Murat Erdal Ilican


As a response to the call of the global Occupy Movement in 2011, a number of people occupied the Cypriot no-man’s land in the UN-controlled Buffer Zone of the capital Nicosia, a space that has historically divided the two ethnic communities, in the old part of town since the late 1950s. The re-insertion of human life on the border, in the midst of derelict buildings, barbed wire and under the watchful eyes of contesting sovereignties came under scrutiny and was contested by various actors in 2011 and 2012. The article is an ethnographic study of the Occupy Buffer Zone (OBZ) movement, which explores these contestations. It traces the development of OBZ from a small anti-authoritarian group to a movement that momentarily gained the support of various anti-establishment and anti-capitalist groups and individuals and its eventual dissolution after a violent police raid. In doing so it shows how a space for alternative politics was opened up, as well as the limits that claim to space hit upon.



Occupy movement, Cyprus, Buffer Zone, resistance, sovereignty, animal-human, anti-authoritarianism, anarchists, property

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