Waking Famagusta

(formerly known as The Famagusta Ecocity Project)


"Waking Famagusta" provides a historic snapshot of one of the most conflict-ridden regions in Europe, revealed through a mother-daughter story of ancestral awakening and the birth of an international urban reclamation movement.  Two divided communities reunite after 44 years of separation by pursuing a shared dream to revive a derelict ghost town into a thriving Ecocity. 

The district of Varosha, within the city of Famagusta, is located on the northeastern coast of Cyprus, a divided island. Following the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and subsequent evacuation of Famagusta by its Greek-Cypriot residents, the Turkish army surrounded six square kilometers of the Varosha tourist district in barbed wire and has held it as a ghost town since.  As the residents fled in haste, they left laundry hanging on the lines and half cooked rice on the stove.  Forty-four years later, Varosha remains a shell of a once vibrant community; a mere bargaining chip for Turkey's negotiations with Cyprus.  Its crumbling buildings are guarded by armed troops to this day, as its aging citizens continue to await a return home. 

In 2003, Vasia Markides, captivated by her mother’s stories of her birthplace, Varosha, decided to venture to her maternal homeland in an odyssey that would prove to be life-changing. The film traces how Vasia's decade-long fixation with Famagusta's abandoned district turns into a larger effort beyond her expectations in pursuit of her mother’s long-time dream to create a model ecocity and center for peace at the crossroads of three continents. 


Waking Famagusta has garnered international attention from news organizations worldwide, including a well-received feature in BBC Magazine along with write-ups on CNN and Al-Jazeera. From local Cypriot city councils to Ivy League classrooms in the U.S., Waking Famagusta has sparked conversation about the way we live and our ever-changing times. The film has shined a bright light on a nearly forgotten ghost-town, weaving its way into on and off peace talks involving Turkey and the UN, which have alluded to the possible return of the abandoned Cypriot district. 

As such, we aim to complete Waking Famagusta in 2018, in an effort to deliver our message of sustainability, opportunity, and hope in an increasingly grim global climate. 


Contact: Vasia Markides -- info@ecocityproject.com;  www.ecocityproject.com

To make a tax-deductable donation to the film, visit: https://www.documentaries.org/waking-famagusta