Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 June 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 13 JUNE 2015 19 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Crete at war Meraki on Foxtel intersected in such dramatic circumstances? I wondered. What happened on the inside? "When Australians found themselves fighting a war in the birthplace of western myth, their reactions were varied but predominantly they were visceral, realistic and life-changing. That's why they got on well with the Cretans, and it's one of the reasons why post-war immigration to Australia from Greece has been so influential and successful." Gregory Day's latest work is described as a novel which explores "the difficult realities of nationhood, war, morality and love … the creation of identity, the enigmas of memory and the power of the written word to heal the deepest wounds". I can't wait to get my copy. Archipelago of Souls is published in paperback on July 1. Price $32.99 Horrie the war dog ‘alarm system’ during the air-raids by Hitler's Stukas. Horrie followed Moody faithfully to all war zones in the Middle East (Libya, Egypt, Greece-Crete, Palestine, Syria) and beyond, smuggled safely inside Moody's pack. However, his arrival in Australia proved the greatest adventure of all, both for the little dog and the soldiers. And here is where the greatest irony of fate lies, because while Horrie managed not only to survive himself and also to save the lives of so many others in battle, the greatest battle was to be fought upon returning to the homeland - given that there were strict quarantine laws in place prohibiting animals from entering the country. Horrie, however, managed to survive once more and disembark safely in Australia, but his life was put at risk when, three years later, Moody brought him out of hiding in order to help the Red Cross in a fund-raising event in Sydney. As Horrie's story was inevitably publicised, the authorities were quick to take action and demand his execution, even though he was not a health risk. The puppy was eventually shot on 12 March 1945 - an event which caused an unprecedented public outcry against the heartless politicians and bureaucrats for the inhumane treatment of this heroic animal. Sixty years later, in 2002, the veteran journalist Norma Allen confided to Canberra writer Anthony Hill that Jim Moody had revealed to her, during an interview in 1946, that it was not Horrie who was shot but another white terrier he had chosen in its place - a secret which was later confirmed to Hill by Moody's family and friends. The book is a thoroughly- researched historical and military document. It is well-written and despite its central focus being the war and its atrocities - or exactly because of this - it is full of compassion, love, tenderness and emotion. This stems from the accidental co-existence of hardened soldiers with a little, weak but intelligent and brave dog who behaves like a human. The close and warm relationship between the soldiers and Horrie brings a new dimension to their grey lives, providing a spark of excitement, affection and love. Indeed, the soldiers' feelings towards Horrie supersede those of gratitude, as sergeant Roy Brooker eloquently remarks: "Men kill and maim and hate the enemy. You've all had a go at the Vickers [machine guns] and they can kill several men in seconds. They have incredible power and such weapons do strange things to the men manning them. They make hard men even harder. But it is not in man's nature or mentality to be so damned brutal. We have been closer to mass killings than any other members of our army. We need a balance, an antidote to that. Horrie is a worthy recipient of all the gunners' love and sympathy. But he is also a recipient of all that necessary balance of positive feeling." Unfortunately this touching reciprocity of feelings between man and dog is undermined in the most dramatic and painful manner - with the official order for Horrie's cold execution. Not because he is a public health threat but in order to be made an example of by discouraging aspiring imitators of Moody, something which speaks volumes about the callous as well as brainless mentality of bureaucrats who show complete indifference to the sacrifices that humans and animals have made for the homeland. Perhaps, however, Ronald Perry should have been more thorough regarding the details of the mystery surrounding Horrie's real or simulated ‘execution’, as there are still many residual unanswered questions - even though these may be the subject of a future book. * Dr John Vasilakakos is an acclaimed Melbourne academic and writer. His latest book is Christos Tsiolkas: The Untold Story (Connor Court Publishing, Melbourne 2013) whose Greek edition came out by Odos Panos Publishing, Athens 2015. The return of Greek TV in