From October 14 to December 3, 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture presents Mystery 34 Faces of Elefsina. Portraits of Identity, Passage, and Transition, a photographic and multimedia exhibition by the internationally acclaimed American photographer Lina Bertucci that vividly portrays the diverse communities of this industrial town at the Elefsina Old Town Hall.
Concept – Artist / Photographer: Lina Bertucci
Musical Score: Dylan Ebrahimian
Video Editing and Design: Michael Braxenthaler
Creative Producer: Yolanda Markopoulou
Photography Assistant: Isidoros Maskalaris
Video Transcript: Christina Tsima
Field Coordinator: Peggy Tsolakaki
Community Advisor: Stella Papakonstantinou
Production Manager: Vicky Stataki
Production Assistant: Nikos Charalambidis
Executive Production: POLYPLANITY Productions
2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture
Duration: October 14 to December 3, 2023
Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 12.00 – 21.00
Opening: Saturday October 14, 19.00
Location: Elefsina Old Town Hall
The project showcases a broad spectrum of Elefsinians today, honouring their cultural legacy, encompassing both native-born residents and those with ancestral ties to Asia Minor and Pontos, alongside newcomers hailing from diverse regions of Greece, Albania, Pakistan, and India.
Set amid ancient Greek ruins, this small city mirrors global issues such as labour migration, ancestral displacement, cultural memory, and the complexities of residing amidst industrial and environmental degradation. Combining personal stories with select portraits, the project explores how people shape their sense of place in the world through relationships and belonging, while preserving their individual and shared histories.
Collectively, these works act as a tool for empowerment, identity, and self-expression. The concept of the portrait goes beyond mere representation, it holds a philosophical dimension, and a dynamic interaction between self-revelation and societal observation.
Faces of Elefsina drew inspiration from the legendary German photographer August Sander’s pioneering work Face of Our Time(1929), which aimed to capture the essence of German society during the turbulent interwar years. Sander’s straightforward style focused on the unique individuality of each subject. In parallel with his portrayal of the Weimar Republic era, Faces of Elefsina aims for a similar depth of representation and methodology.
“If we can create portraits of subjects that are true, we thereby in effect create a mirror of the times.”
The multimedia presentation with split screen montage combines portraits of Elefsinians with an original score inspired by renowned composer Hans Zimmer’s Time. The piece explores the profound nature of time, evoking emotions of longing, hope, and the intricacies of human experience. It invites viewers to reflect on time’s complexities and its emotional impact, suggesting that moments of introspection and passage are intertwined with growth and transformation, regret or loss.
Faces of Elefsina stands as a tribute to the people of Elefsina, its rich tapestry of diversity, history, struggle, pride, and resilience.
People - Society
The first axis spans the evolution of society from Antiquity to the present in order to connect the strange with the familiar, to discover hidden aspects, memories and elements of cultural diversity. The thematic axis People | Society focuses on inclusion, the way that European society is shaped and, the ways in which we interact with each other, through the three themes/notions “Europe of Citizens”, “Europe, Daughter of Phoenix” and “Human Mysteries”.
With 12 premieres of documentary films, inspired by Eleusis and the surrounding areas and with important collaborations from the film industry, the 1st IN SITU REALITIES – Eleusis Documentary Festival is inaugurated, a legacy project of 2023 Eleusis.
From December 15 to February 11, 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture presents Mystery 87 I My Sea Journey, I My Land Claim, the new sculpture installation by the acclaimed visual artist Stefania Strouza honoured with this year’s Art Athina Prize for young artists.
From 17 December 2023 to 11 February 2024, 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture inaugurates a new era for the renovated IRIS factory with Mystery 111 Eleusis Terracotta Army by international artist Juan Esteban Sandoval. An exhibition as a tribute to the people who work in Elefsina and the broader West Attica region, a huge collective portrait that was made to represent the people who have forged with their work, their physical toil and their lives the current image of the place where they live. The exhibition will open on Sunday 17 December, during the closing ceremony of 2023 Eleusis, Mystery 1 Closing : Opening | A ceremony.