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Mystery 20 Performing Arts Initiator – Narrative Archaeology

The Conference by 2023 Eleusis was successfully held on 29 & 30 March at the Elefsina Old Oil Mill Factory with more than 150 representatives of the arts, sciences, and politics

One of the most important activities organised by 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture, the conference Narrative Archaeology | Performance in archaeological sites and excavation of human experience, held for the first time on 29 and 30 March at the Elefsina Old Oil Mill Factory, was a great success. This two-day meeting was held in the framework of the interdisciplinary event Mystery 20 Performing Arts Initiator – Narrative Archaeology, aiming to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue between the fields of Arts and Archaeology.

The conference focused on the model methodology of Mystery 20 Performing Arts Initiator – Narrative Archaeology, aiming to highlight through the performing arts the inexhaustible topographical archaeological wealth and its potential on a national and European level, as well as to promote good practices in the application of performing arts in archaeological sites and monuments in Greece and internationally, and the transformation of archaeological information into an experiential experience for the visitor.Welcoming | Addresses 

The Chairman of the Board of 2023 Eleusis, Nikolaos Villiotis, welcomed the attendees, stating that a city with such a history must have a future, and underlined the decisive role played by the 2023 Elefsis European Capital of Culture in the promotion of Elefsina nationally and internationally.

The Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni, stated in her speech − among other things − that the promotion of Elefsina as European Capital of Culture was and is a great opportunity for the city. Thanks to this achievement, Elefsina redefined its position on the Cultural Map and beyond. Ms Mendoni also thanked warmly and congratulated Michail Marmarinos and his team for designing and organising Mystery 20, but mainly for his remarkable and successful contribution to the organisation of 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture. Ms Mendoni also thanked Nana Spyropoulou, CEO, as well as Despina Geroulanou, the late President, noting that without the contribution of these three individuals – no matter the invaluable support that was indeed offered by the Municipal Authorities, the Region, as well as the material and moral support by the Ministry of Culture – we would not have achieved this result, which makes us all proud. 

Finally, the Mayor of Elefsina, Georgios Georgopoulos, addressed the event, stating that the Archaeological Site of Ancient Eleusis is ideal for experimentations by those who aspire to explore good practices on how to use performing arts in archaeological sites as a model field of an encounter between the Arts and Archaeology. He emphasised that the importance of this conference lies in the fact that this model methodology can be established as an example of applied methodology in other cultural heritage sites, both in Greece and abroad.

The conference

The conference was structured in five different, interrelated, and complementary sections: Keynote speeches, Discussions (roundtables), Masterclass, Film Screenings within the context of Mystery 176 Cinema Days at Cine Eleusis, and two live in situ presentations about Mystery 20 Performing Arts Initiator – Narrative Archaeology

The aim of the conference was to initiate a cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary dialogue between the performing arts, the archaeological sites, as well as cultural heritage monuments in general, and to highlight the challenges and benefits of their coupling. The complementary axes set out in the five “Conversations” included the following: “Synergies between Archaeology and Arts: New Perspectives in the Promotion and Promotion of Cultural Heritage Sites,” “Innovative Approaches to the Revitalisation of Historic Sites through the Performing Arts,” “Dialogical, Interactive Archaeology and Social Inclusion through Art,” “Digital and Performing Arts in Cultural Heritage,” “Archaeology – Art, Sustainability, and Legacy: a Debate for the Future.” They comprised the statements of the invited keynote speakers and round table participants, experts, academics, and professionals in the fields of archaeology, arts, and cultural and creative industries, who engaged in a dialogue with the audience.

The conference ended on Saturday evening in a particularly cordial atmosphere, with the presentation of its results in Warehouse 1 of the Old Oil Mill Factory, preceded by a Masterclass by Michail Marmarinos, General Artistic Director of 2023 Eleusis, on the methodology of Observation and Narrative Archaeology. 

See the detailed programme of the conference here.


Results

Based on the issues and challenges that emerged during the conference, 2023 Eleusis aims to compile a comprehensive report to be shared with the general public and any interested party in the near future. In this way, it hopes to contribute to Cultural Development and Strategy at a regional and national level for the meeting of Arts and Archaeology and to establish an example of applied methodology for the promotion of other cultural heritage sites in Greece and abroad.

The detailed results of the conference will soon be published on the 2023eleusis.eu website.

