Nicosia, January 2017

Refugee Camp

Refugee Camp

ARTOs Foundation is happy to announce that the project Refugee Camp is starting.
Refugee Camp aims to create a community space for youth at old refugee settlements with actions that flourish the concepts of arts, culture, science and innovation.

Refugee Camp : to change a badly affected neighbourhood into a community

Due to the economic crisis in Cyprus, a lot of shops and small businesses closed down. This issue affected even more small local businesses further away from the cities and especially around the settlements areas.  Finding a closed down shop as a facility for the community centre it will help the local economy around the affected area as well as the small businesses that managed to ‘survive’. The aim is to allow them to become more sustainable due to the visitors and people interested to the activities. This project acts as a hub that works as a self-sustained program but also it will offer occupation to the unemployed youth and activities for the people in the area. This platform will be the place for different actions such as, screenings, performance, sales of handmade products, exhibitions, think tanks for young teams etc. The selected team running this shop is a group of people related to the arts and culture spectrum. They were either born and brought up in the area or living there. This will help the actions to be structured specifically for the neighbourhood according to their needs and interests.

To summarise the goal is to change a badly affected neighbourhood in a community where a ‘shop’ can offer an open space for creative minds to work together to develop their own projects and vision as well as finding innovative ways to make it sustainable and keep the locals interested in their actions.

Though it seems to be a complex procedure due to old contracts, three municipalities and the town planning department showed interest and are willing to be engage so we can get access to a place for Artecitya. For the last 6-7 months we invest time in establishing local so we can maximize the local social engagement of the people.


As an introduction to the public and in the framework of Artecitya activity, ARTos Foundation is hosting a round table discussion in April 2017 with invited key speakers/ thinkers and the specialist young artistic team working on the project ‘Refugee Camp’. This action will be lead from the Innovation Gym, ARTos Foundation and Evi Tselika, University of Nicosia. The aim of this discussion is to provide a think tank and a crash course training for all the people involved in the project. It is fundamental to understand the need Nicosia has for communities like this to start developing as small businesses and start-ups. 
All the information and ideas gathered will be structured by the help of the Innovation Gym and the city planners/theorists; thus supporting the project to become a self-sustainable hub.  
This discussion will be live-streamed through the platform built by the team of Innovation gym/hack66.  The platform hosted allows our partners in Thessaloniki –ARTbox to also participate in the discussion.
The live stream will also be open to all Artecitya partners and people interested in learning about the outgrowth of the ‘Refugee Camp’.
Representatives from the municipality and other city planners will be present at the round table, enabling further project insights, collaboration and interaction with the rest of the participants
 The ‘Refugee Camp’ panel discussion will be published and available on ARTos Foundation YouTube channel.