Athens Biennial “OMONIA”, AB5to6
Wednesday September 21, 2016 (7-9 pm)
Varvakios Square, Athens
assembly for an Oresteia (2016, HD, 31’, colour, sound) - screening and discussion

assembly for an Oresteia (2016, 31’) is a documentation of a collective conversation that took place at Green Park Athinas on April 19, 2016, with the representatives of several solidarity organizations in and around Athens (Kaiti Mendoni, Christos Giovanopoulos, Christina Papadopoulos, Christos Korolis, Georgia Bekridaki and Christos Sideris), the actors (Evi Saoulidou, Akillas Karazissis, Bryana Fritz and Christos Passalis) and the director (Robin Vanbesien).

My proposal for an Oresteia takes place in the absence of another poem. It is the silent poem of people’s social rage improvised during the occupation of the squares in 2011 in Athens. Citizens from all sorts of backgrounds were trying out something for themselves, and as a result a revolt unfolded. The collective work that was set in motion laid the foundation for the multitude of solidarity organizations that emerged since 2011. Today, the daily, collective practices and methods of this grassroots movement provide a viable social and political alternative.

I propose to look at the solidarity movement through the eyes of Aeschylus’ Oresteia (458 BC), invoking the dramatic tradition of the polis and the roots of politics. I want to suggest that the solidarity movement makes up an embedded and profane variation of the procession of the Kindly Ones (Eumenides). It returns myth to its common use.

Robin Vanbesien

Screening the film at Varvakios Square creates an occasion for a new gathering and a conversation, outside of any rehearsals.