The Walking Society

Christina Skarpari


Meet the designer and researcher working to keep Kypros' tradition alive.

With strong ties to Phyti, a tiny village known for its embroidery tradition, Christina Skarpari uses her research and practice to rediscover her heritage and connect with the rural communities inhabiting the villages spread across the island’s mountains.

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“When I think of community, I envision people coming together from both ‘traditional’ rural and ‘non-traditional’ urban settings, humans forming communities periodically and shifting between fixed ones, to co-create and share not only tangible things but values and ideas.”

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Motivated by the need to dismantle the detached sense of “Other” that permeates Cypriot culture, Christina launched the Xarkis Festival in 2013 to mobilize and unite the diverse communities living on the island.

“Humans have the remarkable capacity to relate to each other if they are given the time, space, and resources to do so. I think that art, design, and craft-making not only have the power to improve things but can transform relationships and situations, especially in places that are marked by turbulent pasts, like Cyprus.”

“The key thing I’ve learned is that time here is essential. It is critical to preserve and revitalize practices that are endangered, especially as those who work as agents of heritage become older and fewer, and as we witness limitations in existing support mechanisms.”

The Walking Society is a virtual community working to help the world progress and change. Individuals and collectives dedicating their imagination and energy to developing useful ideas and positive solutions, committed to building a better world in a simple and honest way.

The 11th issue of TWS takes us to Kypros, the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Situated at the doorstep of the Middle East, its strategic position as a link between East and West has made it subject to invasions since the beginning of time. Its history is defined by social ferment and cultural stratification, contributing a confusing identity and a mystical essence to the island.

Walk, Don’t Run.