Sto5i Collective Manifesto

 

Inaccessible gallery spaces, lengthy waiting periods and uncertainty in governmental employment, a cypriot audience fixated on commercialised western artists,  nepotism both in the public and private sectors of the local media industry, differentiation of Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot cultures  - these are the biggest issues that working class artists in Cyprus come across.

 

We are STO5I Collective, a group of cypriot diaspora artists that seek to foster a safe space for the cypriot community of creatives which will be conscious of intersectional inclusion.

 

Sto5i is not an exclusive club - but not everyone can join.  To build a collective future we must seek to make room for anyone who needs it - though we will not take it as far as George Maciunas for Fluxus and declare that anyone can be an artist, and consequently that anyone can join.  Building a safe space means leaving out those who make it precisely the opposite. 

We seek to protect the community from anyone who consistently encourages by their actions or their work any stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination towards others based on race, age, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, physical and mental ability, language or immigration status. 

 

We are not an art school nor an educational team.  Surely, some things we publish / discuss on our platforms or events might end up being useful.  However, the collective was not made in an attempt to systematically provide educational content but to create a reliable system that will provide artists spaces and chances to help educate each other.  We want to be corrected and we want our community to be open to internal mistakes.  Art can have a powerful influence in social and political contexts, ergo one of our aims is for this space to filter out any creative work that might be harmful to vulnerable populations when introduced to the public.

 

We do not possess any physical space as a collective. In our concept of ‘space’, possession of property is inessential.  For Sto5i, creative spaces are the ones created intellectually by connecting creators and their practices; they have a locus in humans. 

 

We are not rebuilding the creative scene in Cyprus. Sto5i seeks to create a seperate community - one that will challenge and hopefully overshadow the currently dominant nepotistic systems.  We encourage our members to embrace their cultural roots as long as they are critical towards the ways they draw inspiration from them. 

 

George Maciunas, in Fluxus Manifesto (1963), concluded with: “FUSE the cadres of cultural, social and political revolutionaries into united front and action”.  Similarly,  we are aiming to raise a new wave of collective creative action, which will not have one specific structure but multiple forms, directions and faces, to represent the diversity of Cypriot culture through its people.