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Poems on the Underground – Greek contemporary poetry

The Press Office of the Greek Embassy in Warsaw promotes the contemporary poetry of Greece and participates to   “Poems on the Underground” events (6-30 September 2010).
“Poems on the Underground” (Wiersze w Metrze) has been inspired by other similar projects  in many cities: Dublin, Paris, New York, Barcelona, Stockholm, Stuttgard and Moscow, organised for the first time in London in 1986.
Wiersze w Metrze promotes contemporary European poetry in public city spaces, through happenings, haiku competition, poetry city game and a performing poetry festival.
Many cultural institutes and embassies participate to the project, which takes place under the auspices of the the mayor of Warsaw, Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz.
Greek contemporary poetry will be represented by two acclaimed poets, Kiki Dimoula and Nasos Vagenas.
Kiki Dimoula has recently been awarded the European Literature Prize for 2010. Her poetry has been translated into English, French, German, Swedish, Danish, Spanish and many other languages.
Dimoula’s poetry is haunted by the existential dissolution of the post-world era. Her central themes are hopelessness, insecurity, absence and oblivion. Using diverse subjects and twisting grammar in unconventional ways, she accentuates the power of the words through astonishment and surprise, but always manages to retain a sense of hope.
Nasos Vagenas, professor of Theory and Critique of Literature in the Department of Theatre Studies of the University of Athens, in 2005 was awarded with the State Poetry Prize for his poetic collection ‘Stefanos’.
His poetic work includes the books: ‘Field of Mars’, ‘Biography’, ‘Roxani’s Knees’, ‘Wandering of a non-traveller’, ‘The Fall of the Flying’, ‘Barbarous Odes’ , ‘The Fall of the Flying B’, ‘Dark Ballads and Other Poems’, ‘Stefanos’.
His poetry has been translated into English, German, Italian, Dutch, Romanian, Serbian.
Two poems of Kiki Dimoula and Nasos Vagenas have been translated in polish language for “Wiersze w Metrze” by the professors and students of the Department of Greek Studies of the University of Warsaw (Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies “Artes Liberales”).

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Greece: Prehistoric Theopetra Cave opens to public on Friday

Theopetra(ANA) Prehistoric Theopetra Cave opens to public on Friday The opening to the public of the prehistoric Theopetra Cave in Trikala prefecture, will be marked with a concert on Friday. Theopetra Cave is a famous archaeological site, and the first excavated cave in Thessaly, with excavations starting in 1987 and continuing to the present. Its deposits begin in the Middle Paleolithic period and continue without gaps until the end of the Neolithic period (3000 BC). Its uniqueness is that in contains, within a single site, the records of two greatly significant cultural transitions: The replacement of Neanderthals by modern humans, and the later transition from hunter-gathering to farming after the end of the last Ice Age. The cave, situated just three kilometers from Meteora, consists of an immense 500 square meter rectangular chamber at the foot of a limestone hill, which rises to the northeast above the village of Theopetra, with a very big entrance 17m wide by three metres high. It lies at the foot of the Chasia mountain range, which forms the natural boundary between Thessaly and Epirus prefectures, while the Lithaios River, a tributary of the Pineios River, flows in front of the cave. Excavations, which have been systematically carried out, have unearthed light geological deposits dating to the Pleistocene and Holocene periods as well as anthropogenic deposits, indicating that the cave had been continuously inhabited during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic, the Mesolithic and the Neolithic periods. Specimens found, such as coal and human bones, prove that the cave was occupied from about 50,000 BC to 4000 BC, and that temporary use continued during the Bronze Age and historic times up to 1955. Even after that the cave was used occasionally to by shepherds to shelter their herds right up until the excavations began. It is the first time that cave dwelling was recorded in Thessaly during the Palaeolithic period. Continue reading

Greece: Byzantine Fortress Showcased

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The early Byzantine-era fortress of Trikala, central Greece, which was renovated by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD in recognition of its strategic importance, is located just north of the modern-day city of the same name, in the Thessaly plain. 
The use of stone blocks attest to the fact that it was built on the site of previous ancient citadel surrounded by an outer wall, and dating back to the Classical Era. The fortress was repaired a number of times during the Ottoman occupation and featured a polygonal outer wall with five towers and many small embrasures.
The long history of the Byzantine fortress of Trikala is highlighted in a newly published brochure with photographs and historical details, within the framework of a tourism promotion campaign focusing on the uniqueness of the monument.

