Mercoledì, 29 Novembre 2023

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Eleusis 2023, four days of the Culture 2030 Meeting

Eleusis 2023 Eleusis 2023

How was Elefsina transformed from “a town where passers-by look the other way”* into a European Capital of Culture (ECoC), setting new standards for the country’s cultural heritage? After Elefsina, which city will be the next Greek Capital of Culture? Is every city a potential Capital of Culture? Are there intermediate stages?

During the four days of the Culture 2030 Meeting (from 9/ 11 to 12/11 2023) curated by Kelly Diapouli, politicians, artists and experts will explore the possibility of adopting a new institution, its terms and conditions of operation, which will aim at the cultural development of all regional cities on an equal footing, regardless of their size or intention to claim the title of European Capital of Culture. And, as always, the Meeting’s programme is framed by workshops with artists and professionals from European and wider international cultural networks, artistic actions, symposia, as well as the Agora, an open space for gathering, networking and exchange.

Steve Green, independent expert with many years of experience in Capitals of Culture and Chair of the selection panel for European Capitals of Culture that assessed the Greek candidate cities for the title of ECoC 2021, in his keynote speech presents the framework of a new institution, detailing the benefits, the criteria and the difficulties of the competition process. Next, Giannis Trochopoulos, member of the selection panel for European Capitals of Culture that assessed the Greek candidate cities and Director of the Veria Central Public Library, focuses on the potentials and vulnerabilities of cultural development in the region. Yorgos Skianis, an Elefsinian and several-year curator for visual art installations at the Aeschylia Festival, describes how the stigmatization of Elefsina prompted its citizens to change the city’s image in the eyes of the world. Lastly, Nan van Houte, former Secretary General of the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM), talks about the role of contemporary art in today’s fluid and often precarious socio-political reality.


Mornings at the Culture 2030 Meeting are dedicated to workshops, bringing Greek artists and professionals in contact with fellow colleagues from European and wider international cultural networks. In particular, representatives from the organisations Roberto Cimetta Fund and analyse the issue of artist mobility with a focus on the Mediterranean region and present a new programme that aims to help Mediterranean artists internationalise their artistic practice.

The conference participants will have the opportunity to attend three experiential workshop-visits as part of the “Focus on Small Neighbourhood Museums” action. The “Adrachti” Folklore Association (2002), the Pontian Association “New Trebizond” (1976) and the Asia Minor Association (1932) open the doors of the small museums they have created as repositories of collective memory, presenting their traditions, their activities and their extraordinary contribution to cultural life in Greece.

The Μ2P group organises another fascinating experiential workshop, Mystery 85 CITY PATTERNS, offering a fresh look on patterns, their imaginative reuse, and how tradition and memory can inspire new forms of creativity.

Artistic programme

The artistic programme of the Culture 2030 Meeting takes place from 17.00 until late at night, with events held all over the city. Foremost among them is the social circus performance by the company “Ki omOs Kineitai” [And Yet it Moves], the fruit of an intensive contemporary dance and acrobatics workshop; the event “All Μy Life a Child of the Night” with folk songs and rebetika by Lena Kitsopoulou; in partnership with the CULTTERRA youth group, a party featuring artistic happenings, live performances and a DJ set by the group Katalogue in ARKOPOLIS, the new venue for young people. The artistic programme also comprises two exhibitions, the collective exhibition Mystery Theta with visual artworksworks by students of the Athens School of Fine Arts, presenting the viewpoint of 14 young artists on the preservation of the city’s collective memory, and the mixed media visual art installation titled The Utopia of Dreams, a work created collectively during the educational programme Mystery 171 Constructing Utopia.

Guided by imagination, the event “Elefsina for young and old – a different tour in time and space,” curated by the Hellenic Children’s Museum, connects stories from the past to the present, highlights all that makes Eleusis a timeless Cultural Capital, and suggests alternative ways of getting to know each other through personal journeys full of colour, sounds, scents and emotions.

Participants will also have the chance to attend a different Symposium with Dimitris Apostolakis from the Hainides band and Christina Sougioultzi, who inspired Mystery 109 The Higgs Particle, and share with them the experience from the workshops and the contemporary dance and acrobatics performance that was presented at the Old Oil Mill Factory Αmphitheatre in September 2023.