The study offers an examination of Cyprus’s participation in the Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1886 and the British Empire Exhibition of 1924 in London. Drawing on unpublished archival material, the study investigates for the first time the history of Cyprus’s exhibition representation and explores the colonial government’s early steps in cultural policy. By assembling and examining the Cyprus pavilions’ exhibits, architecture, decorations and exhibition catalogues, as well as the official correspondence, the study forms the following argument: Cyprus, at the 1886 and 1924 exhibitions, was curated, displayed and performed through the British imperial gaze. The exhibition committees were responsible for selecting what they considered characteristic specimens of Cyprus’s historical past and colonial present. The study argues that a perceived identity for Cyprus, conforming to the imperial agenda of colonial development and profit-making, was projected and communicated to British and foreign audiences through several and diverse visual media.
Cyprus, British empire, exhibition, colonial, cultural policy, art, identity, Palestine
Subject Index 1886; List of Exhibitions and Fairs between c.1910 and 1949, Chief Secretary’s Old Card Index, Principal Cutting No.21 Industries & Trade (Publicity), Sub-section No.21.7 Exhibitions & Fairs (R.B.38); SA1: 1890/1886; SA1: 1966/1886; SA1/473/1919/1; SA1/473/1919/2; SA1: 1191/1926/1; SA1: 659/1937.
Belcher, E. A. (1923, April 20) ‘The Dominion and Colonial Sections of the British Empire Exhibition 1924’, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, Vol.71, No. 3674. Available at http://www.jstor.org/stable/41356157, accessed 29 August 2018.
Coombes, A. E. (1987) ‘The Franco-British Exhibition: Packaging Empire in Edwardian England’, in J. Beckett and D. Cherry (eds.), The Edwardian Era. Oxford: Phaidon Press.
Coombes, A. E. (1997) Reinventing Africa: Museums, Material Culture and Popular Imagination in Late Victorian and Edwardian England. London: Yale University Press.
Fuchs R. and Herbert G. (2000) ‘Representing Mandatory Palestine: Austen St. Barbe Harrison and the Representational Buildings of the British Mandate in Palestine, 1922-37’. Architectural History, Vol. 43, No. 309: 281-333. Available at http://www.jstor.org/stable/1568698, accessed 29 August 2018.
Given, M., (1998) ‘Inventing the Eteocypriots: Imperialist Archaeology and the Manipulation of Ethnic Identity’. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Vol. 11, No. 1: 3-29.
Given, M., (1997) ‘Star of the Parthenon, Cypriot mélange: Education and Representation in colonial Cyprus’. Journal of Mediterranean Studies, Vol.7, No. 1: 59-82.
Greenhalgh, P., (1988) Ephemeral Vistas: The Expositions Universelles, Great Exhibitions and World’s Fairs, 1851-1939, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Hobsbawm, E., (1999) Industry and Empire: From 1750 to the Present Day. London: Penguin.
Hobsbawm, E., (1983) ‘Introduction: Inventing Traditions’. In E. Hobsbawm and T. Ranger (eds.), The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 1-14.
Hoffenberg, P. H., (2001) An Empire on Display: English, Indian and Australian Exhibitions from the Crystal Palace to the Great War. Berkeley, University of California Press.
Lang, R. H., (1886) Handbook to Cyprus (with Map of Island): and Catalogue of the Exhibits. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Collection, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Available
at http://www.jstor.org/stable/60230392, accessed 29 August 2018.
Lang, R. H., (1886) Report (with three woodcuts) upon the results of the Cyprus representation at the Colonial & Indian Exhibition of 1886. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Collection, Manchester:
Manchester University Press. Available at http://www.jstor.org/stable/60230404, accessed 29 August 2018.
Lawrence, G. C., (ed.) (1924) The British Empire Exhibition 1924: Official Guide. London: Fleetway Press.
MacKenzie, J. M. (1984) Propaganda and Empire: The Manipulation of British Opinion 1880-1960. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
McCarthy, J. (1887) ‘Reminiscences of the Colonial and Indian exhibition: a lecture delivered by John McCarthy and published for use in the schools of the island’, Foreign and Commonwealth
Office Collection, Manchester. Available at http://www.jstor.org/stable/60231296, accessed 29 August 2018.
Miller, T. and Yúdice G. (2002) Cultural Policy, London: SAGE Publications.
Roberts, N. E. (2007) ‘Palestine on Display: The Palestine Pavilion at the British Empire Exhibition of 1924’. The Arab Studies Journal, Vol.15, No. 1: 70-89. Available at http://www.jstor.org/stable/27934007, accessed 29 August 2018.
Robinson, J. (2013) ‘Introducing Pavilions: Big Worlds Under Little Tents’. Open Arts Journal, Vol. 2, No.4. Available at http://openartsjournal.org/issue-2/, accessed 29 August 2018.
Said, E.W. (1978) Orientalism. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Copyright: © University of Nicosia, Cyprus
All rights reserved.
No restrictions on photo-copying.
Quotations from The Cyprus Review are welcome, but acknowledgement of the source must be given.