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Handle with care: Envisioning a Culture of Care

Elefsina Manifesto


A Culture of Care

In recognition of the transformative power of Culture and its potential to shape a more compassionate and inclusive world, we, the undersigned, unite under the banner of care. This manifesto serves as a rallying call to artists, cultural organisations and professionals to embrace a politics and ethics of care as a fundamental element of our collective work.

We firmly believe that care is a universal human need that too often remains overlooked and undervalued. Care as a social concept, based on empathic and appreciative interactions, has the transformative potential to create a more compassionate and interconnected society.

Thus, we assume the responsibility to champion care as a cornerstone of our endeavours, bridging societal gaps, promoting solidarity, and challenging the prevailing inequalities that afflict our communities. By prioritising care, we envision a world where empathy, compassion, and a sense of interconnectedness can flourish.


Eleusis 2023: The Spirit of the Place

The ancient city of Eleusis, one of the most important sacred cities of antiquity, home to the Eleusinian Mysteries, to Demeter, Hades and Persephone, provides the perfect setting for this Manifesto. Persephone’s descent into darkness and subsequent transformation is an inspiration to its authors that have drawn from the contribution of 185 participants of the 2023 Beyond The Obvious Conference ´Handle With Care – Culture for Social Well-Being´ in Elefsina, Greece.

By curating care into our narratives, embracing diversity, promoting inclusivity, and amplifying the voices of underrepresented groups, we plant the seeds of empathy and foster a society where every individual feels valued, supported, and empowered to thrive.

To Care is to Act

Implementing a politics and ethics of care demands deliberate and intentional strategies from cultural organisations. We declare our unwavering dedication to the pursuit of a culture of care. Together, we envision a future where care is the guiding force that shapes our collective destiny.

A text by Yannis Politakis, born in Elefsina, amateur beekeeper, accountant, seal maker, former sailor and employee of the Old Oil Factory of Elefsina
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