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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 2 July 2016
18 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 2 JULY 2016 ARTS DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Tsimiski Street, Thessaloniki. Melina Mallos (L) doing what Socrates did best - philosophising the FIX at the ancient agora, Thessaloniki. A writer’s escapades on Tsimiski MELINA MALLOS Greece, I jumped at the chance to connect with other writers with my heritage. The standard of English in the Greek public system has declined, and as a result many are looking for guidance from the British Council. In 2013, the British Council identified an uncharted market in Greece where UK expertise could be channelled to build a local creative writing sector's capacity and through this, develop opportunities to explore British creative writing methodologies. Through a partnership with the Kingston Writing School (Kingston University, London), the British Council Summer School writing programs began in Athens and Thessaloniki. This year I decided my holidays were going to be in Greece. When I read about this program, there was no way I could say no. What could be more enticing than learning to write in the cosmopolitan B eing a writer can be isolating at times, so when I heard about the British Council writing programs in city of Thessaloniki, the multicultural hub of the east meeting the west. I applied and was one of the lucky ones to be selected to work intensely in an inspiring and creative environment with other writers. Since the first Summer School held in Greece in June 2013, more than 130 writers have attended courses in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and scriptwriting. Greece isn't just Athens or the islands. Thessaloniki is a crossroads - you come with one thing - you take another. I get lost in the journey of it. I'm so glad I came; I'd be walking to class and thinking of Zabettas' Ston Lefko ton Pyrgo. Στην Αριστοτέλους πιάσαμε κουβέντα και περπατήσαμε στην Τσιμισκή από `κει και πέρα γίναμε παρέα και γίναμε ζευγάρι εγώ κι αυτή His lyrics came so alive. The hotel where I was staying was at Aristotelous and my course was held on Tsimiski and I felt in tune with the Thessalonikian pulse. Her sun, sea and sleekness amid the backdrop of the Lefko Pyrgo gave me an exhilarating FIX (beer). The sights, scents and sounds of the places and characters that inhabit Greece - their complexity an essence, accessorised me. My fiction course (20-25 June) renewed my pledge and strengthened the foundations for my upcoming novel. I savoured the workshop discussions and explored narrative elements and new techniques through creative writing exercises and readings. I was impressed by the dedication of the local Thessaloniki writers who were highlyskilled professionals, all endeavouring to tell their story in print. I was quite surprised at the literary menu - it was a smorgasbord of epic fantasy, dark horror and gothic. This was the first trip to Thessaloniki for our guidance guru, Martin Ouvry, and we introduced him to many local (dopia) rituals - a new tsipouro junkie was born! Many evenings were spent debriefing over beers while overlooking the ancient agora. On our last night, Plateia Athonas carried our voices harmoniously with the talented Greek musicians strumming their bouzoukia, with each of us inebriated by our newly-acquired knowledge. Thank you Thessaloniki! How to apply: The organisation and coordination of the program and execution were excellent - special thanks to Maria Papaioannou, arts manager and Chrysoula Melidou, partnerships and programs coordinator at the British Council Greece. Australian writers are welcome and encouraged to apply. More information about the Summer School program is available at www.britishcouncil.gr/events For further inquiries, email chrysoula. email@example.com If you are planning a Greek holiday with your family (or not), buying a ticket is not a prerequisite but buying a book for the under 10s is! My new handbook Trip to Greece will jumpstart their cultural connection. The perfect travel companion, purchase it easily online at melinamallos.com Kali andamosi! $99,052 announced for regional artists and communities in Victoria Australian government's highly competitive Regional Arts Fund, delivered in Victoria by Regional Arts Victoria (RAV). RAV is the Australian government T program that aims to provide all Australians in regional and remote areas with better access to opportunities to practice and experience the arts. "This is an exciting range of projects that reflect the depth and the diversity of artistic practice throughout Victoria," Esther Anatolitis, the director of Regional Arts Victoria, said. "This Regional Arts Fund round en projects in Victoria have received $99,952 in funding through the supports new work across theatre, craft, literature, circus and beyond." The Regional Arts Fund supports sustainable cultural development in communities across regional, remote and very remote Australia. With residencies, mentorships and workshops included, this funding round supports the sustainable development of contemporary practice as well as artist-led developments in unexpected places. Funding is targeted at activities that will have long-term cultural, economic and social benefits for individuals and communities through the development of partnerships and cultural networks, providing artists with professional development and employment opportunities, and supports arts and community development projects that offer regional communities the opportunity to access and participate in cultural activities. The Regional Arts Fund has an emphasis on building capacity in youth, disadvantaged, and very remote or Indigenous communities. "Regional Arts Victoria is proud to partner with the Australian government on this vital program," Mrs Anatolitis continued. "We thank all the applicants as well as our independent panel for their commitment to this vital fund." Successful applicants in Round 1, 2016 include: Carnival Electro Live – Castlemaine Carnival Electro Live brings together emerging artists and young adult audiences from the Central Goldfields area to celebrate the diversity of subcultures in their region. Artists and athletes will be mentored by professional artists for the creation of two major interactive events combining live arts, digital arts, and sonics. The carnivalesque nights mix contemporary electronica with VJing, acrobatics, choreography, installations and live performance to build two public events based on the themes of Vertigo and Phobia. Art Matters ‘Tall Story’ – Horsham A gigantic tale of a person's power to achieve the seemingly impossible. A person's unique potential is played out as a pseudo-superhero story, created by the participants and performed in the outdoor arena of the community celebrations in Nhill and Horsham around the International Day of Disability. Love East Gippsland Tapestry – East Gippsland Jennifer Sharpe will travel to East Gippsland and over ten workshop days will create a tapestry with members from the community based on a gridded map of East Gippsland, weaving a total of 40 squares that will be stitched together to form the finished piece. There are two funding rounds per year. Visit www.rav.net.au/ funding-opportunities/regionalarts-fund for further details.
25 June 2016
9 July 2016