Pafos - 2017


28th & 29th January 2017 – Pafos Town Hall Square

On the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea, which reminds us that Pafos – the result of their love affair– is a real artwork since Galatea was a statue that came to life, the main goal of the Open Air Factory is to redefine Pafos as a place of creativity and cultural production.                 

The welcoming on the 28thand 29thof January 2017 is not only addressed towards the visitors, but also towards the citizens of Pafos, in the sense that the town they are used to live is gradually becoming a different one.

With the participation of local and foreign artists and the presence of people from all over Cyprus, Europe and elsewhere (as well as from our“sister” European Capital of Culture, Aarhus in Denmark),with a series of exhibitions, music, dance, projections, narratives, light and sound, the ceremony links the past to the future and people from different social groups. In other words, it generates a vivid present- and opens a year of celebration throughout 2017 rather than a one-off event that everybody will wish to never end.

Tales of two cities

12 – 28 February 2017 – Palia Ilektriki (Photography exhibition)

Cyprus and Malta, two islands that share historic passions, adventures and tragedies, but also brilliant civilisations and a common natural beauty are connected through the title of the European Capital of Culture since the city of Pafos is nominated for the year 2017 and the city of Valletta for the year 2018. In this frame, the photographer David Pisani travels to Cyprus in order to record images from life on the island and then connect those with respective images from his homeland, Malta.

Tours and Traces

Pafos city and district – February to March 2017

A completely different tour in the city centre of Pafos, but also in the region and the smaller communities of the Pafos district, that urges inhabitants and visitors to see Pafos from a different perspective. The tour follows the traces of history and chooses as landmarks hidden places, while it also investigates things that the locals might not even observe.

The project aims to raise the public’s awareness about issues such as the abandonment of the urban centre and the countryside, to provide information about the new models of development and management of those areas, and to give prominence to key problems of the Cypriot society, such as the gap between the island’s two communities. Last but not least, the project aims to point out the importance of social responsibility and to highlight the need for competent authorities and individuals to protect the country’s cultural heritage.

Terra Mediterranea: In Action

NiMAC –3rd March / Fabrica’s Cave, St. Lambrianos Catacomb, Pafos Castle Square– April

A collaboration between the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre (NiMAC) – Pierides Foundation and the European Capital of Culture - Pafos2017; where art acts as an intermediary and mediator connecting Cyprus (Nicosia, Pafos) and Germany (Leipzig). In autumn 2016, the same exhibition will be held in the Halle 14 Centre for Contemporary Art. The exhibition aims to detect, investigate and present the overview of contemporary artists around key socio-political, cultural and economic issues, the relations between East and West, as well as Europe’s role in relation to the current landscape of economic, political, religious, social and existential identity card.

Berlin Philharmonic

Supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Cyprus and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation

1st of May, 20:00, Pafos Castle Square

The Berlin Philharmonic is one of Europe’s greatest orchestras, with hundreds of concerts, performances and recordings all over the world. The Artistic Director of the Berlin Philharmonic was for many years the legendary conductor Herbert von Karajan. Since 1991, every year on the 1st of May the Berlin Philharmonic organises its annual European Concert, which is broadcasted live on German TV (ARD) to many European and Asian countries, while it is also broadcasted globally on the web. In 2017, the great conductor Mariss Jansons, who was for many years the Artistic Director of the Vienna Philharmonic, will conduct the Berlin Philharmonic for the European Concert in Pafos. Apart from its artistic excellence, which is highlighted only by the presence of the Philharmonic, the Concert contributes significantly to the promotion of the European idea and it gives prominence to the European dimension for the implementation of the European Capital of Culture in Pafos.

One Touch of Venus and Others

20th May, 20:30, Pafos Castle Square

Pafos is the legendary homeland of Venus, and the city has long been associated with the goddess of love and beauty. The famous German singer and actress Ute Lemper meets the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra in Pafos in a performance dedicated to the passion for love and life, which is inspired by Ogden Nash’s famous musical One Touch of Venus and other compositions by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht.


With the collaboration and support of the Goethe – Institute and the Folkwang University of Germany

12 and 13 May, 20:30, House of Aion - UNESCO Archeological Park of Pafos

A theatrical performance inspired by the comedy of Aristophanes that gives prominence to the cultural heritage of Pafos as it will take place in the space of a Roman period villa with beautiful mosaics, situated in the famous UNESCO Archeological Park of Pafos. The comedy reflects the global dimension of warfare and is a multilingual production directed by Brian Michaels, with the participation of 12 young actors from Cyprus, Brazil and Nigeria.  The play is a dialogue between Africa, South America and Europe, under the sounds of a four member band from Germany and it is directed by Brian Michaels.

The Challenger with Yamato Taiko Drum Ensemble

With the collaboration and support of the EU – Japan Fest Organisation

30 June, 19:00 & 21:00, Town Hall Square

Eastern drums, rhythms, colours and the samurai tradition travel to Pafos with the Yamato ensemble that brings along with it all the magic of the land of the rising sun.  The Yamato drummers preserve the Japanese art of percussion and in Pafos they will present a “taiko” (drum) music performance in the Pafos Town Hall Square.

SUMMER HIGHLIGHT – Eternal Voyages

1st July 2017 – Pafos Castle Square

Eternal Travels is the title of the summer event of the European Capital of Culture – Pafos2017, which will take place on the 1st of July 2017. Inspired by the second thematic, World Travelers, the biggest summer event narrates the story of travelers from ancient times up to today. Conquerors, visitors, wonderers, pilgrims but also refugees and immigrants, make up the canvas of an impressive spectacle, based on modern technology, music and performing arts. Parades of artists, individuals, groups and ships, accompanied by projections, lighting and special media, will create a spectacular spectacle in front of the Pafos Castle and the surrounding area.

