This Lecture is jointly hosted by the Greek Community of Melbourne and the Greek Democritus League
Lecturer: Dr Petros Alexiou
Alekos Doukas today is a largely forgotten author whose two novels, To Stuggle To Youth (1953) and Under Foreign Skies (1963), both published in Melbourne, represent an attempt by a pre-war Greek immigrant to reinterpret his past experiences into a type of Greek-Australian socialist realist literature. This seminar paper will introduce the audience to Doukas' Asia Minor birthplace and the turbulent times in which he grew up. His early life will be tracked through his letters which begin in 1921 at the Asia Minor front and end in Bendigo in 1936. The letters recount an untold Australian story that has its beginnings in that corner of the world where the Gallipoli campaign was waged, but with players very different to those usually associated with this event. They intimately capture the trauma of war, refugee life, migration and the life of a marginalised Southern European figure in the crisis-ridden interwar years. The letters illustrate how an historical subject, though living within the larger context of historical forces and ideas, follows his own unique path, based on experience and individual agency.
Petro Alexiou was born in Australia and completed tertiary studies in Australia and Greece. He has completed a PhD Thesis in Critical Cultural Studies at Macquarie University on the migrant author Alekos Doukas. He is the English translator of the 1929 Greek novella A Prisoner of War's Story by the Asia Minor writer Stratis Doukas, Alekos' older brother. He worked as a translator for SBS-TV for over a decade, subtitling films and television series. He is a graduate of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School's extension course in screenwriting and was the co-writer for the 1989 short film The Killing of Angelo Tsakos (1989). He was one of the main organisers of the Sydney Greek Film Festival for its first 10 years, and is the President of the Greek Film Society Sydney. Over the last 25 years, he has written occasional articles on Greek cinema and the Thessaloniki Film Festival in the film magazines, Filmnews and Senses of Cinema. He is currently an Honorary Lecturer involved in research in the Greek Studies Program at UNSW.
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