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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 17 June 2017
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 17 JUNE 2017 19 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT The Inconsolable Clock: a book on war and time by Andrea Demetriou NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU T Winners of the 11th LAGFF awards: Vasilis Koukalani (top row, second from left) received the award for Amerika Square. (C) Paramount CEO, Jim Gianopulos, to his left Alexander Payne. Far right (sitting) MC, comedian Dimitri Martin. Amerika Square gets top prize at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival The 11th Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) awarded its top prize - the 'Best Feature' Orpheus award - to Amerika Square, an ensemble drama depicting crisis-stricken Athens. A commentary on the transformation of modern Greek society and the fragility of the social fabric, Amerika Square, directed by Yannis Sakaridis, has been making the rounds of film festivals since its release last year, gaining acclaim. The LA festival has become a point of reference for the Greek diaspora cinematic community, given its ties to the US film industry. Although Sakaridis was not in attendance at the festival, present was one of the film's stars, Vasilis Koukalani. As for the aforementioned ties of the festival to the broader cinema community, one can look no further for proof but to the recipient of the honorary 'Orpheus' award, acclaimed director Alexander Payne, one of the champions of the US independent film scene, whose latest feature Downsizing is released by Paramount Pictures. "I love Alexander so much I went to Paramount just to be with him again," joked the company's chairman and CEO, Jim Gianopulos (formerly of Fox) Amerika Square was the LAGFF's opening film. Its closing film, Elina Psycou’s Son of Sofia is a drama about the current refugee wave of arrivals in Greece and received the runner-up Special Jury Prize for features. he Greek Community of Melbourne, in collaboration with SEKA and the Cypriot Community, launches Andrea Demetriou's third poetry collection The Inconsolable Clock this Monday 19 June at the Greek Centre. Demetriou, an expat who describes herself as a ‘child of war’ gives voice to her thoughts and feelings spanning from the beauty and sadness of Cyprus to calling Port Melbourne home. "I was born in Cyprus," she tells Neos Kosmos, "but had to migrate to Australia with my parents due to the Turkish occupation. "We lost our home and had nowhere to go." The author and journalist grew up in Albert Park and Port Melbourne until falling in love with a Greek, which led her to Athens where she is currently based. "I love Port Melbourne, as it became my home and I feel privileged to be able to live in Athens, to have known Greece from within and to be given the opportunity to visit Cyprus regularly," she says. "But, until I'm able to visit my village which is still occupied by the Turks, and enter my home, I will not be silenced. "I will keep writing, singing, and yelling," she stressed in an inconsolable tone. The title of the collection, however, does not refer to her own pain as much as it is dedicated to her father and the namesake poem she wrote for him 10 years ago. "I named the book Scenes from Amerika Square. Inconsolable Clock based on the second poem in the collection which talks about my dad who was buried here, like most Greek people do," she explains. "This is a very old and deep-rooted tradition that goes all the way back to antiquity. Greek people even if they have spent most of their lives abroad, they still feel it's a foreign place. "The house lived on even after he was gone. His things are still around in the house ... there is also a clock, still ticking without him; inconsolable." There many issues for which a poet's heart can is a political dimension or desire in Andrea's poems, but that is just one, important aspect of her work. Rather than political, she is more certainly in the lineage of Cavafy, above all the Cavafy of loss of civic virtues destroyed. The concerns of Elytis, too, are there to be seen in Andrea's work, she is in the tradition of Axion Esti." Arnold Zable praises the work: "In her work the political and the personal are inseparable. Her voice rises from a space that lies between cultures, between worlds, between a stolen past and a fragile future. It is the voice of the displaced, a seeker, an activist, and a dreamer, infused with passion and artistry - the private, made transcendent and universal." Professor Michael Tsianikas feel inconsolable, she says, "from the wars for resources to the existential dead end" mentioning the many ongoing conflicts and crises of our time; Greece's financial predicament, Cyprus occupation, Lebanon, Syria, even Yugoslavia. The book is introduced by Christos Tsiolkas and will be launched by Prof Damien Kingsbury, Personal Chair snd Professor Of International Politics at Deakin University; Professor Of International Politics, Arnold Zable, award-winning writer, storyteller, educator, and human rights advocate; and Demos Krouskos, CEO of North Richmond Community Health. Christos Tsiolkas says, "Like all true poets, Demetriou understands the dignity and profound power of the pause - take us from a Cyprus shattered and divided by the horror of war and occupation, to an evocation of the sight and sounds of inner-city Melbourne streets and then they return to us to the eastern Mediterranean to where another war, an economic war, again shatters and divides. Writing in two languages and two continents, in Cypriot Greek and in Australian English. Demetriou's voice is that of the outsider. Her voice is born in exile and in migration, how else can she be? But if there is lament in her poems there is also a defiant and proud declaration of joy. Gamo ta panta sas agapao (Fuck it all, I love you all). It's that defiance and generosity that drew me first to Andrea as a person and which makes me fall in love with her as a poet. The truth that is love and the truth that is pain being shot straight into your heart. This is the book you hold in your hands." Angelo Loukakis, author and executive director of the Australian Society of Authors says: "You could argue that there from Flinders University agrees: "Absolutely sublime poems by Andrea, being intuitively gifted to capture a sudden and accidental light on the dark side of the moon." When: Monday 19 June at 7.00 pm Where: Level 1, 168 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, VIC For further information, please contact: 0420 283 475 The book will also be launched in Adelaide by the LOGOS Centre, the Cypriot Community of SA and SEKA. When: Friday 23 June at 5.30 pm Where: Flinders University, Tonsley Campus, 1284 South Rd, Clovelly Park, SA by Prof Vrasidas Karalis, University of Sydney; Sir Nicholas Laurantus, Professor of Modern Greek, University of Sydney; and from Flinders University Prof Kim Economides, Dean, School of Law, and Prof Michael Tsianikas, Director of LOGOS Centre.
10 June 2017
24 June 2017