3rd Literary Performance Festival
“The rhythm of the world has altered within me”
The accuracy of the absurd and the magical perceived as real through Literary Performance
Having a line from the poem “My Spectrum” (“To fasma mou”) by Georgios Vizyinos as its title, the 3rd Literary Performance Festival at the 17th Thessaloniki International Book Fair seeks to explore on stage the absurd in literature as a vehicle of accurate expression and truth. Performance is one of the most innovative artistic expressions that brings to the forefront the importance of the moment, interacts with literature and captures mental states that could be described as borderline experiences. Through these we are exposed to the equally beneficial and dangerous properties of the human contradictions, that are expressed uniquely through the absurd or even by the paranoia in literature.
The following writers have been invited to present their work and illuminate various dimensions of the subject matter: Vassilis Amanatidis, Phoebe Yannisi, Panagiotis Ioannidis, Agni Stroubouli, Marios Chatziprokopiou (Greece), Konstantinos Papageorgiou (Cyprus) and Stephen James Smith (Ireland). The seven performances that co-shape this year’s festival can be found on the website of the 17th TBF.There can also be found biographical data and photos of all the performers and the main contributors of the works.
Constantinos Papageorgiou has published two poetry collections: “Supernova” (Υπερκαινοφανής, Melani Publications, 2017 – shortlisted for the State Prize for Poetry, Cyprus) and “The Five Seasons” (Οι Πέντε Εποχές, Melani Publications, 2012 – shortlisted for the Yannis Varveris Prize for Young Authors). His poetry collection “Postcard I never sent” (Καρτ Ποστάλ που δεν έστειλα) won the New Poets Prize (for poets under 40 years of age) of the Cyprus Writers Union. He has represented Cyprus in the European Poetry Slam Championship (Budapest, 2018), as a result of the distinction he received in the 2nd International Cyprus Poetry Slam. His poems have been included in various anthologies, such as: Anthology of Cypriot Poetry 1960-2018 (ed. Christodoulidis G. & Nikolaidis P., Kima Publications, 2018), Anthology of Young Cypriot Poets (ed. Papaleontiou L., Vakxikon Publications, 2018), Gluttonous (Λαίμαργα, ed. Tziaouri-Hilmer M., Aktis Publications, 2018), I woke up in a country (Ξύπνησα σε μια χώρα, ed. Meziti M., Publications: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Greece, 2019), 100 words in 100 hours (100 λέξεις σε 100 ώρες, Paratiritis tis Thrakis, 2020) etc. He has participated in various literary festivals, such as: What’s the point of poetry? (Berlin Poetry Festival, 2013), Sardam: literature another way round (Σαρδάμ: Η λογοτεχνία αλλιώς, aRttitude, 2013, 2019), Poetry in direct dialogue (Ποίηση σε απευθείας διάλογο, Ideogramma, 2014), About what should be glowing (Γι’ αυτά που θα ’πρεπε να φέγγουν, Aktis, 2015), CROWD Omnibus Reading Tour (Serbia and Boulgaria, 2016), BOOK ME (Cyprus Bank Cultural Institute, 2016), A Journey, a poem (Ministry of Education and Culture, 2018), 4th International Literary Festival («ες γην εναλίαν Κύπρον», Ideogramma, 2019) etc.
Stefanos Papadas is an audiovisual artist whose work focuses on New Media. He studied at the Faculty of Music and Audiovisual Arts of the Ionian University and he holds a scholarship from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. The postgraduate program he attended has the title Activated Space and his work focuses on alternative forms of visual narratives. The space, the movement and the human being interface thematically through video-art, installations, photography and painting. He has participated in more than 20 group exhibitions and festivals and has cooperated with art groups from Greece, Belgium, Cyprus and Poland. In December 2015 he cooperated with the activist theater group Action Zoo Humain from Tunisia, and presented their work at the Opera Ghent, the Rotterdam Opera and Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. In 2017 he presented “Window to the Universe” at the Megaron – Athens Concert Hall and at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Crete. In 2017, he participated in the 6th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art with the documentary “Anamones,” and his video installation BRAIN_RINTH has been displayed four times since 2018, the last time being at the Athens Digital Art Festival in 2020.
