A Handbook on Gender and Monuments in Intersectional Public Spaces

  1. About the Handbook

A Space of Our Own: A Handbook on Gender and Monuments in Intersectional Public Spaces is designed to support and help expand on existing materials as well as address the need for applied educational content that explores multi-levelled relations between gender and space by means of monuments in Cyprus. It aims to provide educators, youth workers, and other professionals, as well as activists, with comprehensive series of lesson plans and educational material together with related theoretical background, that correspond to specific subjects within curricula as an addendum to formal education or source for extra-curricular activities.

This publication results from the recognition that women and all non-conforming genders are often publicly invisible, and in that sense, it is crucial to claim a space of their own, that is a public space which is inclusive and equally respectful to the needs and experiences of all genders, including women and people of non-binary gender identities. Through the joint exploration of monuments in Cyprus, it becomes evident that patriarchal norms, women’s invisibility, and cultures of violence are prevalent across the divide, while the lessons also identify and cultivate common aspirations, such as gender equality, peace, and mutual respect.

Educational Goals

  • To critically reflect on what a monument is and can mean in relation to public space.
  • To critically engage with examples of public art to raise awareness of learners’ and/or participants’ surrounding environment as well as ask them to reflect on their own experiences.
  • To identify and cultivate common aspirations such as gender equality, peace, and mutual respect.
  1. Overview

There are three main parts to the handbook:

Theoretical Background: includes Chapters 1, 2, and 3. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the rationale behind the structure of the handbook and a guide on how to use it. Chapter 2 offers an introduction to the key terms gender, monument, and public space as well as discussions around these concepts, such as the authors’ positioning of intersectional public spaces, as a literature review. Chapter 3 provides information on the conceptual and methodological framework behind the handbook.

Educational Materials: consists of four thematic units. Each unit is introduced by providing focused information on the context and outline of the unit. Each unit includes lesson plans and activities that give instructions and tips to the educators along with resource sheets. Each lesson plan is presented with guiding information related to appropriate age groups, duration of activities and related subject links to curriculum, such as “History”, “Social Sciences” and “Art”. Although the activities in this manual are designed for the Cypriot context, they can be transferred and adjusted to other societies, especially those marked by conflict and division. Useful tips, list of materials as well as suggestions are given where possible, to help guide educators and users to apply and adapt materials to their environments. Above all, the materials are tailored to empower both educators and learners to envision alternatives.

Glossary: provides definitions of key terms and concepts used throughout the handbook. These terms are highlighted throughout the handbook and can be incorporated into the educational materials or used for self-learning.

  1. Summary of thematic units

Thematic Unit 1 - Narrating Herstory-History explores how gender―as one identity among other identities―shapes how we narrate our history. This is evident in the stories, events, and people deemed worthy of being depicted in monuments and how different stories, events and people are represented. For example, much fewer statues are devoted to women in comparison to men, while genders are depicted in stereotypical roles. This way, historical monuments can either become a vehicle for the reproduction of gender inequalities or a means for inclusive and balanced representations of the past.

Thematic Unit 2 - Monuments aims to make learners rethink what ‘monument’ means, what it is built for and how it is used, through some examples from Cyprus. Looking at the existing monuments with a critical eye and questioning what is seen will enable the participants to form their own perspectives on the monuments. The unit will also help learners create new forms of ‘monuments’ using their imagination and creativity.

Thematic Unit 3 - Looking at Public Art through gender equality focuses on global and local art examples that exist in public spaces, such as murals and sculptures, to introduce alternative definitions of what a public artwork is, what it potentially can be, and the wider implications of public space in relation to gender, social identity, diversity, and transformation. Looking at certain characteristics of public art can allow participants to practice listening to and expressing different perspectives, as a way of introducing concepts of diversity, inclusion, and gender equality.

Thematic Unit 4 - Exploring public space and diversity focuses on a more critical exploration of our surroundings and public spaces and encourages learners to see common public spaces through a new lens that explores how gender, difference and identity intersect and are produced and reproduced in public spaces.

