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Greece handing over the Olympic Flame to Beijing March 28, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Olympic Games.
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More than 2,000 officers to watch over Panathenaic Stadium Ceremony

Police will deploy more than 2,000 officers in Athens this weekend to supervise the handover of the Beijing Olympics Flame to Chinese organizers. The move came after protests against Chinese rule in Tibet disrupted the launch of the Games torch relay in Ancient Olympia on Monday.

A ceremony to mark the handing over of the Olympic flame will be held at Panathenaic Stadium in central Athens on Saturday in front of an estimated 20,000 people. Yesterday a small group of protesters unfurled pro-Tibet banners in Thessaloniki ahead of the flame’s arrival in the northern city.

28-03-08_panathenaic_stadium.jpg  The Panathenaic, or as it is locally called The Kallimarmaro due to its all marble structure, stadium is where the first Olympic Games were held in April 1896. It is situated close to the Ardettos Hill, in central Athens, within walking distance from the Acropolis and the Olympian Zeus Columns.


Celebrating today’s World Theater Day March 27, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Stage & Theater.
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Performance > Thessaloniki > Tonight

Celebrating today’s World Theater Day, the National Theater of Northern Greece will stage Anneli Xiroyianni’s play “Volume” at the Lazariston Monastery Small Theater tonight, directed by Christina Hadzivassileiou. Admission is free. Advance bookings are necessary.
Lazariston Monastery, 21 Kolokotroni Street, Thessaloniki, tel 2310 589102.

Theater Discussion > Athens > Tonight

The Ianos bookstore will host a discussion on theater today, on the occasion of World Theater Day, at 8 p.m. Participants will include academics Hara Bakonikola and Platon Mavromoustakos and others. There will also be a tribute to theater music, with live performances.
Ianos Bookstores, 24 Stadiou Street, Athens, tel 210 3217917.

British man gets 15 years for child sex March 27, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime.
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A Thessaloniki court yesterday passed down a 15-year jail sentence to a 66-year-old British man found guilty of sexually molesting a schoolboy and trying to molest another.

The man, identified by The Associated Press as John Norman Hardy Foss, was an English teacher, the court heard. But his two victims, aged 11 and 12, were not his pupils. He lured them into his car in the summer of 2006 before driving them to a remote spot. There he sexually abused one of them and tried to abuse the second, who resisted.

The crime came to light in July 2006 when two women in the neighborhood of Katerini told police they saw the 66-year-old dropping off the boys. The Briton was arrested and detained until last January when he got a conditional release. In addition to his jail sentence, the 66-year-old was fined 150,000 euros.

Art exhibition presents history through subjective stories March 27, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Museums.
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Despina Meimaroglou and Deimantas Narkevicius at Thessaloniki’s SMCA

26-03-08_genius_seculi1.jpg  An image from the video ‘Disappearance of a Tribe’ by Deimantas Narkevicius. 

26-03-08_genius_seculi2.jpg  A photograph from Despina Meimaroglou’s project inspired by her trip to Cambodia.

During a trip to Cambodia three years ago, artist Despina Meimaroglou visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in the capital Phnom Penh. Originally a school, it had been converted into a torture site during Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime before much later becoming a Museum.

Impressed by the numbers of young students waiting to visit the former torture chambers, Meimaroglou began thinking about rememberance and the strong effect that certain historical events can have on our lives. Her visit to Cambodia provided one more occasion to ponder on politics and history, steady subject matter in the work of this politically oriented artist. Upon her return, and still deeply stressed by the strong effect that the visit to the Genocide Museum had on her, Meimaroglou began work on a new project.

“Discovering the Other – Tuol Sleng, After all who Rewrites History after You” the title of the art installation that ensued after the artist’s visit to Cambodia, is one of the artist’s two works presented in “Genius Seculi”, a joint exhibition on the work of Meimaroglou and the well-known Lithuanian artist Deimantas Narkevicius, who represented his country at the 2001 Venice Biennale. The exhibition is organized by the Center of Contemporary Art, a section of the Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art (SMCA) and curated by Syrago Tsiara, the Center’s Director.

Meimaroglou and Narkevicius both share an interest in exploring issues related to history and politics through personal narratives. They both view history through subjective, individual stories and explore the interplay between the personal and the collective.

Narkevicius raises issues related to his country’s recent history and uses film and video in the style of a documentary. “Once in the XX Century”, a film presented in the Thessaloniki exhibit, is a montage of footage documenting the tearing down of public sculpture during the period of the early 1990s when Soviet control of Lithuania came to an end. The overpowering presence of the sculpture is a metaphor for the staying effects of the Soviet regime. According to the artist, it suggests that the immediate changes that everybody hoped for were not effected, that the “utopia of liberalism, which then seemed the only way” did not become a reality.

The work of Narkevicius speaks of the importance of thinking about recent history in a critical and profound way. His work suggests that being oblivious to historical events is at the expense of awareness of both history and oneself.

In the video “Dissapearance of a Tribe”, Narkevicius reflects on the history of his country from the 1950s to today through a selection of images taken from his family photo album. Again, his work examines the ways in which the large events of history trickle down into the lives of people or how personal stories reflect broader, historical events.