Trojan Women

7 and 8 July, 20:30, Pafos Ancient Odeon

A contemporary play inspired by the ancient Greek drama “Trojan Women” by Euripides. A production directed by the famous Greek director Theodoros Terzopoulos and performed by a multinational group of actors coming from countries with divided cities: Cyprus, Bosnia and Palestine. The set design is by the famous Greek artist Jannis Kounelis, the patriarch of Arte Povera.


1 to 30 August, 20:30, Pafos Municipal Beach

Cinema on the Beach: An innovative platform establishing a summer open-air cinema on the beach and another legacy programme of Pafos2017. SeeFest was launched in the summer of 2014 and every summer it steadily increases its popularity with both locals and visitors as it features films with different annual themes: In 2014 the theme was Music, in 2015 Gastronomy, in 2016 People and Cities and in 2017 the theme will be World Journeys, Travellers and Migrants. In 2017, a parallel programme entitled Moving Screens will travel to the rural communities of the Pafos region.

Moon & Stars

August 2017, Rock of Aphrodite and the Pafos Ancient Odeon

The project Moon & Stars is a platform of high profile performances and events. World famous artists will perform in evocative open air locations of the Pafos region, like the Rock of Aphrodite and the Pafos Ancient Odeon. The events under the moon and the stars combine lyrics and music, images and choreography, myth and history, while they also resemble a dome above Pafos, Europe and the world. Although according to mythology the Rock is the birthplace of the mythical Aphrodite, the project reminds us that the Goddess was never actually born here, she just arrived here just as so many travellers, migrants and refugees who were seeking shelter in Pafos. Vladimir and Vovka Ashkenazy, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Giran Bregovic and Charlotte Rampling are just a few of the artists who will perform under the starlight of Pafos.

The Many Faces of Venus

September to December 2017, A.G. Leventis Gallery - Nicosia

An international exhibition, organized by the A.G. Leventis Gallery in Nicosia in collaboration with Pafos2017, will bring art-treasures from leading European Museums to the island for the first time, illustrating myths and legends intimately linked with Venus, goddess of love, and her birthplace, Cyprus. The exhibition will dwell on the multi-faceted stories surrounding Venus as they are told in the West, through art and text, after the Renaissance and through to Modernism. Visits and tours in Nicosia will be organised from Pafos, but prior to that a presentation of the exhibition will take place in Pafos Municipal Gallery on the 6th of June 2017.

Wondering together in Mouttalos

20 – 24 September 2017, Mouttalos area

Mouttalos is an area in Pafos that does not belong to anybody, neither to its original Turkish Cypriot owners who had to abandon it in 1974 nor to the Greek Cypriot refugees who went to live there after the invasion. The project’s actions aim to highlight the area’s history by narrating stories of the two communities. Venues will be used as unconventional stages for small scale events, back yards will become landmarks in order to follow a historical route and listen to the area’s stories. Of course, both Greek and Turkish Cypriot artists will take part in the events in order to reconnect the past to the present and to bring the two communities closer to each other. Meanwhile, the area’s narrow streets will be filled with people who will set up flea markets for flowers, plants and food and visitors who will join this tour throughout history.

Remote Pafos – Rimini Protokoll

27 September – 4 October and 3 to 8 November 2017, Open Khan

The Rimini Protokoll group, based in Germany, is considered one of the most important and one of the pioneers of theatre in Europe. The group consists of Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel who have been working together since 2002, continuously developing new theatre forms and methods in order to light up other perspectives of our reality. In 2017, the great artists will include Pafos in their original excursions (under the general title Remote X), giving a performance - tour in the city centre for 50 people at a time. During the tour, there will be special sound effects for streets, parking areas, churches and yards, changing therefore the way we see our city. For this interactive performance the Rimini Protokoll group will collaborate with Cypriot actors with the support and collaboration of Pro Helvetia foundation, the Goethe Institute in Cyprus and the Embassy of Switzerland.

Monodrama Festival

23 to 30 October 2017, Markideon Theatre and Attikon

The first official International Monodrama Festival of Pafos will take place in October 2017 and will include internationally acclaimed performances, as well as local productions resulting from the International Monodrama Showcase of 2015 and the Monodrama Platform of 2016. The Monodrama Festival will become a legacy programme of Pafos2017 that will position Pafos on the international map. Performances that have won awards in international festivals of Europe, Asia and Middle East are invited to Pafos, establishing thus Monodrama as an autonomous genre with high quality performances.


28 and 29 November 2017, Open Khan

A project of the European Capital of Culture Donostia –San Sebastian2016 that travels to Cyprus and in collaboration with the European Capital of Culture Pafos2017 examines the coexistence of the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots on the island nowadays. A group from San Sebastian has travelled to Cyprus, has met with artists, intellectuals and ordinary people, and has examined the possibilities for a peaceful coexistence that goes beyond barriers and divisions. The project forms part of the Travelling Embassies programme that consists of totally 10 documentaries from different cities that face some kind of conflict and has already been presented in the San Sebastian Film Festival in 2016.

Japanese eyes on Cyprus

14 to 24 December 2017, Open Khan

The European Capital of Culture Pafos2017 and the Home for Cooperation invite the Japanese artist Masahiro Usami to Cyprus to photograph both the island and its people. The programme is a bridge between Japan and Europe and it is implemented for many years with the collaboration and support of the EU-Japan Fest Organisation. The photos will be exhibited in the Open Khan in Pafos and in the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia, as the venues themselves aim to become a bridge between ethnic groups, people and communities, proving that culture can overcome any kind of barriers.