  1. Authors’ team

Gal Harmat is an educator specialising in the culture of peace, public spaces, and gender. She is teaching at the UN University for Peace and the Kibbutzim College of Education in Israel. Gal holds a PhD in Gender Analysis of Peace Education, and Dialogue Encounters from Nitra University, Slovakia and an MA in Gender and Peacebuilding from the UN-Mandated University for Peace, Costa Rica. In 2018 she was Georg Arnold Fellow, Visiting Research Professor at Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research in Braunschweig and published the book Intersectional Pedagogy with Routledge in 2020. She directs The Generator, a social start-up offering complex peace and gender analysis in walking tours.

Thekla Kyritsi is the Directress of the Cypriot NGO Center for Gender Equality and History. She is a PhD candidate at Panteion University, Athens, in Political Science and History. She obtained her MSc from the University of Edinburgh in International Political Theory. Thekla published chapters in several books on subjects like women’s history, Cyprus history, contemporary gender issues, and the historical relationships between gender and nationalism. She has experience in the development and implementation of educational workshops on gender issues, history, and peace education.

Stalo Lesta is a human rights activist, a researcher, a workshop facilitator, a youth worker, an NGO consultant, and an active member of civil society organisations in Cyprus. Stalo holds an MA in Education for Human Rights and Social Justice from the Open University Cyprus and BA in Statistics and Mathematics from the University of California, Davis. She has long embraced the motivating power of non-formal education, which she uses in the context of feminist critical pedagogy to raise awareness, develop knowledge and skills, instigate critical thinking and action for personal and social change.

Eleni Pashia is an architect engineer, researcher and educator with interest and experience on intersections of Design Thinking with the topics of space, gender equality, inclusion, diversity and intersectionality. Eleni is a Research Associate at the Cyprus University of Technology coordinating multiple actions for the promotion of inclusion, diversity, equity and elimination of discrimination across the university community. She is also an associate trainer, researcher, and mentor to several organisations in Cyprus. Eleni holds a BEng/MEng in Architecture Engineering from the Polytechnical School of Patra in Greece, and a PhD in Architecture from the faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Esra Plümer Bardak is an art historian, researcher-educator, and active member of civil society organisations. Esra holds an MA and PhD in Art History from the University of Nottingham as well as a second postgraduate degree in Arts Management and Cultural Policy from Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has worked in academic posts as Lecturer since 2007 and has delivered invited talks across Europe, the UK and Cyprus about art, art writing and art history. In addition to publishing monographs, chapters in books and articles, Esra has also curated several exhibitions in the UK and Cyprus that echo her research. She has served on all levels in civil society associations and is dedicated to continuing supporting individuals, organisations and collaborative projects that mediate the production, understanding and dissemination of art that touch the lives of communities affected by conflict.

Derya Ulubatlı is an art historian who specialised in Cypriot Art, bi-communal art projects and the role of art in peacebuilding. She is currently writing her PhD thesis on war, migration, otherness, and border themes in Turkish Cypriot art. Derya has a BA on Art History at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, and an MA on History and Criticism of Art at Milan University (Università degli Studi di Milano). As a part of different non-profit organisations, Derya believes that sharing ideas and working collaboratively is very important for understanding the ‘other’ and questioning dominant narratives.

  1. How to access the handbook?

The handbook will be made available free of charge online and in print, in English, Greek, Turkish. The print version will be made available from the AHDR. If you would like to be notified when it becomes available, please reach us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Contact information

The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR)

Address: Home for Cooperation,

28 Markou Drakou Street,

1102 Nicosia, Cyprus

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Website: www.ahdr.info

Phone: +357445740 (ext. 106)

Disclaimer: The publication is published by the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) and funded by the Active Citizens Fund, the Civil Society Programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, through the EEA and Norway Grants Financial Mechanisms 2014-2021.