Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Cyprus fieldwork: Ayios Dimitrios Church graffiti

On the 19th of January 2006, I wrote down some graffiti as I saw it, including some on Ayios Dimitrios Church, then berated myself for my performance in my language course placement test.

At 11.55am, I noted that Ayios Dimitrios Church had "'ekklisia' ['church'] written on it twice", on a wall and hand basin, which must have been "two failed or interrupted attempts to write 'church=...' something, as the '=' is visible on the graffiti on the hand basin".

At 12pm I noted some "barely legible, possibly illegible graffiti on a shop's side wall", which began, "'zito agonas...'".

Then, at 1.20pm I saw "'5/3/51' written into concrete near Famagusta Gate" and, at 1.35pm, "'29/5/61' in a kerb", and "'Anan Anan Anatheman' ['Annan Annan Anathema']" on a nearby wall, echoing the 'Aman Annan Anathema-n' that Marc Dubin (2005: 274) recorded.

At 11.50pm, wallowing after I failed the level two written Greek language placement test, with the lowest score I'd ever "achieved" in an exam, I bemoaned the fact that, "I'm going to be learning the Greek alphabet and how to say 'hello', rather than the language necessary to translate monuments' inscriptions or how to ask if I can take photographs of or near the Dead Zone". "Still", I noted, I would keep myself busy, as:
  • "I will (have to) catch up on my historical research (which I hadn't started as I was first working towards going to Kosovo, then working up the data generated during the feasibility study there)";
  • "I will (be able to) conduct photographic surveys now the days are warm and bright"; and
  • "I will (try to) move, in some cases, from survey or conversational interviewing to in-depth interviewing".
Dubin, M. 2005: The Rough Guide to Cyprus. London: Rough Guides.

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