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Ecocday Special, Eleusis2023: The Culture as a connector for rural and urban areas

By Advertorial November 16, 2021
Expo Dubai 2020, Italian pavillion Expo Dubai 2020, Italian pavillion Photo by Ecocnews

“Elefsina is the city of contradictions. It’s one of the five most important sacred cities of antiquity, the city of the Elefsinian Mysteries, with a vast archaeological site in the center of it” said Chryssa Martini, Director of Premises & Infrastructure, Location Planning & Development – Eleusis 2023.

The occasion was the International Forum, the opening event of the European Capitals of Culture Day, organized by the Matera – Basilicata 2019 Foundation in partnership with the Commissioner General of Italy and under the patronage of the European Commission in the Italy Pavillion of Expo Dubai 2020.

Below is the entire speech by Chryssa Martini.

"Thanks to its natural port and strategic location, was transformed from the 19th century onwards into the productive engine of Greece and one of its largest industrial centers. So, the signs of industrialization are prominent on the body of the city, affecting it and often building the perception of a place that keeps its cultural wealth well-guarded.

We consider the title of Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture as an excellent means of highlighting and developing the Tangible and Intangible Heritage of the City through the mediation and intervention of Art, Culture and Research.

We are moving forward - even in the era of the pandemic and the unpredictable - in the direction of a renewed vision for the city of Elefsina. The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, although it appeared as a threat, managed to become an opportunity for Eleusis 2023 to think from the beginning, -how to deal with it and at the same time -harmonizing the program with the new restrictions.

For this reason, the further activation of the Public Space and the implementation of artistic actions in urban, suburban, coastal and green spaces, spaces in intense use and abandoned spaces were strategically chosen. Areas with great value of cultural, architectural, industrial or environmental heritage are hosting the artistic programme.

Now more than ever, the event industry needs to develop the capacity for readiness, adaptability and resilience to achieve both its own recovery, survival and prosperity, and to cultivate flexibility in how they can be used to serve their needs. The needs of their host communities in a post-crisis recovery.

Can we see new relations between the overcrowded areas and the remote ones?

Our answer is positive.

Culture can be used as a connector and vehicle for communication for rural and urban areas, helping bring their differences and similarities into focus and facilitating a better understanding between the two. This is important, because a better understanding of urban and rural is a precondition for creating strong synergies and balanced development.

What have we done?

During the last two years, we managed to execute our artistic programme in spaces and areas which had never been used before. We succeeded in changing the mentality of strictly cultural infrastructure to an open-minded new concept. Culture and cultural connections contribute to critical thinking and behaviour change.

They have also been recognized as key pillars for sustainable development. Eleusis 2023 European Capital of Culture seeks to unveil the invisible side of Elefsina, marking a new era for the city and its transition to a new model of development, focusing on its dynamic cultural assets.

You are very welcome to join us and discover the City of Mysteries with all your senses”.

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