Ballad of the Olive Trees functions as a proposal and investigatory work into contemporary themes of post-conflict memory and the multi-faceted influences that the memory might succumb to. It follows the stories of former war prisoners and individuals who lost family members during the Cyprus 1974 invasion. The work questions the scale at which a local history is blown out of its contexts and how it becomes disembodied to fit selective narratives of socio-political interests. It explores the ways in which traumatic memories form narratives and how they are distributed upon their distinction from organic memories. The project’s processes scrutinise the processes of elimination memories suffer when infused into institutionalised spheres of collective memories.
Alexis Andreou is a London based documentary photographer and visual artist whose work deals with contemporary matters of war aftermath and bordering practises. His work is an intersection of issues around the agency of memory, the narration of unbiased history, the experience of trauma, and the role that visual culture and photographic representation plays in relation to those. The main focus of his work looks at the aftermath of the 1964-1974 events of conflict that took place in Cyprus between Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots prior to the division of the island and the population exchange that took place as a result of that.