The Role of Borders in the Lives of Greek–Cypriot Enclaved Children in Ira Genakritou’s <em>Beyond the Barbed Wire</em>

  • Maria Chatzianastasi
Keywords: Πέρα από το συρματόπλεγμα, Beyond the Barbed Wire, Greece, Cyprus, borders, enclavement


A dramatic increase in Cypriot juvenile literature appeared in the decades following the traumatic events of the coup d’etat and subsequent Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. A crucial aspect of the political-national situation arising from those events—which affected the political geography of Cyprus, defined its contemporary history, and had an impact on several areas, including writing for the young—was the creation of a 180 km border dividing the island. The focus of this paper is on literary representations of enclavement and the strong impact borders and barbed wire played in the lives of young enclaved—those who chose to stay in their place of origin rather than be displaced. The discussion focuses on the book Πέρα από το συρματόπλεγμα (Beyond the Barbed Wire) and the traumatic separations of young children from their families arising from enclavement. Τhe story offers important insights into a situation that is not so well known or represented in juvenile literature and highlights the threating, violating, and traumatic role borders can play in young people’s lives.


DOI: 10.1353/jeu.2019.0022

Author Biography

Maria Chatzianastasi

Maria Chatzianastasi is an Adjunct Lecturer and post-doctoral researcher at the University of Nicosia. She completed her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Primary Education at the University of Cyprus. Maria also holds a PgCert in Research Training and a Ph.D. in Children’s Literature from Newcastle University. She has been working as a primary education teacher in the private and public sector since 2009 and has previously worked as a Scientific Collaborator at the European University Cyprus.

How to Cite
Chatzianastasi, M. (2020). The Role of Borders in the Lives of Greek–Cypriot Enclaved Children in Ira Genakritou’s <em>Beyond the Barbed Wire</em&gt;. Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 11(2), 177-201. Retrieved from
Articles for Special Issue on Borders