalcy of everyday life in these five remarkable cities is compared and contrasted as Europe and the Levant maneuvers around it recent past pursuing safer and more tolerant approaches. Images and portraits of daily animation, combatants and city reconstruction, presents the stories behind “Tales from Five Cities.” It explores common occurrence, human disciplines, richness of heritage, historic transformation, the diverseness of the urban area and the growing need for universal accommodation.
Tales from five cities is a written & visual narrative about continuing shifts beyond division and conflict towards peace. Within the streets and homes of these five cities is the story of our society through tales of strength, weaknesses, courage, culture, conflict, emotions, strife, love and courage.
Tales from five cities is aware of history. It covers the importance of disseminating a shared commonality of experience and promoting the values of social variance & diversity. It informs the viewer by providing an interesting and factual recount about the recent past, today’s progress and tomorrow’s hopes.

The following descriptions are from the City's official websites

Belfast City Hall : Good Relations unit, Our Vision

Conflict and violence between and within communities have left a deep legacy in Belfast. Despite recent political developments, people in Belfast live, attend school, celebrate traditions, play sport and socialise separately.
The public told us in our surveys that the worst things about living in the city were: the Troubles, levels of violence, and sectarianism. As a result, we adopted 'Promoting Good Relations' as a corporate objective.
Good relations is about living and working together. We are committed to encouraging understanding and respect for people of all cultures.

Images from the exhibition 1988 Belfast Only all Other Places  taken during the period 1971-1988
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We want to improve quality of life for everyone in the city by making Belfast a better place. A tolerant pluralist society, which avoids offending those with different views. Our vision is for understanding where individuality is respected without fear or mistrust, and diversity is celebrated in an inclusive manner.

Jerusalem City Hall : Mayor Nir Barkat

On November 11th, 2008, Nir Barkat was elected the 9th Mayor of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people.
Prior to his election as Mayor, he spent five years learning details of Jerusalem’s difficult challenges and awesome opportunities.
Based on his deep understanding of the issues that face Jerusalem, Mayor Barkat set out on a path of active civic reform and to address the need to attract young families and retain the city’s brightest youth.

Images from 1991 assignment Jerusalem Walks duting the First Persian Gulf war.
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To move Jerusalem forward towards lasting economic development he developed plans in the areas of education, in addition to culture and tourism, setting a goal of ten million annual tourists by 2020.
Mayors Barkat’s parents moved to Jerusalem fifty years ago with hopes of raising a family in a blossoming city full of opportunities. Every day, Mayor Barkat works to fulfill this dream for his own family and the future generations of Jerusalem.
Mr Barkat has inspired thousands of Jerusalemites with his vision to turn Israel’s poorest city into one rich in culture, youth, education and tourism. His message is respect and pluralism for all residents of Jerusalem.

Berlin City Hall : Mayor Klaus Wowereit
Berlin is unique, never still, always on the move, a popular European city. . But my Berlin is far more than a vibrant pulsating city. It is also the local “villages”, the quiet corners, the neighbourhoods. Here it is one can pause a while, here one can be heard, here people are there for one another. Berlin is such a loveable and livable city. This does not happen by itself and it must not be taken for granted as we Berliners know all too well.
Right now it is all about doing whatever we can to enable Berlin’s economy to continue to grow to the benefit of all. The problems we face are not insignificant, but the opportunities for Berlin are considerable.
We want a city where everything is easily accessible and where local communities offer an integrated mix of facilities. The public arena should be a place where relaxation and social contact are possible. This must be true for the problem areas as well. We refuse to let Berlin divide into separate communities along ethnic or religious lines.

Images from the exhibition Novembering Berlin 1989 taken during the week the wall was breached.
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My administration in the Berlin Senate has over the past few years been able to implement many important and effective new ideas. This has not always been easy, indeed it has often been very tough, but we have got Berlin going and moved it forward. But there is no room for complacency and that is why I have a clear vision of what needs to be achieved: a Berlin which is economically strong and where every individual has an opportunity to make their contribution; a Berlin which remains human, where social cohesion is more important than individual self-interest; a Berlin which is open and where there is opportunity for all. As Mayor of Berlin, I will give all towards that end. But politics is too important to be left to the politicians, so I invite you to join us and do your bit for our city for our people and for all of us.

Sarajevo City Hall

On August 20th 1878, the Austro-Hungarian Empire occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina ordered the Sarajevo city authority to recommence its activities. A municipal council with six Orthodox Christians, five Muslims, four Jews and three Catholics was established.
The city is famous for its traditional religious diversity, with adherents of Islam Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Judaism existing there for centuries Due to this long and rich history of religious diversity, Sarajevo has often been called the "Jerusalem of Europe" or "Jerusalem of the Balkans".

Images from the exhibition Sarajevo besieged taken during the Summer 1992.
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Today the city is recovering from the conflicts of the 1990’s and adjusting to a post-war position as a major center of culture and economic development Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The travel guide series, Lonely Planet has named Sarajevo as the 43rd best city in the world, and in December 2009 listed Sarajevo as one of the top ten cities to visit in 2010.
For years Eastern Europe was the undiscovered half of the continent, where architectural gems, wonderful landscapes and cities saw only a fraction of the number of visitors heading to Western Europe.
In the 1990s Sarajevo was on the edge. Today it’s a cozy vibrant capital, whose humanity, wonderful cafe-scene with attractive contours and an East-meets-West ambience makes you immediately feel comfortable and part of what’s going on from the outset.

Nicosia City Hall Ms Eleni Mavrou
Nicosia Master Plan

From antiquity and until the first centuries AD, Nicosia was known as Ledra. The historical Old Town lies within massive 16th century Venetian Walls, and is home to important museums, Byzantine churches, medieval and neoclassical buildings, all standing along picturesque narrow roads that traverse the town’s fascinating old quarters.

Unfortunately, Nicosia remains the last divided capital in Europe, with the ‘Green Line’ splitting it in two. The Buffer Zone, running through the middle of the city and the historic center itself, has undermined its centrality and turned it into a "border" town.

The “Green Line” which keeps the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of Nicosia apart, has made their town into two separate urban parts. The two parts have been developing independently of each other, thus causing the transformation of the city's structure and the disintegration of its former role as a unified capital.

The political circumstances which caused the division of the town have had unfortunate effects on economic and living conditions in parts of Nicosia. Under the impact of rapid growth, and the reality of its division into two separate parts, years of unplanned and uncontrolled development have created accumulated problems for contemporary Nicosia.

The unusual circumstances prevailing in Nicosia as a divided city, have made the task of the technical planning team working on the project, not only difficult but also different from the normal planning process and methodology, with which planners are generally familiar.

The Nicosia Master Plan team, confronted this challenge in two phases over a five-year period between 1981 and 1986. They defined a general development strategy, based on the need to concentrate and consolidate the city. The proposed plan, was sufficiently flexible, so as to be adaptable to changing circumstances. It contained principles and proposals, capable of addressing the planning problems of Nicosia as a whole, as well as problems relating to the existing situation.