In such a goal-oriented society and culture, we forget, we erase the path, the difficulty, and we are left with the cherry on top as if it can positioned there without the pre-existing layers. Make/Believe is an attempt to balance the path and the result, whilst always keeping in mind it all part of a circle never ending, and always connected. Here is my speech from the Premiere in Cyprus, which I hope brings home a lot of the sentiment I hope to reveal in the documentary as well. Special thanks to everyone who attended, and for loving comments such as that they found Make/Believe to be a ‘genuine look’ into the psychological complexity of living a life which is documented and constantly on the move. 

Dear Mum, Dad, Sister, Grandad and extended Family, 

Only Last week, I was in Madrid for 48hrs in partnership with the biggest luxury shopping destination in Spain El Cortez and from there straight to Tokyo for 24hrs with Brooks Brothers for their 40th Anniversary in Japan, and then to Paris for another 48hrs to celebrate my 32nd birthday, I then made a brief stopover in Athens to re-pack and now I’m here in Cyprus for the premiere of Make/Believe. 

The Gentleman Blogger will be celebrating 7 years next week. Name a global brand and I probably already worked with them. I have been also sharing my expertise with universities in London, Rio, Paris and Milan over the last 8 years, yet I probably can’t write down a correct sentence in Greek at this point. 

It is a fascinating life, but it has never been easy.

At the age of 24 I was teaching Master’s degree courses to 28 years old students, while working in retail and studying for a Master’s degree of my own at the London School of Economics (LSE). A year later, I was knocking on the doors of every luxury brand to try and simply convince them to invest in what, at the time was only a vision of mine. I remember my internship at Vivienne Westwood making coffee and Vivienne’s screams to switch off the lights of the studio every night – internships – what we call today modern slavery for a year or two in my 20s. I remember the nights with tap water with friends as we couldn’t afford the alcohol in London, I remember the tears of joy when leaving Cyprus on the exact same day that I finished my army service and I remember the painful tears for the first three years in London trying to catch up with the world and the talent around me.My second year primary school teacher Miss Christina last week reminded me with a Facebook message that I was one of the most creative kids in her geography lesson. Thank you for that, it means a lot to me. I came a long way, a path that many of you are not able to see through my final filtered and heavily curated images on Instagram. I’m 32 today and I stand here for every young heart that made the impossible possible, for any creative soul that worked hard and explored their passion besides the risks, the downfalls and all the forces saying that it was impossible. We made it with dignity and a smile and I share this stage with you. 

Many of us left Cyprus with a very complicated past, we left because Cyprus was too small, little, impossible, inexperienced, boring and irrelevant.  My childhood was marked by the political crisis, the economic crisis, an emotional crisis, misinformation, religious boundaries and always the feeling of being small. I left weak yet a fighter and I came back a survivor, an entrepreneur full of passion and with layered experiences and big ideas. Cyprus you are not so small after all.

We are the next generation with our own little empires. And as the old empires will continue to fall, you all, every single one of you are called to get my country and a member of the European Community ready for the next stage. I call on you to invest on young people, on the arts, on culture, invest in their creativity, talents and passion, allow them to change the system, allow them to live a healthy life – they know better, they can do better. Politicians and traditional media you are NOT driving the change, the change is happening within, culture is moving ahead without you, it is you and it is a system that needs to catch up with it. It is your responsibility to share and comment on this change. I promise you I will do my part.

My friends and family, Collaborate, volunteer, work hard, vote, be active in life, join a global conversation, educate yourself, read, see, do things different than your parents, demand change. Do it your way. This is the only way that I see surviving. A step forward. 

Thank you for making the time to come out and see this film. Thank you for making it difficult because the feeling of achieving something is the greatest of all. It has not been easy, see behind perfection and celebrate the path. Make/Believe. Enjoy the film!

M.

Images: Pat Domingo