Marios Chatziprokopiou was born in Thessaloniki in 1981. He studied History, Theater and Visual Arts in Thessaloniki and in Paris. He holds an MA in Social Anthropology (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris) and a PhD (cum laude) in Performance Studies (University of Aberystwyth, United Kindom). He has received scholarships from the French Government, the Michelis Foundation, the National Research Center of Brazil, the University of Aberystwyth Research Center for the Humanities etc. His articles have appeared in international edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals. He is a teaching fellow and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Thessaly. He has collaborated as a dramaturge with the Geopoiitiki theatrical group (Athens and Epidaurus Festival, Dimitria Festival, Experimental Stage of the National Theatre of Greece, Pafos-EU Capital of Culture etc.). He has held performances and performative lectures at cultural and academic institutes both in Greece and abroad (Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Sardam Festival/Cyprus, Athens Biennale, Oxford University, Brunel University, Festival de Performances Urbanas/Brazil, K2020/Lothringer 13, Münich, KUIR poetry readings, Berlin etc.). He is a writer-in-residence at the Contemporary Art Space Spinnerei, Leipzig (Germany) in cooperation with the Goethe Institut in Thessaloniki. He has translated three books by Clarice Lispector from Portuguese into Modern Greek. His poems have been published in literary journals and collective volumes, and have been translated into English and French. He has published the poetry collection Topical Tropics (Antipodes Publications, 2019).
Vassileia Guilloteau was born in Paris in 1990. She is a musician and a performer. She has graduated from the Department of Music Science and Art of the University of Macedonia and from the Department of Electronic Music and Production of the SAE Athens. She has taken vocal training lessons from Elsa Mouratidou, Maria Thoidou, Spyros Sakkas and Vangelis Angelakis. She has participated in performances along with Spyros Sakkas and Natassa Zouka. She has given concerts at the Aegina International Music Festival and at the cathedral of Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Bern. She is currently a postgraduate student at the Department of Music Technology and Contemporary Practices of the Athens University, specializing in Music Creation for New Media.
Panayiotis Ioannidis was born in 1967 in Athens, where he now lives. He has published four poetry books (Kastaniotis Editions): The lifesaver (2008), Uncovered (2013), Poland (2016, which was nominated for the State Literary Award for best Poetry and for the Literary Award of the electronic magazine “Anagnostis”), Rhinoceros (2020). He is one of the authors of the collective essay books What Art Teaches Us – The Artistic Action as a Process of Knowledge (FRMK, 2020) and A Discussion About Poetry now (FRMK, 2018). His poems have been included in two English-language anthologies, namely T. Chiotis’ Futures (Penned in the margins, 2015), K. Van Dyck’s Austerity Measures (Penguin, 2016• NYRB Books, 2017), in two German anthologies, and in Greek, English, Croation, Polish, Swedish and Turkish journals. He has translated English-language poetry (works by S. Heaney, R. Creeley, T. Gunn, J. Hirshfield, D. Harsent, A.E. Stallings etc.), he is a member of the editorial board of the FRMK journal, poetry editor for the monthly The Book’s Journal and Und.Athens, and he curates the monthly poetry readings Words (can) do it.
(photo by Dimitra Kationi)
Agni Stroubouli was born in Piraeus in 1952, and since then there has been the sea. Since 1995 there have been the Greek folk tales, which are another sea of memory, discovery and consolation. She has created the anthologies: Tales with unfathomable old women and Tales with fierce dragons (Apopeira Publications), The Little Rooster (AlphaPi Books), Some Mischievous Mice and Ah! These Goblins (Aspri Lexi Publishing), To kountounaki (The Little Bell) and The He-tree (Kaleidoscope Publications), To pergalio and The Stone Boat (Armonia Publications), Go bye-bye… (Potamos Publishers). She has also translated the following books into Modern Greek: Marottes et Marionnettes by Henri Delpeux, Le Jeu dramatique à l’ école élémentaire by Gérard Fauré, Châteaux de sable by Ann Rocard, Dictionnaire du Theatre by Patrice Pavis, which have been published by Gutenberg Publications, as well as the books: Une Femme: Camille Claudel by Anne Delbée, published by Hestia Publishers and Tales from Cairo published by Apopeira Publications. She has written a book of her own, The Fly (short prose, Apopeira Publications). She has held radio broadcasts at the Hellenic Radio for thirteen years. She has organized workshops on the Art of Storytelling for 15 years at the Municipality of Athens, at the Benaki Museum, at Public Libraries etc. She has held storytelling performances for 25 years all over Greece and abroad, at various theatres, museums, schools, universities, hospitals, prisons, libraries, cultural centres, live music venues, festivals, squares, conferences. Before that she worked as a social worker and was responsible for planning and implementing educational programs. And the show goes on.
Stavros Parginos was born in Athens in 1973. He started his music studies learning to play the mandolin at the Mandolin Orchestra under the guidance of Michalis Vaindirlis. In 1994 he started to study cello at the Hellenic Conservatory of Music and Arts, joining the class of Dana Chatzigeorgiou and graduating with distinction. As a cellist and mandolinist he has participated in various Greek orchestras, theatrical and music productions. He has also been a permanent member of chamber music ensembles and diverse music groups. He has graduated from the Physiotherapy Department of the Athens University of Applied Sciences.
