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Political Manifesto

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There is a Ghost – something like the ghost in HAMLET – who wanders in the air, hanging above the Greek territory , uttering almost desperately the main phrase of this play of Shakespeare:
“Remember Me ! Remember Me! Remember me!”

This ghost may be called in Greek, “Olympic Games Property “…
A perpetual cuff of the Greek mentality – and often of politics – standing there
painfully to remind us of the need for a Social Ripening .
It is something that European officials often remind us of – and it is one of the few things they are undeniably right about. (Also to me very recently, a member of the European Commission for the Capitals of Culture, during my recent stay to Leeuwarden, regarding the FUTURE of the institution of the Capital of Culture in relation to the corresponding Legacy).
When will this national complex, this offensive and costful attitude of striving hard for a spectacular ‘firework’ cease ? Where after achieving it perhaps , then abandoning it – without any care of perspective and duration – to its Fate. Which unfortunately it’s never different than decay and obscurity. So much effort, money, mental and material investments, so many great/promising words for nothing…


To whom it may concern


Here appears before you, and before the country’s Ministry of Culture, a unique opportunity to begin a ‘Greek revolution’.
For it will be a REVOLUTION indeed, a unique and indelible one, the break of this
lawlessness of abandoning the achievements of culture to their fate. Let me explain it a bit further …
The scale of success , (the CRITERIA), for a Capital of Culture is determined by two critical factors / objectives :
Α. The success of the title year , ( a clear proof for the capacity of implementation ), and
Β. Its further functional continuity – the Legacy, as it is usually called.

As a rule, one way or another, A, cities get it right. As far as B is concerned, however, a few, counted on the fingers, are those that exist and shine as bright guides of the way and reason for becoming a Capital of Culture : the After – its ‘post Era’! And it is only there that the profound and essential aim of this widely and fiercely contested European Institution is truly justified:
in the ‘After’ ! In other words, in its functional continuity.

It is exactly this that gives continuity and prospect of deepening to the Works and Days of a Capital of Cultural, permanently establishing the city in the map of its achievements and promotes in the consciousness of the people the mentality of non-‘fireworks’, seeing in praxis to continue the work that puts the city on a substantial trajectory of development, with duration within the cultural sector. Because this was – and remains – the official declaration originally, as well as a fundamental objective.
[Besides, Culture as an Investment, (in terms of economical development speaking), remains a conceptualization still standing far away from being a mature social concept that drives actions and decisions. Let us consider : what would be the fate – of Athens for example – as a destination without the Parthenon of Acropolis? Or without the rest cultural masterpieces?]

The problem then is something we have experienced thoroughly on our skin here in Greece : Localism.
Among the European Capitals of Culture that were afterwards delivered into the hands of Municipalities ( which is the official supervisor of their existence) , hardly any of them moved ahead. Fortuitous? Coincidental?
And here the crucial debate opens up..
It seems as if the Ministry of Culture of the country – perhaps in cooperation with the Regional authorities – to be a solution ; that is, the Institution of a European Capital of Culture for a nominated city, should mainly – or at least equally – emanated from the Ministry of Culture – as perhaps like other supervised, critical institutions of Culture. In that case then, it’s Future may have a chance.

Open a debate – if you of course see the necessity – upon this. It would be a real pioneering – revolutionary action, at a Greek and also at a European level.

Various people often invoke Aeschylus and the famous ‘pathos-mathos’. But , as a rule in practice, it remains an empty word. Another verbal, this time, firework. And yet it is the demand and expectation of many people, please inquire!
Let us finally learn something from the dramatic failures of the recent past. And – even at the last minute –

let us remember the Ghost …




*Published on December 22th, in TA NEA newspaper.

TS, TS!…

(Tsakos – Tsingos)

Two great illustrators of the real:
one capturing and the other exalting
the ever-elusive reality
A text by Yannis Politakis, born in Elefsina, amateur beekeeper, accountant, seal maker, former sailor and employee of the Old Oil Factory of Elefsina
Through the eyes of Thanasis Leventis

An exhibition about the “Educational and Cultural Association of Elefsina”
“The Mirror -Karoptron- a symbol of sophistication to complete the universe” – Proclus

Tragedy was born because the skies were empty
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