Greece: Challenges in the Digital Era

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     A conference on the “Digital Dividend” took place (February 24) organised by the Hellenic Communications and Post Commission. Minister of Transport and Communications Evripidis Stylianidis, Deputy Interior Minister responsible for the media Konstantinos Gioulekas, President of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation Christos Panagopoulos, directors of regulatory bodies across Europe, corporate executives and experts in the field of telecommunications  addressed the event.  The conference focused on Greece’s regulatory framework and  elaborated on the technological applications, as well as the prospects in terms of business opportunities. The ‘digital dividend’ is the part of the radio spectrum which will be freed up when analogue television (occupying large part of the spectrum) is switched off and replaced by digital (which utilises far less).  Greece has declared 2009 “Year of Broadband, Telecommunications and Mass Media Convergence.” Ministry of Transport and Communications: ww.yme.gr; Secretariat General for Communication-Information: Legislation and Audiovisual Policy & About Greece- Mass Media   EETT: Radio Spectrum Availability for New Mobile Telecommunications Services   European Commission- Communications: EU Member States on course for analogue terrestrial TV switch-off & Digital Broadcasting- National Switchover Plans

Decoding the Heavens by the Antikythera mechanism

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    antikythera-mechanismJo Marchant, Decoding The Heavens, William Heinemann 2008. Humanity’s need for purpose seems universal.  Regardless of our belief system, perhaps the beginning of winter is the best time to contemplate meaning and purpose.  How affirming and humbling to realize we are still so similar to others from the past.  The Antikythera mechanism (www.antikythera-mechanism.gr), calculated the motions of the sun, moon and planets and predicted eclipses using intricate gear mechanisms created over 2000 years ago.  Now scientists are reconstructing the device and finding that ancient Greek technology was far more advanced than previously thought.  “Historians have often scoffed at the Greeks for wasting their technology on toys rather than doing anything useful with it. If they had the steam engine, why not use it to do work?” But these devices may have been “a way to get closer to the true meaning of things. To what better use could technology be put?” The size of a shoebox, the Antikythera mechanism – a mysterious bronze device scooped out of a Roman-era shipwreck at the dawn of the 20th century, off the island of Antikythera (www.antikythira.gr), has baffled scientists for years and proved to be a  calculator used by the Ancient Greeks more than 2,000 years ago. New Scientist (12.12.2008): Archimedes and the 2000-year-old computer; Ancient computer recreated; Nature science journal (31.7.2008): Streaming video: Antikythera

Greece: An Ancient Calculator

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The size of a shoebox, a mysterious bronze device scooped out of a Roman-era shipwreck at the dawn of the 20th century, off the island of Antikythera (www.antikythira.gr), has baffled scientists for years and proved to be a  a calculator used by the Ancient Greeks more than 2,000 years ago. Researchers yesterday announced that the Antikythera Mechanism (www.antikythera-mechanism.gr), as it is now known, could predict eclipses decades in advance and was also used to record the four-yearly cycle of the original Olympic Games.  World Media Reports – Google: Scientists unlock new secrets of Antikythera mechanism; Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Highlights

Theo Angelopoulos Retrospective / Eleni Karaindrou Concert / International Film Festival in Wroclaw (17-27/7/2008)

Theo Angelopoulos Retrospective was included in the 8th edition of Wroclaw’s International Film Festival, a prominent film event which took place from the 17 th through the 27th of July.

The screening of Greek director’s masterpieces was followed by Eleni Karaindrou concert (on 26th of July, at the Wroclaw Opera House), with compositions for Angelopoulos’ films.

The concert was attended by the Greek Ambassador in Warsaw Pantelis Carcabassis, Theo Angelopoulos, Petros Markaris, writer -who collaborated with Angelopoulos on many screenplays- Festival director Roman Gutek and the film critic Michel Dimopoulos.

After the concert, a reception honoring Theo Angelopoulos and Eleni Karaindrou was held by the Greek Embassy and the Press and Communication Office in Warsaw.

As part of the event, photographer Dimitris Sofikitis exhibited his work documenting Angelopoulos film “The Weeping Meadow”.