2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture is setting up a three-day celebration to say goodbye to the Belgian collective TimeCircus that returns to Antwerp after six months and to hand over – now officially – ARKOPOLIS, the ark of eternal youth, this unique cultural space to young people and to the residents of Elefsina.
The trial that features in Aeschylus’ Eumenides (The Furies) is the first such legal hearing in the history of humankind. During the course of the play, a fantastical court case links the ancient past with the present. Communities, collectives, and inhabitants of Elefsina city are invited to actively take part, entering the world of a fictional trial where they stand in for the Athenian court of law. The Eumenides are here used to spark public debate. Audiences are able to interact with the proceedings, functioning as an additional actor or even as a factor affecting the very development of the plot.
In this ancient Greek drama, the cohesion of a society’s citizens and their attitude towards the commons is considered requisite. This utopian condition constitutes the utopian court of justice where the trial of Orestes transpires in Aeschylus’ Eumenides. A vicious, self-perpetuating cycle of vengeance and retribution gives way to a justice system established by the city. This trial may take place in the past, but it addresses all the world’s future citizens.