Politismos eMagazine | Arts & Culture
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MARIA GIANNAKAKI: Dreaming in Ink…

01.07.2016 in Arts & Culture

MARIA GIANNAKAKI: Dreaming in Ink…    Silk and rice paper. Watercolors and colored pencils. Asian technique, European influence… With each stroke, artist Maria Giannakaki brings beautiful dreams to life.    Maria Giannakaki began her studies at the Athens School of Fine Arts studying with artists P. Tetsi and G. Kolefa. In 1993, she went to China for post-graduate studies, learning techniques of traditional Chinese painting, ink drawing and calligraphy.  Her work is a unique blend of world influences – using materials and techniques she learned in China, to choosing subject matter that is centered on the human figure, often reminiscent…

Once Upon a Bouzouki… Interview with Euripides Nikolidis

01.07.2016 in Arts & Culture

Once Upon a Bouzouki… Interview with Euripides Nikolidis    A self-taught bouzouki virtuoso and a rightful successor in the line of eminent bouzouki players, Euripides Nikolidis is the man behind Bouzouki Fairytales (his first instrumental album). With a career spanning more than 20 years of collaborations with the greatest of Greece’s singers, Nikolidis has earned the acclaim he is receiving.   Politismos had the chance to speak with the composer about his album, future plans, posthumous legacy and the prospect of Greek music abroad.    At the age of 9 you made a decision to teach yourself how to play the…

Dodona: The Oracle of Sounds at the Acropolis Museum

01.07.2016 in Arts & Culture

Dodona: The Oracle of Sounds at the Acropolis Museum   Northwestern Greece… in the heart of Epirus…. the ancient ruins of Dodona stand here, surrounded by mountains of breathtaking beauty; it is here where the oldest oracle of the ancient world was according to Homer.    The historian Herodotus referred to Dodona as dating back to the second millennium BCE. Legend says that two black pigeons were released from Thebes in Egypt; the first landed in Libya where the oracle of Ammon Zeus was established. The second flew away to Dodona and sat on an oak, the sacred tree of Zeus. The…

Pantelis Prevelakis: Academic, Romanticist

01.06.2016 in Arts & Culture

Pantelis Prevelakis: Academic, Romanticist His philosophical quests focused on human morality and ethical dilemmas making Pantelis Prevelakis one of the significant intellectuals of 20th century Greece.   Pantelis Prevelakis (1909-1986) was a novelist, poet, art historian, and theatrical writer creating a body of rich literature and academic work. Ηis birthplace was the city of Rethymnon on the island of Crete, where he stayed until his coming of age, thereafter moving to Athens. Upon finishing his studies at the School of Law and Philology he continued his studies in Paris as a member of the Art and Archaeology Institute of the…

Manos Hatzidakis: Urban-Folk Modernism in Music

01.06.2016 in Arts & Culture

Manos Hatzidakis: Urban-Folk Modernism in Music   It is a rare phenomenon for an artist to enjoy the respect and veneration of a whole nation after death. Manos Hatzidakis, born and bred of the European Enlightenment, is one of those fortunate deceased.   Born in Xanthi in 1925 to a Cretan father and mother from Adrianopolis (now in Turkey), young Manos, only 14 at the time, started his musical education, comprised of piano, violin and accordion lessons. After his parents’ divorce he moved to Athens where he was earned his living as a multi-task worker while continuing with his musical studies…

Odysseas Elytis: The Poet of Light

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Odysseas Elytis: The Poet of Light   What would the Aegean Sea be without Elytis’ poetry? A Trojan War without Homer… Odysseas Elytis is the poet of “Light and the glorious Sun”     Elytis was born in 1911 in Crete, his family originally from the island of Lesbos. Upon the start of the World War I the family moved to Athens where Elytis graduated from high school and subsequently attended courses at the Law School οf the University of Athens before dropping out. His first venture in Greek poetic circles took place in 1935 when he published his first poem…

Cloudy Day in Athens

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Cloudy Day in Athens    Vasilis Tsistanis was songwriter and bouzouki player. At the age of 15, he wrote his first song, the first of hundreds he would write during his professional career. One such legendary piece was “Synnefiasmeni Kyriaki” (Cloudy Sunday), inspired by the dismay he felt after German troops arrived in Greece in 1941 and incidents he witnessed thereafter.   The following quote is from an interview entitled “S. Gauntlett: An interview with Vasilis Tsitsanis.” published, in the Spring and Summer of 1975, by the Hellenic Society of Melbourne, Australia:    “The occupation was for me an inexhaustible…

May Day: (Protomaya) in Greece

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

May Day: (Protomaya)  in Greece    When talking about May Day, or “Protomaya,” colorful wild flowers, children making flower wreaths, picnics in the countryside, and the smell of flourishing almonds immediately come to mind. In Greece, as in most cultures of western Europe, May 1st marks the end of the cold winter and the beginning of spring and rebirth. For many centuries, “Protomaya” has been regarded as the celebration of flowers and nature. May 1st is also International Workers Day and is now considered an official holiday in Greece.    “Protomaya,” literally translated as the first day of May, is one…

Giannis Haroulis

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

Giannis Haroulis   Giannis Haroulis is one of the most well-known modern artists of Greece. His work is a beautiful fusion of Greek folk and traditional Cretan blended with a bit of rock and modern sound.    Born just outside Lasithi, in the village of Exo Lakonia, Haroulis was first introduced, at the age of 6, to playing music by his father who was a sculptor.  It was at this time he learned to play the lute (laouto).  He studied traditional folk music and began performing in local festivals. In 2002, and only in his early 20s, Haroulis was invited…

The tradition of Easter Lampades

01.04.2016 in Arts & Culture

The Tradition of  Easter Lampades     Holding Easter lampades (candles), a popular Easter tradition in Greece, dates back to early Christian times. The ancient Christian church baptized new members of the church on Holy Saturday, during which time each member of the church held a lampada. New converts carried their own lampades as they entered the church for baptism by priests.    The lampada symbolizes the new light of Christ that came to illuminate the soul of the converts or newly-baptized. It symbolizes the light Christians believe Christ brought to humanity when he conquered death and the darkness through his…