This quest is also to be found in the work of Meimaroglou. In the video installation “Annette McGavigan: A Personal Story becomes History” Meimaroglou tells the story of a 15-year-old girl who was killed by British soldiers during the traumatic Bloody Sunday events in Northern Ireland in 1972. After a chance meeting with the victim’s brother in Athens a few years ago, Meimaroglou began collecting all sorts of archival material on this relatively recent chapter of Northern Ireland’s history.

Her work engages the notion of historical memory. The artist pays tribute to the anonymous victims of violence and tragic historical events. Both her work and the work of Narkevicius are a reminder that history is a living experience that shapes the present and our self-understanding.

“Genius Seculi” at the SMCA, Thessaloniki, to 30 April. For information call 2310 546683.

Related Links > www.cact.gr



Thessaloniki Documentary Festival ends after crowning sex change film March 17, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life, Movies Life Greek.
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The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival closed yesterday after awarding its top prize to a film about sex change operations in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

17-03-08_be_like_others.jpg  A screenshot from FIPRESCI winner “Be Like Others” directed by Tanaz Eshaghian.

“Be Like Others” by Tanaz Eshaghian, which won the international critics’ (or FIPRESCI) award for a foreign film profiles the lives of young gay men who opt for gender change rather than live in constant fear of abuse and retribution. Homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran, while a fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini made sex change permissible for “diagnosed transsexuals”.

The FIPRESCI award for a Greek movie went to Nicos Ligouris’sThe Lovers from Axos”, the story of a couple of 55 years living in a mountain village on Crete.

The audience award for a film over 45 minutes in the international selection, with a prize of 4,000 euros, went to Hilary Helstein’s “As Seen Through These Eyes”. The film, a moving documentary about the art and artists that survived the tragedy and paranoia of the Holocaust, beat among others the “Flow – For Love of Water”, “The Price of Sugar” and “The Suicide Tourist”. “City of Cranes”, by Eva Weber, captured the under-45-minute film prize.

From the local selection, Alinda Dimitriou’s “Birds in the Mire” received the over-45-minute audience award, while the short length award went to “The Archelon Bubble” by Eleftherios Fylaktos. Both received a 4,000-euro cash prize.

Other awards included an Amnesty International Award for “The Price of Sugar”, a WWF award won by “About Water: People and Yellow Cans” and an Hellenic Radio Television’s [ERT3] State Broadcasting award, carrying a 3,000-euro prize, that ended up with “The Lovers from Axos”. Dimitris Vernikos’s “The Mirror and the Knife” won the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace award, worth 6,000 euros. The documentaries sharing the Greek Film Center Awards, worth beween 2,000 and 3,000 euros, were “Etel Adnan Words in Exile”, “Alex”, “Birds in the Mire”, “The Mirror and the Knife”, “The Lovers from Axos” and “The Third Takis”.

MoMA Director visiting Greece for series of lectures March 16, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Arts Museums.
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Director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, Glenn Lowry, will visit Greece for the first time and address public audiences in Athens and Thessaloniki as part of the “Great Ideas” series.

Featured in the Megaron Plus series, he will speak at the Athens Concert Hall on Monday, March 17, at 19:00, on “Making the Modern: A Disruptive Theory of the Museum of Modern Art.” His lecture will focus on how the Museum has dealt with the collection and display of artworks, the way in which it periodically reinvents itself, and the changing nature of contemporary art.

On Wednesday, March 19, at 18:30, he will speak in Thessaloniki on the same topic. This event is co-organized with the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry and will take place at the Chamber’s Conference Hall.

During his visit to Greece, Lowry will also address student audiences at the University of Athens School of Fine Arts and the Thessaloniki Aristotle University School of Fine Arts.

Lowry was appointed Director of MoMA in 1995. One of his initiatives was the construction of MoMA’s new building, which was completed in 2004, and was a turning point in the history of the Museum and a major cultural event for the city of New York.

The goal of the “Great Ideas” series is to bring noted American experts and artists to Greece to perform and discuss current topics of interest to the Greek and American people.

Glenn Lowry, MoMA, Making the Modern: A Disruptive Theory of the Museum of Modern Art >
Athens Concert Hall,
 1 Kokkali Street and Queen Sophia Avenue, Athens.
Conference Hall, Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 29 Tsimiski Street, Thessaloniki.

Related Links > www.moma.org

European Theater Prize March 15, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Stage & Theater.
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French director Patrice Chereau, the subversive German directorial team Rimini Protokoll, German choreographer Sasha Waltz, Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski, the Belarus Free Theater and other groups and personalities from the world of theater, along with 300 journalists and theater critics from around Europe, will be coming together in Thessaloniki in April for the 12th European Theater Prize.

The National Theater of Northern Greece will be hosting and sponsoring (with 800,000 euros) the event for the second consecutive year.

The entire event, held at the lofty Vassiliko [Royal] Theater, will run from April 9-13 and will include groundbreaking performances from guest companies, as well as a symposium led by Chereau, the guest of honor this year. The acclaimed French director will also present “La Douleur”, a text written by Marguerite Duras, read by Dominique Blanc and Chereau and directed by Thierry Thieu Niang.

Waltz, Warlikowski and Rimini Protokoll will share the 10th prize for “new theatrical realities,” while a special mention will be made for the Belarus Free Theater for its “opposition to the oppression of its government,” as founder Nikolai Kalezin explains.