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“Kali Patrida” Greek Communities of Political Refugees in Eastern Europe

By the end of the Greek Civil War (1946-49), Greece was in a tragic state. The human loss and physical destruction incurred in this conflict was added to the suffering and damage already accumulated during World War II and the occupation. One of the most dramatic consequences of the Civil War was the odyssey of thousands of Greek men, women and children who settled in Eastern Europe and the USSR – mainly in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The Hellenic Parliament Foundation for Parliamentarianism and Democracy is hosting until December 31, 2011, an exhibition titled Kali Patrida… Greek Communities of political refugees in Eastern Europe.
The exhibition draws on material (printed and audiovisual) from many sources, both from Greece and abroad in order to shed light on particular themes in the lives of political refugees: their establishment in the host countries (East Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Uzbekistan); their children’s education, their communities, their efforts to preserve their distinctive cultural heritage as well as their repatriation.
“Kali patrida” meaning “Happy Homecoming,” is actually a wish political refugees shared, expressing their nostalgia for their homeland.
ERT Archive: Documentary: Second Homeland – Episode: Stepmother Homeland & Michalis Gkanas: The history of my times [VIDEO]; TVXS: Writer Alki Zei talks about the Civil War [VIDEO]
ODYSSEY Magazine about Greece and the Greek Diaspora: Features-Our Town Beloiannisz in Hungary
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

 
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Tribute to poet Odysseus Elytis

On November 2, 2011 Greece commemorates the 100th anniversary since the birth of poet laureate Odysseus Elytis. To mark the centenary of his birth, 2011 has been designated as Elytis Year by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Odysseus Elytis was born in Heraklion, Crete on November 2, 1911 and died in Athens on March 18, 1996.
A major poet in Greek language, Elytis is also one of the outstanding international figures of 20th-century poetry. Elytis’ poetry has marked, through an active presence of over forty years, a broad spectrum of subjects with a rarefied and passionate stylistic touch. The first collections of poetry (Orientations, 1939, and Sun the First, 1943) are joyous and radiant, celebrating the Greek landscape as an ideal world of sensual enjoyment and moral purity.
His experience of the war in 1940s marks a departure from the sunny atmosphere of his early youth and poetry, colouring his long poem Heroic and Elegiac Song for the Lost Second Lieutenant of Albania (1943). The attempt of Elytis to identify himself with the nation and speak for himself and also for his country reaches its peak with Axion Esti (‘Worthy It Is,’ 1959), his central and most ambitious work for which he was awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize for Literature.
His experience of the war in 1940s marks a departure from the sunny atmosphere of his early youth and poetry, colouring his long poem Heroic and Elegiac Song for the Lost Second Lieutenant of Albania (1943). The attempt of Elytis to identify himself with the nation and speak for himself and also for his country reaches its peak with Axion Esti (‘Worthy It Is,’ 1959), his central and most ambitious work for which he was awarded the 1979 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Centenary Celebrations
The Athens Concert Hall is paying tribute to Odysseus Elytis by holding a two-day (October 31 to November 1) international conference titled Odysseus Elytis: The 20th century in the poetry of Elytis. The poetry of Elytis in the 21st century, exploring new approaches in the interpretation of his work.
On November 2 and 3, there will be an event of original music by George Kouroupos under the title Odysseus Elytis’ This Small, this Great World!, with poetry and prose set to music, representing the main facets of the work of Odysseus Elytis: lyricism, a restless spirit of inquiry, courage, spirituality, sensation and true emotions. Continue reading

