Athens 2017 - Contested Cities

Address by th G. Man./Vice Chancellor MCF

Welcome Letter

by the General Director/ Vice President, Board of Directors Michael Cacoyannis Foundation

Poetry and science deal with matters that move towards a new order and often transform on the way, but «always crash into the chaos of Being». There must be a  struggle in order for a meaning to emerge. The answer will always be ephemeral, thus we are condemned to constantly set the question. For us, this is also one of the reasons that, even today, we continue to engage ourselves so intensively with the study and the on stage interpretation of ancient drama.

The three year programme “Ancient Drama: Interdisciplinary and Croos – Art Approaches”, as part of the Act “Establishing and Promoting International Institutions of Contemporary Culture in Attica”, aims to strengthen and enrich the contemporary understanding of the Ancient Drama through the performing and visual arts in the 21st century, initiating a dialogue between Ancient Drama and sectors that describe our times (urban space, digital culture, hybrid contemporary art, natural sciences). Its actions are a proposition for further research and have developmental prospect, offering methodological tools and practical applications in artistic as much as in scientific/research level.

In the first year, we welcome the innovative research network Contested Cities (Autonomous University of Madrid and Leeds University), initiating, for the first time, the conversation about the Ancient Drama and the planning of the contemporary city, the city branding, the industrialization, our approach with regards to the commons and the collective processes of the 21st century metropolis. The Ancient Drama within its contemporary representations and transformations, interacts and communicates with it, bringing to the surface conflicts and perils. In the end it is the myth that gives us the necessary distance to discuss the matters of the present.

Xenia Kaldara

Address by the Secretary General, Ministry of Culture and Sports

“…a poem is a city at war.”

It is with great satisfaction that we have been following an iconic cultural institution, as is the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, maneuvering itself dynamically and creatively within the field of contemporary artistic creation and also groundbreaking multidisciplinary research, utilizing material and human resources on an international level, stemming from innovative and groundbreaking foundations.

The Program “Ancient Drama – Multidisciplinary and Inter-Artistic Approaches”, which has brought to Greece the international network, Contested Cities, explores a novel relationship between ancient drama and studies concerning the urban environment, focusing upon the timeless and particularly relevant issues of displacement and refinement.

Through various actions which include meetings, workshops, and seminars involving researchers from different fields of the subject area, as well as artistic actions, exhibitions and theatrical performances, the program aims to explore  the various dimensions and interactivity, the implications, the conflicts and, ultimately, the fruits of the aforementioned bipolar state of modern times.

We would like to congratulate this initiative of the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation and we are in full support of their contribution,  to contemporary artistic production and to a productive academic dialogue, and we hope to promote similar initiatives which assist to the creation of a new wave of influences and intellectual and artistic choices, seeing as our basic beliefs and goals lie in the improvement of our society via contact with cultural wealth, regardless of its era, origin, or form.

We sincerely wish the very best to the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation on this outward journey and we are confident that this initiative will inspire many others both at the national and the international level.


Dr Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki

From Charles Bukowski’s poem “A Poem is a City”

Address by Regional Governor of Attica

Embracing extroversion, fermentation of different cultures and lively debate, introducing experimentation and technological innovation, highlighting Ancient Drama instead of renouncing it, whilst also establishing organic links with education at all levels are topical issues of modern Greek civilisation. In this context, the Region of Attica, through its funding instruments, either as a part of EU programmes or directly linked to the Region’s own resources, aims at boosting culture that would yield major contributory benefits for today’s citizens and for our society as a whole, while they would highlight every aspect of artistic creation both in our country and abroad. We therefore support in practice cooperation with international cultural and educational centres in order to highlight as many aspects of the Greek culture and arts as possible and to offer to active citizenship and young people the opportunity of interactive participation in our cultural wealth. The key to achieving our aims are cultural organisations, as they are willing, even in current difficult circumstances, to establish significant partnerships, thus setting up the networks needed for the fertilisation of the Greek cultural project and its valuable visibility.

The Michael Cacoyannis Foundation (MCF) stands out, as the nature of its statute enables it to rigorously enhance synergies and explore new grounds, yet always relating to the first cultural aspect that emerged in Greece and flourished in Attica, just below the Parthenon, in the ancient Theatre of Dionysus. Ancient Greek Theatre and Drama and its perception through compliance with modern means of expression henceforth become the focus of interest for Europe through the involvement of prestigious universities and researchers for the next three years. MCF becomes a creation cell seeking the widest possible participation and providing ground for new cultural partnerships, which is neither occasional nor conjectural at all. It is self-evident that we support this effort, by providing funding in order to ensure the realisation of both planned and future productions. We hope that it will attract foreign cultural and educational entities as well, stirring interest for a common European history and the need to stay together. After all, Culture neither migrates nor is it copied – it is shared and passed on to those who need it, namely to all of us who seek the best perspective.

Rena Dourou

Address by the Minister of Culture & Sports

Every era needs to create its own tradition. That is to approach the traditional elements with a new and innovative way. Only then the tradition can become a dynamic and not a static field and continue to feed our present.

The contemporary cultural reality needs to be attractive, with a developmental aim, but at the same time, with consciousness and knowledge of the past. The programme “Ancient Drama: Interdisciplinary and Cross-Art Approaches”, implemented by the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, is timely and extremely important, precisely because it is moving towards this direction.

This year’s programme defines the ancient drama as the starting and reference point – this so important and valuable heritage. But it is not seen from a distance as if it is within a museum.  On the contrary, through its activities (Art Exhibition, International Forum and Theatre Performances), it focuses on Urban Studies and brings the ancient drama to a direct conversation with the ‘Here and the Now’ of our time. In this way, it projects the depth of the past on the contemporary surface of the present.

The collaboration with researchers from well-known foreign universities as well as with established artists is an innovative proposal of high importance not only for the Greek reality but also for the dynamic cultural presence of Greece abroad.

Sincerely, I wish every success to all the contributors of this ambitious and promising undertaking.

Lydia Koniordou