A brief history of Varosha/Famagusta:
The district of Varosha in the city of Famagusta, is located on the northeastern coast of Cyprus, a divided island. Following the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and subsequent evacuation of Famagusta by its Greek-Cypriot residents, the Turkish army surrounded six square kilometers of the Varosha tourist district in barbed wire and has held it as a ghost town since. As the residents fled in haste, they left laundry hanging on the lines and half cooked rice on the stove. Forty-four years later, Varosha remains a shell of a once vibrant community; a mere bargaining chip for Turkey's negotiations with Cyprus. Its crumbling buildings are guarded by armed troops to this day, as its aging citizens continue to await a return home.
Waking Famagusta provides a historic snapshot of one of the most conflict-ridden regions in Europe revealed through a mother-daughter story of ancestral awakening. In 2003, Vasia Markides, captivated by her mother’s stories of her birthplace, Famagusta, decided to cross the divide and visit her maternal ancestral land – a trip that would prove to be life-changing. The film follows Vasia’s 15-year fixation with Famagusta and her mother’s dream of bringing divided Greek and Turkish Cypriots together to create a model ecocity at the crossroads of three continents.
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