Australia BILLY COTSIS 'Being Greek, Aussie Style' is the catchphrase for the exciting new Foxtel program Meraki TV, which aspires to showcase everything the local Greek scene has to offer - from light entertainment to cooking and educational topics. Meraki aims to promote mainstream local Greek content and new talent, hosted by DJ Krazy Kon, entertainer Stavroula, actress and presenter Maria Hohlastou as well as Ana Sevo, who is the show's driving force. Ana, who is also a singer, previously worked on the Harry Michaels program It's all Greek to me in 2002, however, through Meraki TV she will be targeting the entire Hellenic community in Australia. In between hectic preparations for the show’s premiere, she sat down with Neos Kosmos to share her excitement for her new venture. NK: What gets you out of bed each morning? My beautiful six-year-old for a start. Then there is Meraki TV and the chance to promote a nice yet different perspective of Hellenism in Australia, ensuring our culture survives in Australia for generations to come. Television is one way to do that. If you want something positive to happen, to contribute to Hellenism, use your skills to Meraki TV will air on Foxtel 183 Aurora every Monday night at 7.00 pm from June 15. make it happen. That is why we have a family show. NK: Why did you choose the name Meraki? The name embodies what meraki stands for: being creative and putting your soul in everything you do. The content of the show has the same meraki I used to put in my singing. This project touches my soul like Greek music and its goal is to make Greek people in Australia happy. There has been a web version of the show broadcasting under the same name since 2012, but now we have a chance to step up with Foxtel. NK: It has been described as The Late Show meets Top of the Pops. How does it differ from TV beamed in from Greece? The show will have various levels. One of them is an education role within the entertaining side and celebrity stories. We also want the everyday people from the community to be involved and even pitch in some content ideas. For example, rather than bringing in a name chef, we'll have a home cook with amazing traditional recipes. We want to hear from the community, they will help us drive the show forward in terms of content. We are interested in becoming a conduit for first and even fourth generation Greeks in Australia. NK: How can Greeks across the country support the show? Help us spread the word via social media. Get involved yourself, contact us as a conduit to the Greek community. We really want to connect with the second, third and even fourth generation Greeks. NK: When can people watch Meraki TV? You can watch it on Fox 183 Aurora, every Monday night at 7.00 pm from June 15. The show will focus on the latest Greek music videos, news and gossip from Greece, as well as unearthing all the cool local and diaspora Greeks. We have also prepared interviews and stories on individuals, groups and organisations who are creatively expressing their passion for Hellenism. Pranks and funny jokes are on our list, too. NK: If you weren't on Meraki TV, what would you be doing? Something creative, mainly music-related. I always wanted to start fundraising for orphans in Greece, but maybe Meraki TV will help me do that sooner. *Billy Cotsis is a freelance writer and short film director. ‘Fragility’ at the Napier A collaborative exhibition embracing multiculturalism Stephanie Karavasilis will be curating a group exhibition entitled ‘Fragility’ at Fitzroy's Napier Hotel, where she will also be showcasing part of her work alongside 17 other aspiring artists. The collaborative effort, set to explore the ephemeral, precarious, delicate and unmonumental aspects of life, art and identity will be running until 27 June 2015 at Upstairs at the Napier (210 Napier St, Fitzroy). Founded in 1866, the historical Melbourne venue, with its original high ceilings, decorative plasterwork and stained-glass windows, offers Stephanie Karavasilis is curating ‘Fragility’, combining the artistic efforts of 17 Australian creatives. a fairly traditional pub menu and low volume retro music. Upstairs is a non-profit Artist Run Space, established in 2008 and managed by Melbournebased contemporary artists, providing three connected exhibition spaces. ‘Fragility’ aims to bring together diverse and innovative contemporary artists and embrace Australia's multicultural communities. Exhibiting artists: Teresa Bennett, Katy Bowman, Helen Braun, Kerry Buckland, Alexander Carroll, Beth Croce, Sonia Donnellan, Paul Gorman, Anne-Marie Kuter, Annee Miron, Trudy Moore, Tracy Muirhead, Akiko Nagino, Jackie Ralph, Kerry Strauss, Liz Walker, Dave Waters. The Artist Run Space will be open from Thursday to Friday 3.00-8.00 pm and Saturdays from 1.00-8.00 pm.
6 June 2015
20 June 2015