Fifty years of Cypriot independence have been marked by the progressive spatial segregation of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. In public discourse, the island’s spaces are discussed largely in terms of the legitimisation of claims to ethno-national territory, whilst the discursive and non-discursive spaces opened up for officially sanctioned encounter, collaboration and coexistence, remain subject to the polarising scrutiny of the public sphere. In this paper I briefly discuss another kind of space to which I was alerted in the course of carrying out research on gambling in the north over the past 15 years. Gambling in coffee shops and at cockfights has traditionally been both semi-clandestine and tolerated, forming a kind of ‘third space’ in which people recalled Greek and Turkish Cypriots gambling together. The paper considers the range of gambling spaces and their potential as zones of indeterminacy and agency to counter the polarising tendencies of the Cypriot public sphere.
gambling, indeterminacy, stereotypes, reciprocity, cultural intimacy, gender, class
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