“Immigrants” A  Cypriot Art Project


The first time I had heard about the project “Immigrants” was from my daughter, which came excited  one afternoon from school and told me: ‘ mom, our teacher  won the first prize in the 5th national competition for fine arts of secondary general education» .  She was very proud and feeling much admiration for this event showing me the photo of the project  which won the prize.

The project depicting figures of drowning adults and children, which have been made of expanding foam, and arranged on an old fishing boat, received first prize in the competition titled “The Saatchi Gallery/ Deutsche Bank Art Prize for Schools 2016”.  It was created by students of Apostolos Loucas district lyceum in Kolossi, under the supervision of their art teacher, painter Popi Nicolaou, for the 5th Cypriot Arts Competition among schools.  It portrays very successful y, the refugee and immigration tragedy that unfolds in the Mediterranean Sea with the thousands of people who seek a better tomorrow.

I felt very proud about the distinction of Cypriot school students and their teacher for their expressive way of art.  I feel the need to thank them from the depths of my heart, because by their work they expressed what many Cypriots feel about the Syrian refugee drama.  Cypriots know very well, what it means to lose everything in a moment and to become a refugee and we are shocked by the endless drama of these people. There was no better way of conveying compassion feelings to Syria’s people , not by famous artists but from young Cypriots.

Looking the art project you can see the immigrants’ expression reflecting their anxiety.  Their faces are horrified, their eyes are wide open, waiting for a promising sign and their lips are sealed and the taste of bitterness because of frustration.

Αs Ms Nikolaou says: “Syrian refugees betrayed by their country are experiencing an untold terror, are fighting for their lives, because of the war.  They choose life before death comes.    They travel in a boat, between huge waves, having on bow the hope.  Their unique expectation to see the distant horizon of an island, which would put an end to their nightmare”

Elena Nikolaidou