All posts tagged: Cyprus

Don McCullin talks war and peace

An interview with Don McCullin is never going to be a dull affair – he is a complex man who has told the story of his life many times before. He is unfailingly polite and gentlemanly, but one detects a slightly weary tone as he goes over the familiar ground. He often pre-empts the questions with clinical self-awareness.

The story of McCullin’s rise from the impoverished backstreets of Finsbury Park in north London is one of fortuitous good luck, but it didn’t start out that way. Born in 1935, he was just 14 when his father died, after which he was brought up by his dominant, and sometimes violent, mother. During National Service with Britain’s Royal Air Force, he was posted to Suez, Kenya, Aden and Cyprus, gaining experience as a darkroom assistant. He bought a Rolleicord camera for £30 in Kenya, but pawned it when he returned home to England, and started to become a bit of a tearaway.

Redemption came when his mother redeemed the camera, and MccCullin started to take photographs of a local gang, The Guvners. One of the hoodlums killed a policeman, and McCullin was persuaded to show a group portrait of the gang to  The Observer. It published the photo, and kick-started a burgeoning career as a photographer for the  newspaper.

2018-12-17T11:19:00+00:00

Broader than a border: questioning notions of British territory in Cypriot land

Nikolas Ventourakis hit on the idea for Defining Lines while shooting in Cyprus, not far from the Akrotiri and Dhekelia Sovereign Base Areas, two military sites under British jurisdiction. He’d taken a few shots on his iPhone and, when he uploaded them on to his laptop, discovered that some of the images had been geotagged United Kingdom and others Republic of Cyprus, despite being shot metres apart. It got him thinking about the notions of territory and borderlines. “I’m attracted to the abstract concept of a border, which is arbitrary in every sense,” he says. “There are no border barriers or custom posts between the SBA lands and the Republic. Normal civilian day-to-day life takes place along the peninsula, right next to and inside the border. It is hard to tell if you have crossed into UK land. [But] using devices such as iPhones and services like Google Maps, the border becomes apparent and real.” Ventourakis shot for about a month in August 2014 but spent two years before that planning and researching the area. Using Google Maps …

2015-11-03T12:56:08+00:00

BJP Staff