Attendees | Participants

The conference was attended by: Elektra Angelopoulou, Classical Archaeologist, MA Performance, researcher/performer at Mystery 20; Margarita Alexomanolaki, Head of the Department of Performing Arts and Cinema at the Ministry of Culture; Efstathia Anesti, Archaeologist – Cultural Administrator, Ministry of Culture, Archaeologist at the West Attica Ephorate of Antiquities; Dimitris Athanasoulis, PhD, Archaeologist, Director of the Cyclades Ephorate of Antiquities and the Dodecanese Ephorate of Antiquities; Ioanna Dretta, President of Marketing Greece; Maria Gaitanidi, Director (theatre & cinema), PhD in Theatre Practice as Research (University of Kent); Nena Galanidou, Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Crete; Anastasia Gkadolou, Director General of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki; Efstathia Hatzi, Project Coordination Service, Foundation of the Hellenic World; Eleni-Anna Hlepa, PhD, Architect-restorer; Anastasia (Nasia) Hourmouziadi, PhD, Architect, Archaeologist, Associate Professor of Museology, Department of Cultural Technology and Communication, University of the Aegean; Dio Kaggelari, Theatrologist, Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre, School of Fine Arts, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; Ioulia Kaoura, PhD Classical Archaeologist; Ilektra Kartanou, Archaeologist, actress, researcher/performer at Mystery 20, Isavella Kasimati, actress, researcher/performer at Mystery 20, Despina Katapoti, PhD, Associate Professor of Cultural Theory & Digital Culture, Department of Cultural Technology and Communication, University of the Aegean; Erato Koutsoudaki, architect, museologist; Popi Malapani, Musician – Member of the DIAZOMA Association; Vasileia Manidaki, Architect, YSMA (Acropolis Monuments Conservation Service); Panagiotis (Takis) Mastrantonis, Professor at the University of the Aegean, lecturer in the MA programme “Monument Management: Urban Archaeology and Architecture”; Christina Mitsopoulou, Special Teaching Staff Classical Archaeology, Department of History, Archaeology, and Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly | Head of the Projet Gilliéron research project at the French School of Athens | Researcher of Eleusinian archaeology | Certified tour guide; Alexandra Bounia, Professor of Museology, Department of Cultural Technology and Communication, University of the Aegean; Apostolia Papadamaki, Director, Choreographer; Irini Papageorgiou, Curator of Prehistoric, Ancient Greek and Roman Collections, Benaki Museum; Pavlos Pavlidis, Director of the Mystery 140 Blind Guide; Theodora Skali, Special Teaching Staff, Psychology, MSc, PhD, Psychotherapist, ECP, GCP, University of Athens School of Medicine, 1st Psychiatric Clinic of Aiginiteio Hospital; Nancy (Athanasia) Psalti, Head of the Fokis/Delfi Ephorate of Antiquities, Ministry of Culture; Despoina Tsiafaki, Archaeologist – Research Director, Head of the Department of Culture & Creative Industries, Athena Research Centre; Steriani Tsintziloni, PhD, Assistant Professor (Dance), Department of Theatre Studies, University of Athens; Myrto Vounatsou, Artistic Director & Creative Director at World Human Forum.

The event was attended by more than 150 representatives from national and international public and private organisations and cultural institutions, students, researchers, and academics in the fields of History, Archaeology, Theatre, and Cultural Management, archaeologists, museologists, artists with a special interest in in situ creation, tour guides, tourist guides, digital designers, cultural managers, as well as from the general public with an interest in history, archaeology, storytelling, and theatre.

Parallel activities

In the framework of the conference, on 28 & 31 March, presentations of Mystery 20 Performing Arts Initiator – Narrative Archaeology took place at the Archaeological Site of Ancient Eleusis. On 29 March, the sculptural work of Dionisis Christofilogiannis “The Goumas Army” was presented with a live performance action in collaboration with Lysandros Spetsieris and galleria pemuvia, where 49 ceramic heads from the clay universe of Charalampos Goumas came to life in the amphitheatre of the Elefsina Old Oil Mill Factory.

At the same time and in open dialogue with the conference activities, Mystery 176 Cinema Days was held, with screenings of indelible moments from the visual documentation of emblematic events by 2023 Eleusis at the Archaeological Site of Ancient Eleusis (Mystery 11 MA, Mystery 14 Human Requiem in Eleusis, Mystery 20 Performing Arts Initiator – Narrative Archaeology). In addition, Mystery 189 Myths and Legends of Eleusis took place, with Athanasios Katsaras (amasis painter), presenting an ongoing research on the construction method of three Eleusinian amphorae.

Finally, in the foyer of the Cine Eleusis, the exhibition Mystery 178 Collecting flowers with her girlfriends by artist Violeta Diamanti-Meletiou and teacher Irini Giovanou, both students at Mystery 7 Free University of Elefsina – IN SITU, was unveiled: a study and artistic presentation of the flora in the Eleusis archaeological site, accompanied by photographs by Thanasis Milisis. 

More information about Mystery 20 Performing Arts Initiator – Narrative Archaeology: 2023eleusis.eu.

A production by 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture 

Coordination and production: MENTOR – Cultural production & management company

The project Mystery 20 Performing Arts Initiator – Narrative Archaeology is realised in the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan “Greece 2.0” with funding from the European Union – NextGenerationEU.

 

Supported by the Ephorate of Antiquities of West Attica.

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Mystery 178 Collecting flowers with her girlfriends

From 29 March to 8 April, 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture presents in the foyer of Cine Eleusis Cultural Centre Mystery 178 Collecting flowers with her girlfriends, an exhibition dedicated to the flora of the Archaeological Site of Elefsina, created by the artist Violeta Diamanti-Meletiou and the teacher Irini Yovanou.


Mystery 176 Cinema Days

“The 3rd three-day documentary screening event is coming to the historic Cine Elefsina with an unpredictable tribute by the Greek Documentary Association, the premiere of the film ‘Persephone, the Red Carpet,’ and screenings for children and young adults!”

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