Research Coffeehouses and The Borderscape
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Shifts in Visibility: Experiencing The Border Landscape from The Coffeehouses in Zahra Street, Nicosia.

Abstract: Zahra Street is a socially lively thoroughfare frequented by young Turkish Cypriots in northern Nicosia, the capital of the island’s unrecognised northern part. It is uniquely located next to the northern-southern border in Cyprus. Here, overlooking the panoramic view of the border landscape while having coffee and socialising is possible and common. The visitors face a no man’s land where signs of beauty and conflict collide; decay, UN Peacekeepers, sunset and nature. Based on participant observation, interviews and coffee-drinking with the Turkish Cypriot youth in Zahra Street, I investigate how these elements of the landscape come in and out of vision. I trace the socio-historical biography of the border from a dangerous zone to an invisible one. The study considers the marginalising affects of the border, and discusses the relationship between landscape and identity, looking out and ‘looking in’. 

Presented to university students as part of the Alumni Voices at UCL Anthropology Department (2023). Highly Commended in the Inaugural British Institute at Ankara Masters Dissertation Prize (2023).

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