Thursday, July 08, 2010

Davlos/Kaplıca, Cyprus: my baby love graffiti

There is a painting of a love-struck heart and a dedication to "my baby" on the walls of the Chapel of Agios Sozomenos, outside Davlos/Kaplıca; and they may be especially interesting graffiti.

The bicommunal architectural survey of Cyprus Temples found: 'The tiles of the roof have been removed. There is no belltower. The altar is demolished.' Its doors and windows are also missing; its interior is a wreck (see image 1).

There are a lot of graffiti inside and out, including an intriguing engraving of an eye (see image 2); but I'm even more interested in the romantic graffiti.

Image 1: the gutted and graffitied interior of the chapel.

Image 2: eye engraving on the chapel wall.

On the west wall (image 3a), there is Serkan's name and an inscription to 'my baby [bebişim]' (see image 3b). On the south wall (image 4a), there is Murat's name and a painting of a heart pierced by an arrow, a love-struck heart (see image 4b).

Both of those names are male names; and uniquely amongst all of the graffiti, the names and the associated painting and inscription are in pink paint; again uniquely amongst all of the graffiti, bebişim and the love-struck heart have been crossed out in red paint. Notably, both of the names have been left untouched; only both of their declarations of love have been crossed out, erased, denied.

There is also an unfinished but still crossed-out word to the right of Murat's name, which began with "B"; it may have been another inscription to "my baby" (see image 4b).

Image 3a: the west wall of the chapel.

Image 3b: cropped, colour saturated photograph of Serkan's name and 'my baby' inscription upon the western chapel wall.

Image 4a: the south wall of the chapel.

Image 4b: cropped, colour-saturated photograph of Murat's name and love-struck heart painting on the southern chapel wall.

It seems possible that these are gay Turkish Cypriot or Turkish settler graffiti; and that homophobes have crossed them out.

No comments:

Post a Comment