10 October. 2019
The Museum Lab and the Immersive Technologies for Intelligent Applications (ITIA) Multidisciplinary Research Groups of RISE – a Centre of Excellence in Research and Innovation in the fields of Interactive Media Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies - is building an alternative Ledra Palace Museum, which will allow current and future generations to explore this unique and historic Nicosia landmark.
If we could think of one building that best exemplifies the troubled recent history of Cyprus that would be the Ledra Palace Hotel. Once praised as the jewel of Cypriot modernity in the heart of its capital, now it is a crumbling dwelling in the buffer zone, partly used by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force. Despite its decadence, Ledra Palace remains a beautiful and interesting place with a history worth to be told. Our aim is, through extensive archival research, as well as a layered collection of testimonials, to ‘revive’ the history of the Ledra Palace in a more multivocal and multilayered way. Since this cannot be done on the actual site of the hotel, we will try to create a museum with the use of interactive media and new technologies. This project will therefore be an example of a museum becoming an imaginary place where, without the practical and political restrictions of an actual museum, we can re-imagine the Ledra Palace Hotel.
The project aims to bring out stories of people from various backgrounds who experienced the Ledra Palace Hotel with one way or another: as guests, as audience in a concert or a show, as participants in conferences, business or work meetings or as employees. The stories of employees that worked in the lower ranks of the hotel, of Cypriots (Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, etc.) who had some experience of the place, or even women who participated in fashion shows, charity events or art exhibitions are usually neglected for the sake of the political, diplomatic or military history of the place. These voices need to be heard and since this is not possible through the traditional way, RISE will try to achieve it with the use of emerging technologies.
At the Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival 2019
During this year’s Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival 2019, RISE will set up a kiosk to give a preview of technology related prototypes that are being developed for this project and to collect additional stories by people. Anyone who has reflections, memories or photographs to share is encouraged to visit RISE’s kiosk (@Buffer Zone of Ledra Palace) on October 26th between the hours of 15:30 – 22:30. A scanner will be available for scanning any images. For more information please contact the project’s coordinators Dr. Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr. Antigone Heraclidou (email@example.com).