Weaving for Peace in Deryneia
Klotho, an informal women’s group in Deryneia, Cyprus, is the story of five women brought together by their love for weaving and crochet as well as their determination to preserve Cypriot culture. In 2016, Florentia Chatzigeorgiou, Niki Prokopiou, Charoula Demetriou, Maro Oikonomou and Vasoula Chatzigeorgiou decided to meet regularly and work on creating handmade products for sale, the proceeds of which go to charity.
“Weaving, in its different forms, is something we learned in school and through our mothers. We knew each other from the time we were young and over the years our common interests as well as a need to give back to the communities we belong to united us into this collective,” says Ms. Vasoula Chatzigeorgiou.
“Being a part of Klotho and meeting regularly has proven to be immensely rewarding. We get to be creative together, contribute to making the lives of people less fortunate than us a little easier and are each other’s support structure,” adds Ms. Prokopiou.
"Any creative pursuit brings people together. My own artists collective has embraced this philosophy and Klotho echoes it," avers Foteina A. Vasileiou, core member of an art-based group in the same area.
With the opening of the crossing point at Deryneia in 2018, the members of Klotho have started reaching out to like-minded women across the divide.
“For a long time, we were unable to meet our Turkish Cypriot sisters. Now, the pathways to greater connections and larger networks seem to be opening up and we intend to take every step we can to forge lasting relationships across the island,” avers Ms. Florentia Chatzigeorgiou.
The group is currently working on a bicommunal project with members of the Famagusta Cultural Association to restore traditional looms and intends to develop capacities of Cypriot women by teaching them to weave and building their skills. They hope to be able to transfer the knowledge to younger women and provide employment opportunities to women presently outside the job market.