Vassilis Amanatidis is a poet, translator, performer, fiction and essay writer. He was born in Edessa in 1970. He grew up in Thessaloniki. He studied Archaeology and Art History at the School of Philosophy at Thessaloniki. He first published his poems in 1991. He has published eight poetry books since 1999 [most recently: you: the elements, 2017 (Ouranis Foundation Poetry Award of the Academy of Athens), μ_otherpoem, 2014, 7: poetry for video games, 2011], along with a collection of his short stories in the book Plagkton: the stories, 2019. Two theatrical plays of his were performed in Thessaloniki. He presents his books to the public through his literary performances in Greece and abroad using handmade materials and modern technology. He teaches poetry as a form of creative writing, and he curates visual exhibitions and performative acts. He translates fiction and poetry (Gombrowicz, Singer, Cummings, Carson etc.), publishes poetry criticism and he is a consulting editor at the Entefktirio journal and a member of the editors board of FRMK. He has participated in international poetry festivals, and his works have been translated in fourteen languages and have been included in journals and anthologies. A bilingual selection of his poems has been published in Russian, and a book with selected poems has been published in German.
Sofia Karakantza is a director, performer and art director of the “Black Hook” group. She was born in Great Britain. She grew up in Xanthi and in Kavala. She studied filmmaking and creative writing in Great Britain. In 1991 she moved to Thessaloniki. She worked at the National Theatre of Northern Greece (1991-1998) as an artistic collaborator, professor of the Drama School and director. She has worked together with V. Papavasileiou, M. Langhoff, M. Marmarinos, A. Voutsinas, E. Gavrielidis, D. Chronopoulos, S. Tsakiris, K. Kazakos. She worked for the “Mousiko Polytropo” ensemble which was established by prof. Ioannis Kaimakis (1995-2002) as a director staging performances that took place in Greece, Belgium and Germany. She was a teaching fellow at the department of Music Science and Art at the University of Macedonia (1998-2007). She has taught at the Higher School of Dramatic Art “Andreas Voutsinas” since 2009 and she has collaborated with the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki teaching melodramatic voice and classical singing. In the past thirty years she has staged numerous theatrical and musical performances. She started her cooperation with V. Amanatidis in 2006 with his work The Sink and has continued up to the present with his very important works Migrants, μ_otherpoem: just words, you: the elements and Plagkton: the stories.
Mariana Vogiatzi is a musician, performer and director. She was born in Thessaloniki in 1986. She studied music at the Department of Music Science and Art at the University of Macedonia. She has a diploma in violin under the guidance of professor Achilleas Kaplanidis. She has staged four performative works since 2007: Under Control, Present Tense, Post_vomit and Split. In 2010 she established the dance-theatre group “Twelve Fingers.” Since 2011 she has been a member of the rebetico band “Tsitsanis’ Angels.” She has participated as an assistent director and performer in the “Black Hook” and “Decision” groups, and has worked as an assistent director at two opera productions of the region of Central Macedonia, namely Dido and Aeneas and Cavalleria Rusticana. She teaches the violin and music-motor education. She used to teach kinesiology at the theatrical workshops of the National Theatre of Northern Greece. She has cooperated with Vassilis Amanatidis as a musician and performer at the performance of his work you: the elements.
Phoebe Giannisi (http://phoebegiannisi.net/en/), born in Athens, is the author of seven books of poetry, including Ομηρικά, (Athens, 2009), published in German (Homerika, translated by Dirk Uwe Hansen, Reinecke und Voss, 2016) and in English (Homerica, translated by Brian Sneeden, World Poetry Books, 2017, acclaimed by Anne Carson as one of the best books of the year). Her last book is Χίμαιρα (Chimera, Athens, 2019). An architect, Phoebe Giannisi holds a PhD in Classics (Lyon II-Lumière), published as Récits des Voies. Chant et Cheminement en Grèce archaïque, (Grenoble: 2008). Her work transverses the borders between poetry and performance, installation, inscription and representation, investigating the poetics of voice, body and place. Exhibitions: poetic installation TETTIX, National Museum of Contemporary Art (2012-13,); AIGAI_O, «Angeliki Chatzimichali» Museum (2015).
Stephen James Smith is a poet and playwright from Dublin, and he is known for playing a central role in the rise of the vibrant spoken word scene in Ireland in the past years. To date, his poetry videos in YouTube have had more than 3 million views. His work has been translated into Irish, Spanish, Slovenian, Polish, Dutch and Italian. He has been awarded nine prizes for his poetic work since 2007. His first book Fear Not was published by Arlen House in 2018.