Romios

Romios: Centre of the Universe

“Petra tou Romiou (Rock of the Greek), also known as Aphrodite’s Rock, is a sea stack in Pafos, Cyprus. According to one legend, this rock is the site of the birth of the goddess Aphrodite, perhaps owing to the foaming waters around the rock fragments, and for this reason it is known as Aphrodite’s Rock. A local myth is that any person who swims around the Aphrodite Rock will be blessed with eternal beauty.”1

“Cyprus…is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece.

The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC…As a strategic location in the Middle East, it was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333 BC by Alexander the Great. Subsequent rule by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire, Arab caliphates for a short period, the French Lusignan dynasty and the Venetians, was followed by over three centuries of Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878 (de jure until 1914).”2

Romios: “Enosis” / “Taksim”

“Cyprus was placed under British administration based on [the] Cyprus Convention in 1878 and formally annexed by Britain in 1914.

While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders and Turkey in the 1950s. Turkish leaders for a period advocated the annexation of Cyprus to Turkey as Cyprus was considered an “extension of Anatolia” by them; while since the 19th century, the majority Greek Cypriot population and its Orthodox church had been pursuing union with Greece, which became a Greek national policy in the 1950s.

Following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. In 1963, the 11-year intercommunal violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots started, which displaced more than 25,000 Turkish Cypriots and brought the end of Turkish Cypriot representation in the republic.”3

 

Romios: Briefest of Moments

“On 15 July 1974, a coup d’état was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis, the incorporation of Cyprus into Greece. This action precipitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, which led to…the displacement of over 150,000 Greek Cypriots and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots.

A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983; the move was widely condemned by the international community, with Turkey alone recognizing the new state. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute.”4

“We’re on this planet for the briefest of moments in cosmic terms, and I want to spend that time thinking about what I consider the deepest questions.”5

Prof. Brian Greene

About

This website hosts a collection of photographs titled “Centre of the Universe: An exploration of Cyprus’s place in space and time”.

The collection is comprised of twenty photographs which seek to investigate Cyprus’s place within its broader cosmological context. By juxtaposing features of its landscape with the milky way galaxy and other celestial objects, the series attempts to explore the island’s size and age relative to its cosmic surroundings. Through this exploration the series aims to confront viewers with fundamental questions about their relationship with the island, its people and its conflicts, both present and historical.

The photographs were shot between 2014 and 2016 and are accompanied by various captions derived from publicly available sources. The original text can be accessed via the captions’ footnotes.

About

Αυτή η ιστοσελίδα φιλοξενεί μια συλλογή φωτογραφιών με τίτλο: “Κέντρο του Σύμπαντος: Εξερευνώντας την θέση της Κύπρου στον χώρο και τον χρόνο”.

Η συλλογή αποτελείται από είκοσι φωτογραφίες που εξετάζουν την θέση της Κύπρου εντός του ευρύτερου κοσμολογικού της πλαισίου. Αντιπαραθέτοντας χαρακτηριστικά του Κυπριακού τοπίου με τον γαλαξία στον οποίο βρισκόμαστε και άλλα ουράνια αντικειμένα, η συλλογή εξερευνά το μέγεθος και την ηλικία της Κύπρου σε σχέση με το κοσμολογικό της περιβάλλον. Μέσω αυτής της εξερεύνησης η σειρά έχει ως στόχο να φέρει τους θεατές της αντιμέτωπους με θεμελιώδη ερωτήματα που αφορούν την σχέση τους με το νησί, τους κατοίκους του και τις διαμάχες του, τόσο παρελθοντικές όσο και παρούσες.

Οι φωτογραφίες τραβήχτηκαν μεταξύ 2014 και 2016 και συνοδεύονται από διάφορες λεζάντες που προέρχονται από δημόσια διαθέσιμες πηγές. Οι πηγές αυτές είναι προσβάσιμες μέσω των υποσημειώσεων.

About

Bu websitesinde “Kainatın Merkezi: Kıbrıs’ın Uzay ve Zamandaki Yeri” başlıklı fotoğraf seçkisini bulabilirsiniz.

