Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Memories or high lights

The Kamilar workshop had many high lights, especially when measured by what a village in Crete can give. That is more than mere delivery. The hospitality of the people is unmeasurable, as is the support needed from the mayor and the local arts council. Given the favourable weather conditions, many discussions took place outdoors, underneath trees often singing when the wind brushes through them.



         Anna Arvanitaki and Hatto Fischer

Besides Hatto Fischer as coordinator of the workshop, there was the clear guidance of Anna Arvanitaki  who attempt to bridge the gap between poets and planners.



  Friedrich August Hasher (standing at the left), Socrates Kabouropoulos (left sitting) Angela (turning herself to the camera) and Juergen Eckhardt (to the right of the table)

Socrates Kabouropoulos spoke not only out of experience since he was at time director of a development agency in Kissamos about what Crete needs, and specifically how people can respond to ongoing developments, but made some critical remarks int he form of nearly a reprimand on how people in Crete were dealing with such issues as the environment and how to deal with the negative impact of tourism.

Thanos Contargyris made the audience listen up, as he explained the impact of the Internet / Nea Media. Given that the older generations is very much sceptical about their youth getting involved in the Information Society a lot of convincing and ongoing learning, in reality cultural adaptation is needed before these profound challenges can be dealt with in an adequate way.


Juergen Eckhardt and Maja Panajotova (standing and singing)


Juergen Eckhardt astonished everyone by bringing his architectural bureau from Berlin, and this included Angela who is an excellent drawer and Friedrich August Hasher It meant a professional set-up to create within three days a fully fledged proposal for what Kamilari wanted to have instead of the old school on the high hill overlooking the plains going towards Phaistos. His architectural design included a swing theatrical stage so that outdoor performances just as indoor events could be held in a multiple purpose hall. The design foresaw a possible income source insofar as the centre could be rented out for weddings. Furthermore, it included a library and guest rooms. Unfortunately that design was never taken up seriously enough to be constructed.

The presence of the chief architect of Attico Metro, Doug Tilden, was a surprise for the locals of Kamilari, since he explained to them the progress being made in the construction of the Metro in Athens. If anything, such a gift is hardly appreciated, but it shows that great persons are humble enough to share their knowledge with those who hear about what is going on in Athens, but are too far away to really follow developments there.

Doug Tilden's wife, Sue Tilden gave an account of fractural planning and connected the workshop with what had been discussed and experienced the year before when the participants of "Myth of the City" passed through Kamilari, stayed for one night and gave a poetry reading to a huge crowd of about 500 people. The "Myth of the City" did connect poets with planners, and Sue Tilden made an assessment of the evaluation report of '95.


  Katerina Anghelaki Rooke standing out

As for the poets who honored Elytis, there is fore mostly Katerina Anghelaki Rooke whose text "the last word" was written one hour after Elytis had been buried at the first cemetery in Athens. She was complemented by Andrietti Stathi-Schoorel who asked whether or not Elytis could be considered as being a Byzantine poet. Hatto Fischer added to this tribute to Elytis whose loss was felt by all since he had died in March 18, 1996 with a poem called "Getting up".

Irene Vazou gave an account of what was happening at the German school in Maroussi. It included a short description of an intercultural course which showed the potential of integration of children with a multi-cultural background.



    Sitting from left to right: Maja Panajotova, Michaelis Spyridakis, Andriette Stathi

    Leaning against the tree to the right: Anna Arvanitaki

    Standing in the middle: Ginette Verstraete

Ginette Verstraete showed how one author, namely James Joyce, could bring about an entire new economy, as shown in Dublin when streets were transformed into cultural routes aiming to retrace the steps taken by Bloomsberg in Ulysses, or when every university would create a James Joyce chair. James Joyce himself had predicted that this text of his would call upon countless scholars seeking to interpret what he meant when he laid out a map not only of the city of Dublin, but what constitutes practical reason in difficult times, for he dealt very stringently with the rise of anti-Semitism.

Jesse Marsh from Palermo went from design which he had studied in Milano to being an expert not only in New Media, but in the terminology needed for European projects to be highly innovative. His presence was an essential bridge between what locals can understood and what terminology is being used when doing European projects.

Agata Bazzi reflected upon her experiences as planner in Palmero and contributed towards the discussion as far as Article 10 ERDF project CIED (Cultural Innovation and Economic Development) was concerned. This project emerged out of the "Myth of the City" confrence thanks to an interaction of Phil Cooke, Juergen Eckhardt and Hatto Fischer. An application had been handed in with Kamilari one of the five partners. Kamilari would gurantee the human dimension in this project, but during the workshop it proved to be very difficult for both the mayor and the participants of the workshop to convince the local audience and some leading figures. They were sceptical that Kamilari had the money to participate since there was this demand of co-financing, and more so, they had doubts about Kamilari really benefitting from such a participation. In the end, it proved that Kamilari would not stay on board, and was therefore replaced by Volos which became then as well the project leader of the CIED project.

There was present as well Maja Panajotova, poetess from Bulgaria, but living in Antwerp. She had been like Katerina Anghelaki Rooke and some of the others already in Crete with the group for the "Myth of the City". Her contribution aimed at drawing links between myths of the Balkans and what can be deduced out of them for a new cultural self understanding of European citizens.


              In the foreground: Hatto Fischer discussing with Michaelis Spyridakis

Michalis Spyridakis was a key guide who gave insights into the efforts to uphold a culture based not on cement, but stone. Kamilari showed this difference. There were those who abandoned stone houses since they had become identified with poverty and moved into cement constructions with no real ventilation and natural cooling systems needed during the hot summer months when compared with the stone houses. Also the locals learned their lessons when they saw Manolis with his apartments made still out of stone had far more success with tourists than those who had constructed cheaply some rooms with narrow corridors and lack of lighting. Even though Juergen Eckhardt as architect maintained cement allowed for the first time to imitate the Parthenon of the Acropolis with its free vaults to give freedom to a huge space, Michalis Spyridakis explained well enough the disadvantages of cement compared to stone. He tried to promote the stone masons as a craft which should not die out.

For a conclusion as to what the workshop meant for Kamilari, there spoke Irene Tomara – Nikoloudaki


Present were also friends from Athens, such as Angeliki and Hermes (facing the camera)

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