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Title: Gardens in Cyprus : reflections of being and doing
Author: Jepson, A. C.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2004
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Cyprus is a place that, particularly over recent months, is beginning to dismantle the scaffolding of political deadlock that has blighted the country for the past thirty years. The Turkish invasion of 1974 happened only thirteen years after Cyprus had gained independence from the British, and so the process of creating itself was abruptly and violently truncated. Life, of course, goes on, and this thesis broadly examines some aspects of that life through one very quotidian aspect of that continuity - gardening. What follows brings the practice of gardening, and gardens as cultural artefacts into the forefront of anthropological consideration. It also uses gardens as a starting point to build on the rich anthropology of Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean. Avoiding the niche that Cyprus inhabits as a political ‘problem’, the analysis acknowledges its liminality by dint of its physical location between three continents, and at least two ‘zones’ of anthropological theorising: namely the Mediterranean and the Arab World. A temptation to regionalise is resisted. Account is taken however, of local essentialising, which was a distinctive feature of the fieldwork. With EU expansion, the question of where Europe begins and ends is as political a preoccupation as it is a preoccupation of anthropological theorising. In one form or another, the discourse around the relationship with Europe has been present in the Greek world for a long time, and persists in Cyprus, and this is a thematic thread that runs through the thesis. Over the past thirty years, the south of the island has vigorously promoted itself as a holiday destination, and the main income for Cypriots is from tourism. The debates around the impact of tourism are examined both through the contests over the ‘environment’ and over what is the ‘authentic’ Cyprus. It is argued that the authentic Cyprus is happening in spite of the heavy use of pathos (bathos) in some political rhetoric that exploits the trauma of the invasion and subsequent events, and the thesis engages with this rhetoric. This authentic, ordinary Cyprus is found, for example, in the intimate gardens that refugees have created; in the abandoned vineyards that surround so many of the villages because of mass migration to the cities; and in gardens created as expressions of self, of status, or of ideology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available