In many societies, especially those divided through ethnonational conflicts, history is often used to propagate a narrative focusing on the suffering of the nation and to legitimate its political goals. The suffering of others is silenced, their historical existence is questioned, and socio-cultural interactions are ignored. This has been how the “History of Cyprus” has been presented in the history schoolbooks of the two parts of the divided island.

Yiannis Papadakis(University of Cyprus) has led a project on history education at the PRIO Cyprus Centre, resulting in the PRIO Report History Education in Divided Cyprus: A Comparison of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot Schoolbooks on the “History of Cyprus”.

At this seminar, Papadakis will discuss his research on the history books of the two sides of the divided Cyprus, and then reflect on the structural similarities with one of the most dominant forms of story-telling nowadays, namely the Hollywood film, also discussing the moral implications of such stories.

The Saladin Daysat The House of Literature in Oslo 7-9 March are focusing on the writing of history in conflict areas, namely Israel/Palestine. This PRIO seminar adds the Cyprus dimension to this debate.

Related literature is Jan-Erik Smildens MA thesis 'Histories of Cyprus: The disputed years iof Ottoman rule 1571-1878'.