Summer weekends combined with city heat does not sound very exciting, but that did not stop postgraduate students of the European University of Cyprus to use their creative powers and add some colour in the heart of the city for a refreshing summer afternoon.
It was a lovely surprise when we received a call from Dr Sophia Hadjipapa, who’s teaching a course titled ‘Environment, ecology and visual arts’, part of the MA in ‘Visual Arts in Education’ to inform us that her students chose to work on the subject of illegal bird trapping for their final assignment. We were very happy to accept their invitation to support this inspired action, which aimed to raise awareness on the persistent problem of illegal bird trapping using the Japanese art of paper folding, called ‘origami’.
We met our new allies at Faneromeni Square in the old town of Nicosia, on a Saturday afternoon. The students were already busy creating origami birds that represented some of the 155 bird species affected by illegal bird trapping. The students added the origami birds onto nets, creating an impressive art installation, bright and colourful, which came in contrast to the dark subject it addressed.
Curious passers-by stopped to marvel at the art installation and to make their own origami bird, which they then added to the installation. It was a great opportunity for us to speak with the participants who were interested to know about the problem of illegal bird trapping and the 155 different bird species that it affects, and also find out what makes our island important for birds.
We would like to wholeheartedly thank the students and their professors for inviting us to be part of this great initiative as well as everyone who participated.