What does it mean to re-appropriate the public space in Athens today ? Through examples from her long experience as a curator of projects in the public space, both in the framework of MIR and outside it, Christiana Galanopoulou will offer an insight of theoretical and practical concerns about this kind of projects and artistic practices, as well as of the production issues in this particular city.
Christiana Galanopoulou is an art historian and works as an independent curator, festival programmer, dramaturge and author of texts on art. She is the artistic director of MIRfestival in Athens, a performance/live media/image adventures festival, which she founded in 2008 (www.mirfestival.gr). In 2000 she founded VideoDance, a festival on movement and the moving image, which she directed until 2007. She has collaborated with many Greek and European cultural institutions. Since 2000 she has commissioned work from European and Greek artists, collectives and artistic groups and she has collaborated with numerous artists for the production of new work, much of which was site specific and produced by the festivals she directs. Her involvement in the production of artistic work has taken many forms.
This workshop focused on the playful reconfigurations of public spaces: the supported artists studied together the ideas of transforming daily social space into unconventional game boards and revisited known spaces from a brand new perspective.
Due to Covid19 the participants were all around Europe, connected by zoom, and all tryed with the help of Tzeni Argyriou to produce a reflexion about their direct environment and what could be exploited as a game inside of it.
The content of the workshop was inspired by the experiences of the international experimental project playforPLACE that explores the unique ability of “playing” to transform the real into the imaginative and the actual locality into an unexpected one.
Sofia Mavragani graduated from the EDDC-European Dance Development Centre, ArtEZ-University of Arts, Arnhem, NL, Bachelor in Dance Making (2005) and from the “Athens School of Economics”, Bachelor in Business Administration (2000).
Being fondly interested in the field of education and exchange she develops experimental projects on improvisation and composition, such as: Breaking Art workshop on creative collaboration between young choreographers and musicians-composers supported by Megaron – The Athens Concert Hall. imPROject research on stage improvisation focusing on the ways in which the structures and elements of playing interfere with the artistic result. playforPLACE research project on performing arts and artistic collaboration which has been realized in 17 cities of the world, in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Oceania. She is a founding member of Fingersix, an international artistic network, and of the non profit-organization Fingersix/ Athens. Sofia Mavragani’s work is regularly supported by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Hellenic Republic, the I. F. Costopoulos Foundation and the Duncan Dance Research Center.
In her intervention, Myrtia Nikolakopoulou, an art critic and ex gallery owner, offered a deep insider’s look into the art system in Greece, starting with a brief presentation of art spaces in Greece: museums, galleries, artist run spaces, residencies and collections. What does it mean to follow art as an art professional (artist, curator, theoreticians, etc) or as an audience (art lover, student, passer by)? The lack of Institutions and of state support resulted into private initiatives taking up arms to educate audience, support artists and promote art. Galleries have taken on the role of educating the public and introducing them to contemporary art. What is the role of art collectors? What is the impact of recession?
In 2005, Myrtia founded Qbox gallery that operated until 2017 and was located in a specially designed space in the Central Food Market of Athens. Qbox was a curatorial dealership whose aim was to promote young, emerging and mid-career artists on an international level. The gallery focused on conceptual artists, namely Paolo Colombo (IT), Vivi Demis (GR), Heide Fasnacht (US), Ali Kazma (TR), Megan and Murray McMillan (US), Eleni Panouklia (GR), Michail Pirgelis (DE/GR) and Stephanie Stein (DE).
From the summer of 2007 to 2012, the gallery operated Qbox Residency, the first artist residency in Greece. It was tailored to artists and to art critics and curators from abroad and it was held on the island of Kea. Qbox and its artists collaborated with independent curators as well.
In her intervention Lara Barbour will briefly present the European program, ‘HelpMi-Helping Migrants to Integrate in Work Environments’ project, co-funded by the European Commission under Erasmus + Programme – KA2 Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices – Strategic Partnership for Adult Education (Partners, Target groups, Overall objective). This program led to the creation of a specialized Code of Conduct addressed to HR professionals dealing with migrants or employees with a migrant background, which satisfies the need for policies geared towards the assimilation of migrants in order to assist their integration into the labor market. She will then lead a discussion about: rights and responsibilities of employees with migrant background; change of Employer or work placement; civil Registry and required actions after arrival; complaints and problems at work.
Lara Barbour is one of the key persons running the Erasmus + Programme “Helping migrants to integrate in work environments-HelpMi”, with the main objective of serving migrants in the local labor market and improving their understanding of European culture, while at the same time developing the multicultural skills of executives in the field of human resources management. She also coordinates a local program of support to operational groups, to help promote innovation in the agri-food sector, the environment and climate change. She is the Operations Officer at the Kokkalis Foundation (responsible for Strategic Planning & Development and Project Management), a non-profit organization that supports public, cultural and scientific life in Greece and abroad.
With over 20 years of experience in Public and Media Relations and Student Recruitment Management positions, she has undertaken multiple projects. She worked at the Corporate Affairs Department of INTRACOM SA as a Public Relations and Events Coordination Manager for 10 years and then in Athens Information Technology, a private education & research organization, for 9 years as a Recruitment Manager. She holds a BSc in Business Administration, Major in Marketing Manager and has received a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing from ALBA Graduate Business School.