The Event of a Thread

The event of a thread - Seminar


On Saturday 10 October, at 10:30am, NeMe and ifa would like to invite you to the Limassol Archives Building for the seminar “The Event of a Thread. Global Narratives in Textiles.”

Language of seminar: English

How the textile industry generated a vibrant women’s movement in colonial Cyprus

by Thekla Kyritsi

At the beginning of the 20th century, Cyprus was slowly transitioning from a traditional and patriarchal framework toward a modern—yet male-dominant—industrial society. Within these conditions, women were massively employed in the first textile mills. Although the transition from a home-based agricultural economy to industrial production created the historical preconditions that would eventually lead to women’s emancipation, the industry was oppressive and brutal toward its workers. In this context, the textile factories were largely recruiting women and children as cheap labour, paying them half the salaries of their male co-workers. In 1938, women workers went on one of the longest strikes that ever occurred in Cyprus causing an unprecedented movement of solidarity across the island.

Local attire as the sum of memories and beliefs of the local population in Cyprus. How dress is connected with the political environment.

by Noly Moyssi

Modes of dress are determined and influenced by considerations such as the economic structure and prosperity of a place, the moral and spiritual values in a society. Fashions do not arise on their own, but result from broader changes, e.g. urban, economic, social or cultural. Nevertheless, fashion does not remain stationary but changes through the years, following the trends of times. In this sense it is pertinent to briefly review certain events that occurred during that time and shaped dress in Cyprus which became property of various nation states who left their mark on the local culture and dress. After the Lusignans (1191-1489) and the Venetians (1489-1570), Cyprus became part of the Ottoman Empire (1571-1878). For the three centuries that followed, the island was transformed; new administration, new systems of taxation, different use of land, resources and economy. As such, material dress culture can function as a testimony for both style of the local population in Cyprus and as reflection of the political environment.

Speaker bios

Noly Moyssi is a Historical Archives Administrator at the Patticheion Municipal Museum, Historical Archives, Research Center of Limassol and has been working in the field of history and culture since 2004. She is also an affiliate lecturer at the University of Cyprus on the subject of contemporary and traditional culture and culture through technology of fabrics, dyes and dress. Moyssi was awarded a PhD in Traditional Culture from the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Cyprus. She received her M.Litt. in Museum and Gallery Studies from the University of St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, 2007 and her Degree in Archaeology and History of Art from the National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. During 2015 Moyssi worked as an Affiliate Researcher for the Cyprus Institute’s project “History and Culture of the Cypriot Dress,” providing research on traditional clothing and its documentation for the Dioptra digital library.

Thekla Kyritsi is a founding member of the Cypriot NGO, Center for Gender Equality and History (KIIF), where she now works as the director of the organisation. She is also a PhD Candidate in Political Science and History with her thesis focusing on the history of women’s movements in Cyprus. From 2014-2016, she was a research Associate at Cyprus Labour Institute and previously in 2013 she worked for the Cyprus project The Consequences of Financial Crisis on the lives of young women funded by “Youth in Action.”


Limassol Archives location

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Finally we would like to remind you that the exhibition Event of a Thread is open until October 24, 2020.

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