Young people with brio, creativity, new ecological ideas and a love for what they do have breathed a new life into the old municipal market of Nicosia, creating an open space for everyone.
It is the “Agora Project”, a “creative collaboration of a group of people from a variety of backgrounds” as it says on their Facebook page.
The space hosts temporarily studios and shops of artists and craftsmen, gift shops, second-hand shops and eco-friendly reused and upcycled products or art pieces. “The old fish-market has been transformed to an herbal garden and right next door is an open library. The space also hosts on a weekly basis dance, music or performance workshops bringing people together, the page reads.
“The market is a space which was given from the municipality for three months to various initiatives, mainly comprised by young creators, artists, craftsmen,” Alexandros Ioannou Peletie tells CNA. His recycling and upcycling workshop and shop Tesura has temporarily found here a roof.
There are people who deal with reused items, music, cycling, immigrants, he says.
“We are independent initiatives, but we have slowly taken a space which was previously closed, we breathed life into it and we developed it. It is no longer about a small shop, an open space has been created,” he notes.
The municipality has now decided the initiative can have the space for another year, he adds.
“We are trying to prove that it is a lively, sustainable space; A space in the town centre which we need,” he says.
Asked about Tesura, he explains that “we do up-cycling workshops, we promote ecological products, we sell used furniture and we mainly do some alterations.” The workshop also showcases some artworks of Alexandros from recyclable materials.
Chloe Finn creates waterproof bags from plastic bags
The durability of the plastic bag and its transparency which lets natural light go through it, were the elements appreciated by artist Chloe Finn when a few years ago she was looking for a material to use for her creations.
“I searched for a method to make a material with colour through which the light could also shine,” she tells CNA. She adds that she found the technique she uses through the internet and she started making fabrics from plastic bags.
“I discovered that they were best put to good use when I made bags because they are waterproof and it is a beautiful material,” Chloe notes, adding that “I have since been making small bags and tobacco cases because this is a very durable material.”
Asked by CNA how long she has been working with this material she replies since 2011. However, she adds, it is only this year that people started understanding the value of reusing materials.
Chloe has her workshop with works of illustration and art in the old municipal market and cooperates with Alexandro for the sale of her special bags.
“I also use car belts,” she says, adding that “I am generally a great supporter of reusing items, not just plastic bags but also old furniture.”
“Give it a Chance”, Evita and Andreas urge people
A clothes shop is located next to Chloe’s workshop, which was an initiative by Andreas and where Evita works.
A sign over the shop sends the message “Give it a Chance”.
Replying to CNA questions on the clothes sold Evita says that there are new items, second hand items and third hand which are items already fixed and recycled.
It is a collection from various resources, she notes, adding that a lot of them are donations. When it comes to new items there are items from shops which have closed down or private collections and vintage clothes, Evita explains.
Once the clothes arrive in place they are checked, cleaned, fixed if necessary, she says showing proudly a sewing machine used to make alterations to old and overused clothes and give them a new life.
Asked about a clothes line hanging outside the shop marked “take what you need” she explains that it is a collection of clothes dedicated to an event for homeless people, so people can come and take what they need. Usually, she says, there is a small chest of items in the shop offered for free. Asked whether there was demand for the items offered that particular evening she replies positively. “A lot of people came and picked a collection of blankets, pillows and bedding,” she says.
(Cyprus News Agency)