Cyprus is a unique case in peace operations, with its capital city being the only remaining divided capital in Europe and in the world (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, 2021). Since the 1974 Turkish invasion, which resulted in the occupation of half the island, Northern Cyprus is still occupied by Turkish Cypriots. The utmost issue in Cyprus today, is that there is no common ground or effort from either group to meet in the middle and make peace. This has resulted in long-standing disappointment for the UN and the people of Cyprus who have lived in constant conflict for almost 40 years.
Creative approaches and dialogue processes are important to help build positive social change, transform complex issues, and foster a culture of peace (Kaufman, 2005; Ramirez, 2007; Shirch, 2015). Pruitt (2011) puts music on the spotlight in terms of its successful capacity to promote peacebuilding. In fact, the young people in his study reported that they would not have shown interest in peacebuilding dialogues if the intervention was not music-oriented. Not only, music empowered them to continue peacebuilding processes even after the end of the program.
Our project aims to, for the first-time ever, initiate peacebuilding efforts through the use of music between the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot communities.