Week Two of Greek Writers Festival commences with a highly entertaining evening program on Friday (7 June), beginning with a raw and informative session about Anarchy in Fitzroy presented by (In)famous poet and anarchist Π.O. The Festival concludes on Saturday 8 June with five informative and entertaining sessions featuring eleven participants.
Greek Writers Festival made its debut at the Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture on Friday evening (31 May 2019). The Festival was officially opened at 6.30pm by Boon Wurrung Traditional Land Owner Gheran Steel followed by short speeches from Greek Community President Bill Papastergiadis, Board Member Jim Bossinakis and Program Curator George Mouratidis.
The first panel of the Festival was hosted by Professor Vrasidas Karalis, Sir Nicholas Laurantus Professor Modern Greek Chair at the University of Sydney and featured writers Maria Katsonis and Dmetri Kakmi discussing Growing Up Greek and Rebellious.
During this speech Mr. Papastergiadis said that the GCM achieved another goal by creating a communication channel at different levels with the other nationalities. Particularly positive were the comments on the participation of writers and academics from other nationalities, by the President of the GCM, Mr Bill Papastergiadis.
Mr. Papastergiadis described the festival as one of the largest Greek Writers Festivals both in Australia and in the diaspora. He said that he was very pleased with the program and the participation of such important writers and academics.
"I am very pleased both by the interesting program of the Festival, as well as by the participation of important writers and academics not only of Greek background but also from other nationalities. It is one of the biggest Writers Festivals and I am glad that this festival is organised by GCM, " he said.
"In this way, GCM realises another goal of creating a channel of communication with other Australian nationalities, exchanging ideas, experiences and planning together for the future."
Mr. Papastergiadis added that "GCM’s goal is also to embrace our young writers and support them through our Festival and cultural programs, enabling them to promote their works not only to the Greek community but also to the Australian community. "
Greek Writers Festival runs for five big days from 31 May to 8 June with an impressive line-up of over 50 writers and 30 events. These include panels, readings, performances and workshops that will challenge and entertain audiences with the aim of fostering a broader cultural, political and literary dialogue.
In 2019, the theme of the festival is DIASPORIC DIALOGUES with the programme promoting participation from Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, African, Middle Eastern, Jewish and Australian First Nations writers and performers as well as those who identify as queer.
The festival aims to promote an understanding that writers and performers from different diasporas and communities here in Australia have so much to share and learn from one another, and to encourage and nurture such cultural and artistic relationships.
Week One Highlights
Week One of The Festival featured 24 sessions and over 40 distinguished writers and academics. It’s safe to say, that the festival exceeded every expectation, especially in terms of participation and quality.
For those who attended, it was an invaluable opportunity to listen to the views of various writers on issues concerning contemporary writing and arts in Australia’s multicultural society.
Some of the informative and entertaining sessions on offer at The Greek Centre were:
• The Art of Poetry with Lucy Van (Chair), Michelle Cahill, Tina Giannoukos and Ouyang Yu
• The Art of Fiction with Vrasidas Karalis (Chair), Effie Carr, Will Kostakis and Michael Mohammed Ahmad
• The Word and the Image with Lucy Van (Chair), Bella Li and Stavros Messinis
• Bilingualism and Identity with: Tina Giannoukos (Chair), Maria Tumarkin, Dean Kalimniou and Ouyang Yu
• Forked Tongues: Bilingual Reading II with Michelle Cahill, Effie Carr, Tina Giannoukos, Tom Petsinis, Dean Kalimniou, Alex Skovron and Hariklia Heristanidis
• The Siren Call of Football with Jim Pavlidis (Chair), George Megalogenis and Tom Petsinis
• The Art of Performance with Santo Cazzati (Chair), John Englezos and Benjamin Theolonious Sanders (IQ)
• Translation: Lost and Found with Vrasidas Karalis (Chair), George Mouratidis, Ouyang Yu and Dean Kalimniou
The Festival continues on Friday 7 June and Saturday 8 June. The festival will finish on Saturday night with the launch of books by Dimitris Troaditis and Tom Pettinis.
Some of the interesting activities and workshops on Friday and Saturday are:
• Anarchy in Fitzroy with Π.O.
• New Country / First Nation with Tony Birch
• One Hundred Third of East: A Work for Soprano and Contrabass with Nick Tsiavos and Deborah Kayser
• Workshop: Writing the Line: the play of image and rhythm with Tina Giannoukos
• Writing a Legacy with Anna Chatzinikolaou (Chair), Dina Amanatides and Lella Cariddi
• Gary Foley and Fotis Kapetopoulos in conversation with Gary Foley and Fotis Kapetopoulos
• Speak, poet!: Open Mic with moderator Dimitris Troaditis (MC)
• Book Launch Tom Petsinis 'Steles / Dimitris Troaditis' with Dr. Thanasis Spilias (Presenter), Tom Petsinis, George Mouratidis (Eng. Presenter), Dean Kalimniou (Greek Presenter) and Dimitris Troaditis
More information about the festival and the program at website of the Greek Centre greekcentre.com.au or follow Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Greekcommunitymelb/