Crisis in the arts as a keyword? Or as the key to production?

By Eva Kekou, 4Humanities International Correspondent

It seems that crisis is the keyword for lots of post from me, writing from Athens. As with most things in life it seems there is more than one side to the story, and crisis appears to be the key for people to open up, act collaboratively and express themselves.

Greece is known as a tourist destination. This year, despite the crisis, Greece hosted a number of incredible theatre shows from Greece and abroad. These shows were accompanied by a number of festivals, concerts, and of course the Athens festival, a long-running institution that includes live theatrical, musical and dance events. The Epidavrous festival also ran again throughout the summer in the ancient Greek theatre. Many islands have their own festivals worth mentioning here as well. One such island festival is the Syros and Tinos cultural festival, which, for the first time, included media art exhibitions and shows. While the inclusion of media art was limited, this was still a very courageous move for the tiny islands and their audience of locals and tourists.

Along with these festivals, some art initiatives also took place across Greece.

Initiated by the curator Marina Fokidis, South magazine organized a big meeting with artists to encourage collaboration on the small island of Anafi. Additionally, this year, for the first time, the Santorini Bienale was launched, and it ran successfully from July to September. The Santorini Bienale hosted a large number of Greek and international artists and exhibitions were held at different locations around the island.

In the south of the Peloponnes, in Kardamilli, the ‘off shore project’ took place, initiated by the artistic group Filopappou Team. The project was centered around the co-existence of 20 artists for 10 days on a remote small island, and it encouraged them to live together and think about building society from scratch. They discussed community and experimentation with art and creation. The project was based on a ‘survivor game’ notion as this tiny island was uninhabited but quite close to the Kardamili shore.

Looking ahead to next year, Aegeanale will be held, which will include art projects on various Greek islands to promote Greek art and culture. So next summer already sounds promising despite the crisis, which has challenged us to see things differently once again.

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