Nicosia, December 10-31st: It takes a village to raise a child + How to dress for the end of the world, by Astrid Johnson and the Eimaste Parents Cooperative

We practice and invite a simple and heart-centered way of life through nature- and community-focused cooperation and sharing. We wish to be part of a transformation of the concept of “worth” and we come together to create a harmonious space and invite the co-creation of opportunities for
– supporting artists working with cooperative, minimal, and nature-respecting approaches,
– donation, exchange, and barter of goods and services,
– cooperative and mindful childcare,
– co-working space development,
– alternative education and arts-based peer-to-peer learning,
– skill sharing and DIY support,
– minimal and low waste living,
– connecting with other cooperative initiatives around the island

Pop-up Festival Offerings (preliminary)
– Sale of handmade goods
– Astrid’s dresses and puppets,
– Baskets and artifacts made by hand picked natural materials by Lital + Vinas
– Take-what-you-need box (items for donation: books, toys, clothes)
– Goods for Exchange
– Skill-sharing Notice Board,
– Workshops and events
– Basket-weaving workshop
– Face-painting
– Family workshops
– Wednesday afternoon open playdate
– Weekly Parents Circle led by Erika Wieser (online)
– Flute-making by Vinas
– Open Scores gathering

 


The Eimaste Parents Cooperative is a nature-focused community-building initiative, connecting people and families whose needs are not quite met by the local extended-family support system (e.g. single parent homes, homeschooling or unschooling families interested in skill-sharing, families in transition from abroad, families of children with additional needs), especially during lockdowns and isolation. The Eimaste Parents Cooperative has been providing support in the alternative education community island-wide while coordinating regular offerings that cultivate solidarity, mutual assistance, and an extended notion of kinship.

The Eimaste Parents Cooperative is part of Eimaste, a rogue artist residency project made up of various locations around Cyprus, with an emphasis on engaged and restorative artistic practices of freedom, community, and co-presence. Since 2018 eimaste has been growing into a network of places to gather in spontaneous symposia, to write / compose cures for political illusions, establish software freedom, eat green food, dance and tell stories in circles, go for walks, and be together to thank and celebrate life. Eimaste receives people to be in kitchens and gardens, to travel the island together, and to play and work with children and animals. An energetic place for creation and to exercise living together. Eimaste connects a broad network of [recovering] educators across fields and different kinds of institutions in a tender deconstruction of pedagogic and schooling practices, and free play.

Astrid Johnson is a dressmaker, puppet-maker, and contemporary artist drawing inspiration from nature. “How to dress for the end of the world:” Artist’s dress and woodwork collection. Corsets, dresses, jackets, blouses and small sculpture accessories, created in the artist’s personal vision of the steampunk aesthetic. A painter contemplating the organic fluidity of contemporary times as reflected in nature-inspired forms of steampunk.

Lital + Vinas fell in love while picking artichokes at a Peace in the Middle East festival and have been together since. They arrived in Cyprus as asylum seekers and spent their first year in homelessness, living outdoors and honing a natural and radically minimal way of life.

Chrystalleni Loizidou: My core skill-set has had to do with care and the study of creativity (curation, education through art, and a PhD in Cultural Studies focusing on public art and conflict resolution). This means that I am sensitive to the beauty and meaning around me, of the potential for community connection or discord, and of sound ways to support and help groups flourish. I have previously applied myself to developing and coordinating big and small internationally funded projects, teaching visual literacy, design history, and cultural studies courses at different universities, setting up cooperative community projects with a focus on libre technologies and participatory art, and organising hackathons and unconferences to connect technologists, makers, and artists. Since the birth of my son, I have been retraining in care work and early years pedagogy. I model and cultivate in myself what I’d like to have around me: versatile design and making-skills, emotional intelligence and non-violent communication, community through sharing, music, dance, and connection with nature through cultivation and respectful foraging. I am also always working on writing, which I see as a world-building, transformational craft.

Erika Wieser: I am a Kindergarten Teacher since 1978. Two years working in the Linz Tobacco Factory Kindergarten in Upper Austria showed me that I didn’t know anything about “difficult children” and that I had to continue my education. I went to Vienna for the next two years to complete the school for children with disabilities and then worked for the next 3 years in Christoph Lesigang’s outpatient department for children with multiple disabilities. Professor Lesigang was an excellent anthroposophic doctor for children and I was lucky to learn a lot from his behavior with children and parents. I worked with the children and gave advice to the parents. After the wonderful years in Vienna I came by accident to Greece where I fell in love with my husband Dimitris Papaioannou, a painter of Byzantine icons. When we came back to Austria, I worked for the next 10 years with children with severe disabilities in a dedicated kindergarten. In 1994 my daughter Myriam came to this world and changed my life. In 1996 I started studying Waldorf Education in Vienna which lasted 3 years, completing my final thesis on the subject of the tactile sense. For 5 years I was special assistant in the two Waldorf Kindergartens in Linz for children with additional needs, and finally, 13 years before my retirement, I started and led a natural Kindergarten on a farm focusing on Waldorf Education. Beside my work I taught for 10 years Basal Stimulation for Kindergarten teachers for children with additional needs. For three years I was working with adolescents with very difficult childhoods and trauma from the war in Bosnia. I am a trainer of health gymnastics since 1985. I am a beekeeper since 2005. Now I am in pension and I am lucky to do what I like most: to share my experiences.

Open Scores is an online and offline interactive platform, created as a response to increasingly hostile and often regressive social environments, modes of thinking and interacting. Open Scores organises and curates discussion groups which are called in assembly and in communion in order to engage with aspects of the self and of society which inadvertently progress and move forward. The constant evolution of the individual and collective psyche is an indisputable fact and undeniable cornerstone of human history and society. Open Scores facilitates this evolution by bringing into light seemingly “tough” personal and social issues and matters which often revolve around relationships, sexuality, spirituality, various catalysts of the human mind and body, the structural manifold of society and the inherent and evolved conditions through which human beings inter-operate with themselves and their environment.

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