Seçkide Kıbrıs’ın kozmolojik olarak yerini sorgulayan yirmi fotoğraf yer alıyor. Ada coğrafyası Samanyolu ve göksel cisimlerle yan yana getirilerek Kıbrıs’ın onu çevreleyen evrene kıyasla büyüklüğü ve yaşı sorgulanıyor. Seçki bu vesileyle izleyenleri gerek günümüzdeki gerek tarihteki ada, halkı ve çatışmaları hakkında temel sorular sormaya davet ediyor.

2014-2016 döneminde çekilmiş olan fotoğraflar açık kaynaklardan elde edilmiş muhtelif yazıyla takdim ediliyor. Orjinal kaynaklara dipnotlardan ulaşılabilir.

Email

centreofspaceandtime@gmail.com

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Credits

I received a lot of help from a number of people in the planning, shooting and editing stage of these photos. I wanted to acknowledge their contribution and offer my gratitude to:

Loizos for his sage advice, willingness to always listen, supreme navigation skills, encyclopaedic knowledge of Cyprus, company in the dark and for generally putting up with the madness over the entire period of production,

Lambros for being the co-pilot on my very first “mission” to collect photons from a galaxy far far away and for getting me to point the camera in the right direction,

Suleyman for going beyond the call of duty and way outside his driving comfort zone in order to ferry the team up a mountain and assuage its collective Greek Cypriot paranoia,

Eliana for not letting me let it slide, for giving me the confidence that this work was worth sharing and for schooling me on the importance of hashtags,

Arda for taking time out from saving lives to sort out a last minute translation,

Alex for making the website design process painless and for coming up with some amazing ideas on how to present it all,

Andrew for introducing me to Alex and for his infectious can do attitude,

All the family and friends who offered encouragement, comments, feedback and ideas along the way and who are far too many to mention individually,

The good people at Canon, Sigma, Manfrotto, Adobe and Photopills whose amazing equipment and software makes photos such as these possible,

All the other astrophotography geeks out there who took the time (and had the kindness) to share their techniques and tips online,

Cyprus, its people and its history,

And finally to Constantinos who gifted me the ability to collect light and without whose incredible act of kindness none of this would have ever happened.

 

Gear

Hardware

Canon EOS 5DSR
Canon EOS 6D
Canon EOS 1DX
Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Sigma 24mm f1.4 DG HSM Art
Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L USM
Canon EF 16-35mm f2.8L II USM
Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L USM IS

Manfrotto befree & 190 series tripods
Hähnel Giga T Pro II Remote Release
Photix Aion Remote release

Software

Adobe Lightroom CC (OSX)
Adobe Photoshop CC (OSX)
Ralph D. Hill LLC Starry Landscape Stacker (OSX)
Photopills (iOS)

References

Romios

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petra_tou_Romiou
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus
  5. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/briangreen551427.html

Stavrovouni

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stavrovouni_Monastery
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_history_of_Cyprus#Christianity
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysostomos_II_of_Cyprus#cite_note-3 
  4. http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/im-atheist-stephen-hawking-god-space-travel-n210076

Buffavento

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffavento_Castle
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffavento_Castle
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Empire
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus_in_the_Middle_Ages
  5. http://www.mcw.gov.cy/mcw/DA/DA.nsf/0/5EECD7DFA89F888EC2257276003CDF4C?OpenDocument
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus_in_the_Middle_Ages
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus_in_the_Middle_Ages
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffavento_Castle
  9. http://bit.ly/2lMUnIB
  10. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/michiokaku523311.html

Sintis

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panagia_tou_Sinti_Monastery
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_Nostra
  3. http://www.europanostra.org/what-we-do/
  4. https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/davidhume389827.html

Finikas

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foinikas,_Cyprus
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/20160410105555/http://prio-cyprus-displacement.net/default.asp?id=492
  3. https://web.archive.org/web/20160410105555/http://prio-cyprus-displacement.net/default.asp?id=492
  4. https://web.archive.org/web/20160410105555/http://prio-cyprus-displacement.net/default.asp?id=492
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/08/peace-cyprus-cypriots-conflict-talks \
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/24/hopes-high-about-once-in-a-lifetime-chance-to-reunify-cyprus
  8. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/r/richardpf151727.html

Proof of concept

Outtakes