Alexandra Louka — is an artist whose work speaks about the Cypriot dispute as a social division. We found her website in our library of the websites created with IM Creator and decided to share her story and artworks with our users. The conflict that’s portrayed in her works usually aren’t headlines in the everyday news; however, this does not make it irrelevant.
Get to know Alexandra through her answers to our five creator questions this week.
Who are you, and what do you do?
Hi, I am Alexandra Louka, [or] Alex, an Australian/Cypriot visual artist having just completed my bachelor[‘s] of [f]ine [a]rt in the Netherlands. I currently work with video art and short films, most of them revolving around social relations. More specifically, I work within the context of social division shown through the example of the Cypriot divide of North and South. Although this is my ‘case study’ per se, I am influenced by writers, movements and ideologies in order to open up the hi(story) even further and explore it within different frameworks.
How did you get started?
I began by painting backgrounds and through the protective environment of the art academy, found my way towards video and film. I also explored possibilities within this medium to become social commentary through narration and storytelling. I have since then adored the process of capturing on film and documenting whatever I see fit as poetic, interesting and beautiful.
What sets you apart?
Although issues of social inclusion and exclusion are not new to the modern world, I feel it is an interesting issue to discuss in relation to Cyprus’ history. It is not a country that is particularly spoken about often; however, the issue remains dominant on the island itself. I am coming to the conclusion that with these kinds of issues, there is a great deal of animosity between the opposing communities (which can be expected); however, it is revealing itself to have a much more personal link to the individual’s identity. Perhaps, if there is a root in the individuals’ personal life and identity with regards to these struggles, it can be an important key to explore in order to work through issues of hate and inclusivity. A combination of personal involvement and a hard, logical approach could provide interesting outcomes.
What obstacles did you have to overcome?
I’ve become very aware of the difference between living in a country and debating its politics versus living abroad and discussing them, and criticizing, from afar. This situation was present as I left Cyprus to study in The Hague, Netherlands. In many ways, living abroad gives you more freedom to express your ideas without the fear of social backlash, a somewhat safe position; meanwhile, on the other hand, it also reduces your contact with that country, making you more of an outsider to the situation. I believe this balance will always be a difficult factor to weigh when delving into this subject.
Do you have any tips for other creators?
Present yourself exactly as you desire. It is difficult to balance the ideas and expectations of the public, your inner circle, and what you truly wish to present. In my experience, it is worth much more to start from yourself and move forward from there.
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