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Colloquium: Being an Islander Project and the Islanders Exhibition: How to Do Research and Public Engagement Differently

Event Details:

  • Date:          Thursday, 1 June 2023
  • Time:         Starts: 16:00
  • Venue:       Fresnel Auditorium, Athalassa Campus, The Cyprus Institute.
                       This is a hybrid event, so you are also welcome to join us online on The Cyprus Institute YouTube channel and our Facebook event page.
  • Speaker:    Dr Anastasia Christophilopoulou, Senior Curator of the Ancient Mediterranean, Fitzwilliam Museum




Join us for the screening of the award-winning documentary Being an Islander, a documentary that explores the theme of insularity as a social construct and as a form of social and cultural identity. The documentary uses the island of Sifnos in the Cyclades as a research model to clarify what defines island identities in the Eastern Mediterranean, a place of biogeographical, historical, and evolutionary crossroad of three continents. Discussion will follow.

Producer: ArkLab Limited
Executive producers: Dimitrios Bouras, Anastasia Christophilopoulou
Director: Dimitrios Bouras




Being an Islander project was conceived in 2018 as an interdisciplinary project, with research clusters encompassing Insular and Mediterranean Archaeology, Social and Visual Anthropology, Archaeological analysis (mostly focusing on metals), a large public engagement project in collaboration with the diasporic communities of Cyprus, Greece and  Italy in the  United Kingdom, the exhibition ‘Islanders: The making of the Mediterranean’ at the  Fitzwilliam Museum, and the production of an award- winning documentary.

Being an Islander project, has a broad diachronic scope and applies integrative analytical approach. Our research, as well as subsequent exhibition themes integrate multi-scalar approaches to past human interaction within continental and island environments, while both our research work and corresponding public engagement programme, engaged works of contemporary artists whose creations contemplate what belonging to an island means.

In this brief lecture we take a retrospective look at the methodology and practice of the project and ponder whether it has achieved its interdisciplinary mandate.


About the Speaker

anastasia christophilopoulou webAnastasia is the Senior Curator of the Ancient Mediterranean at the Fitzwilliam Museum and a member of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research Cambridge. She is responsible for research and exhibition projects and permanent displays in the fields of Greek, Cypriot and Roman collections.

She is currently leading the 4-year research project ‘Being an Islander’: Art and Identity of the large Mediterranean Islands, (2019-2023) aiming to critically re-examine the concept of island life through material culture. The project will culminate in a large exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum (21/02/202- 05/06/2023) displaying archaeological finds and artworks from the islands of Cyprus, Sardinia and Crete.

She has previously curated an interdisciplinary exhibition on the history of codebreaking. Anastasia gained her PhD in Classical Archaeology at the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge (2008) and was a postdoctoral researcher at the Topoi Excellence Cluster, Freie Universität Berlin (2009-2010), prior to joining the Fitzwilliam Museum. She has also lectured for the University of London, Birkbeck College and is currently an external collaborator to two interdisciplinary research networks in Cyprus and Germany. Anastasia’s core research interests are in the Archaeology of the Mediterranean and of the Mediterranean islands, with emphasis on the cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus. She is particularly engaged with questions of island identity, mobility and migration in the Ancient World, as well as with anthropological perspectives to interpreting material culture, as well as the application of Visual Anthropology in documentary film. Anastasia has also worked widely in the fields of Public Archaeology, Sensory Archaeology and Public engagement with Mediterranean collections.

Anastasia is the co-Director of the West Area of Samos Archaeological project (WASAP), a 5-year intensive survey project on the island of Samos, Greece under the auspices of the British School at Athens. At Cambridge Anastasia is also a member of the Managing Committee of the Cambridge Centre for Greek Studies (CCGS). She is also a member of the Council for the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, a member of the Management Committee of the Society for Aegean Prehistory and a member of the ICOM UK and the ICOM International Committee for Education and Cultural Action. 





The colloquium will be in English and the event is open to the public.
This event is hybrid. You may connect to our live stream of the discussion, available on YouTube.
Images and/or recordings of our open public events may be used by The Cyprus Institute for dissemination purposes including print and digital media such as websites, press-releases, social media, and live streaming.


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Additional Info

  • Date: Thursday, 1 June 2023
  • Time: Starts: 16:00
  • Speaker: Dr Anastasia Christophilopoulou, Senior Curator of the Ancient Mediterranean, Fitzwilliam Museum

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