Holocaust Memorial Day

The opening of the exhibition The Memorial: 16 Artists Propose, featuring projects that were submitted last year by 16 artists, as part of an international competition for the construction of a Holocaust Memorial of Greek Jews, took place at the Jewish Museum of Greece.
The competition was conducted by the Jewish Community of Athens and resulted in the selection of the work of artist DeAnna Maganias which was unveiled at a special event in May 2010. The museum is also organising a week-long programme of educational activities and memorial events, lasting until February 4.
The exhibition –which will remain open until August 2011- is part of events that have been planned for the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, co-organized by the Attica region and the Jewish community of Athens for January 26 and 27. A memorial service was held on the 27th of January, at the Athens Synagogue in Thisseio, to be followed by a speech by University of Athens History Professor, Hagen Fleischer.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitris Droutsas issued a statement on the occasion of the Holocaust Memorial Day, in which he referred to Greece’s continuing efforts to preseve historical memory and educate younger generations. He further added that preparations are underway for a permanent Greek exhibition at the Auschwitz Museum.  
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Tourism campaign “You in Greece”

Greek tourism is about to be given an image boost – through the launch of the latest advertising campaign “You in Greece.”
The campaign aims to promote the country as an attractive tourist destination, but also provide the media with useful statistics on tourism, while shedding light on little known information regarding this year’s tourism prospects.
Visit Greece at: www.visitgreece.gr

» This Summer, We Travel to Greece
Another goal is to appeal to the Greek Diaspora to visit and promote Greece abroad.

A two-month campaign has been launched under the motto “This Summer We Travel to Greece” by the bilingual Greek-American newspaper “Greek News” addressed to the Diaspora Greeks, and philhellenes.

» 2010 Reasons to Visit Greece

The exhibition titled “2010 reasons to visit Greece” is taking place once again at London’s Harrods department store. The Secretary – General of the World Tourism Organisation, Taleb Rifai, called Greece “one of the most important destinations in the world and a point of reference for us all.”

» So Far Yet So Close

Boundaries in the Chinese market seem to be lifted one by one as increasingly more Chinese explore Greece every year.

Last year, 48 million Chinese travelled abroad but only one million visited Europe.
Chinese tour operators expect this number to increase in the future, stressing that Greece should consider capitalizing on educational tourism.
Visit Greece: “Kalimera” (Good morning)
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

El Greco`s masterpiece in Thessaloniki

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) “The Coronation of the Virgin,” one of the masterpieces painted by Doménicos Theotokópoulos, widely known as El Greco, is currently exhibited at the Teloglion Foundation of Art in Thessaloniki. 
The oil painting on canvas (57 x 79.3 cm), dates back to 1603-1605, the creative period of the artist. El Greco painted this masterpiece for the chapel of the Hospital de la Caridad near Todelo.
The painting was acquired by the Alexandros S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation in 2008 and is temporarily housed in the National Gallery until the completion of the “Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens.”
“The Coronation of the Virgin” will be on display at Teloglion Foundation until May, 2010.

Cacoyannis Foundation: A new Cultural Centre

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias and Cyprus President Demetris Christofias officially inaugurated on March 9, the “Michael Cacoyannis Foundation,” housed in an Athens downtown building.
The Foundation’s building is designed to serve as a cultural centre for performing arts and is meant to preserve Cacoyannis oeuvre for future generation.
The official inauguration is to be followed by a series of events, including a costume and photography exhibition from Cacoyannis’s work for the cinema, opera and theatre.
Cypriot-born Michael Cacoyannis is the director of world acclaimed films, among which Stella, Electra, Zorba the Greek and The Trojan Women
Athens News (5.3.2010) Cacoyannis’ cultural centre

Melina Mercouri: A tribute to the “last Greek Goddess”

Sixteen years have passed since Melina Mercouri, one of the great women of Greece, died on March 6, 1994. On the 16th anniversary of her death, as well as of International Women’s Day (March 8), the Eugenides Foundation is hosting an exhibition-tribute to the late, multifaceted actress and politician, emphasizing her relationship to education and culture. 
Internationally acclaimed actress, singer and politician, Melina was characterized by many as the epitome of womanhood, as well as the “last Greek Goddess.”
An ardent supporter of the repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum, Melina, as minister of Culture, openly claimed them and devoted herself to this goal.
The exhibition titled “Melina-Education-Culture” will run from March 9 to April 8. 
Melina Mercouri Foundation: www.melinamercourifoundation.org.gr
Greek News Agenda: Melina Mercouri: “Culture is Greece’s heavy industry