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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 5 December 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 5 DECEMBER 2015 15 FEATURE t one ‘odd’ Greek girl behind the controversial artist "There are no rules," she said. "If we all followed the same rules we would all sound the same and how boring would that be?" This notion was so liberating for Koraly, who wrote 300 poems within the space of one year, and in mid-2011 put out Love and Fuck - the Zine, accompanied by her own drawings, selling 500 copies. Soon after, her venture took on a life of its own and became a book, published by Illura Design. Her stories resonated with many women, and men. She was asked to perform, to go on stage and share her poetry. "It was from there that I started performing and I was really angry back then when I came out of the marriage and the culture," she tells Neos Kosmos. "I'm not angry anymore." "It's been so hard for me to fight my way out of my pigeonhole, in order to be who I want to be ... to find my peace of mind." Anger was Koraly Dimitriadis' springboard to create a dual-effect so that the audience could grasp the subtext. What it is like to bottle someone up for 30 years? "When I perform I want them to feel how I feel. I didn't train as an actor. It makes sense that I come across as awkward," she says, revealing that she still operates in quite a conservative environment. "I still can't talk about sex openly in my personal life without feeling embarrassed. It is me against myself on stage. This is what I'm trying to overcome." The writer, poet and performer wants to connect not just with the Greek, but with all the Be vocal. Support your arguments. Engage. Evolve.” repressed people battling gender, religion and ethnic stereotypes. She acknowledges the fact that she can't completely tear apart her identity and built a brand new persona. Through her poems she encourages the reader to embark on a journey of self-discovery. Each topic is 'dissected' viscerally and exposed from every angle. She becomes the girl, the woman, the mother, the father, the husband, the lover, God, even to expose the true nature of love and ... fuck. Her art, cynical and blatant as it may be, is a metaphor waiting to be interpreted into that painful truth, able to set the reader free. "We are sometimes too eager to condemn and don't go that extra mile to understand why that person on stage or that writer chooses to touch on things in a certain way," she says, and she couldn't be more right. "What pushes me is that for almost all my life I was fitting that mould, I was in that box, so I force myself out by being vocal and doing exactly what makes me feel uncomfortable." Even though Koraly has a very loose definition of what art is in general, what differentiates an artist from an opportunistic 'provocateur' is the way their work makes people think. From the plethora of interactive performances and exhibitions surfacing the web worldwide, she finds very few things create a dialogue, arguing that "not all things go into the same basket". "To me 'good' art is meant to help people understand more deeply and connect while making a commentary on society." "Whether we identify with it or not, it still challenges us and helps us evolve." Koraly's work has sparked critique, not only from the conservatives of Australia's Greek community, but from several academics in the Australian literally landscape, who lashed out against her writing, refusing to call it proper poetry. Love and Fuck defied the odds by getting published by a Cypriot house in 2014 with the support of the Australia Council, and has been recently picked up by UK based Honest Publishing. As part of this major collaboration, Koraly will be travelling to Europe in May to present her poems on stage. "A lot of people think poetry can't sell anymore, let alone sell foreign rights. It can sell, and it doesn't have to be boring or subscribe to definitions to do that." "The fact that my book is a bestseller in Australia for the poetry genre is the best proof people are genuinely connecting with my work." Koraly Dimitriadis is a Cypriot Australian performer and writer of poetry, prose and non-fiction who explores feminism, racism, sexuality and culture, while challenging the traditional norms of poetry through literature, performance, film and music. To find out more about Koraly, go to www.koralydimitriadis.com * All photos courtesy of Kaliopi Malamas for Neos Kosmos.
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