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01 February 2012
Unknown Life
UNKNOWN LIFE
A documentary-film-workshop by German and Greek youths.

krea-storydocTwelve youths from Germany and Greece work together on shooting documentaries in both countries. The unknown life, the own life become the topic of their cinematic work. Τhe twelve youths are developing and producing  six short documentaries in a film-workshop directed by the filmmakers Vera Scoepfer and Dieter Bongatz and  co-directed by the producer Kostas Spiropoulos.
goetheThe creative network Screenagers in Germany and the Educational Institute StoryDoc in Greece are the educational associates in the project. Organizers and supporters are the  Goethe Institute Athens  and  krea-Jugengcafe in Bergische Gladbach.  The youths do this in a time that is affected by the disavowal of the Euro and the debt crisis, in which Greece and Germany have an exposed, sometimes even antagonistic position.
In this course in both countries reproaches have been made by politics and journalism that strain the heretofore friendly, uncomplicated relationship of both nations – despite the German invasion in WW 2 – not only on a governmental level.
cologne5The skirmishes by politics and press have had impact on the citizens of both countries: prejudices against imperialistic Germans, against the corrupt and lazy Greek position have long found entry in day to day talk. The process of the European Unity, of the policy of peace obtained sustained cracks.
cologne4To deal with the other reality, to approach aspects of the life of the other, topics, coherences, lives that are not covered by newspaper reports or TV networks, to cast a glance in frequently overlooked, sometimes downright arcane areas of the other reality will expand the focus of the participants and the viewer, it can straighten out prejudices and arise appreciation that is based on knowledge.


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Films to be shot in Athens, February 14
- The bridge of dreams, by Angela Derou

Two years ago, at December the 4th, 2009, at Kifisias street and Stefanou-Delta, right outiside the high school called Psychico and Athens College.That's where a terrible accident took place at which a young boy named Solon Karidakis,(9th grade) was unfortunate enough to be present. He was headed back to school, the night of the school bazaar, along with his friends when a 23-year-old man drove through the pedestrian crossing, ignoring the red light, just as he had done with the previous three. After hitting the poor kid, he just left whithout even checking to see if he was alright. Well, he wasnt. He stayed three days at the hospital with severe traumas and then died, the same day that the driver surrerndered and said that he was drunk when the accident happened.

ImageTwo years later, after many complains and a whole lot of work that had to be done, with the initiative of the school in which Solon was a student, Athens College that is, a new bridge was opened to the public. The inauguration took place Friday the 11th of November 2011. That bridge was built in memory of Solon but also, in memory of all the others, kids or adults, that had died or been injured at this crossing. It is now called "The Bridge of the Dreams of Solon".

The architect was the chairman of the Athens' College board Mr. A. Samaras, the mechanic that also provided his help with the architecture was Mr. F. Karidakis, the father of Solon. These two men collected a team of volounteers, the best in their field and started building the bridge. Of course it wasnt an easy thing to do. The worked without payment in order to create a plan of the bridge, get the acceptance of the two towns that had to get involved and get past the paperwork as fast as possible so that the would actually make everyones' day safer. This bridge is not only there for the sudents of the school, but also for the studens of every other school in the area, those who work there, those who live close by and in general anyone who desires to pass through the most dangerous road of Athens safely.

It is remarkable how fast the bridge got past the planning, and all the paperwork that usually takes a lot of time. The state usually has a hard time understanding and authorising projects that could be done with volounteers and donations. But these people, this group, managed to face everey difficulty and yet succeed, because they believed.

I am going to talk to some members of the team and gather their opinions upon the project, the difficulties they faced, their progression, their feelings on achieving something that important in such a short time period.
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A typical day, by Marianna Serveta

What’s ringing? Is it in my dream or is it really an annoying noise?
Oh my alarm clock, I have to hurry up for school. Always being late, trying to sleep more in order to withstand longer.
What to wear? I wish it could be one of my problems, just to feel a real teenager for a moment!
I run at school, and I meet my friends who are talking about the theatrical team of our school, we have joined. While they are talking about next day’s rehearsal, I realize that it is Friday and a feeling of relief comes into me! I do my best to concentrate on the History lesson, but I have to prepare a project for my lesson in the afternoon. Day has few hours, doesn’t it?
When I finish school, I go quickly home and after my almost 10 minute’s lunch I have to study for the afternoon. The hours go by and I have to get dressed and prepare my bag. My lesson starts at five o’ clock, but I have to leave at four in order to catch the buss and go to the centre of Athens. The day is perfectly sunny, the weather is extremely good no matter it’s December. I live in such a beautiful city, why can’t I just go for a walk? “Stop thinking Chloe, stop thinking”, I said to myself, “you have to be concentrated as you unknown 0are sitting a test in 15 minutes. Another test!”
The bell rings, it’s eight. Hurry up again, to catch another buss. I have my dance lesson, which I had been waiting for three days long. The buss is late and as I’m thinking of my dance teacher yelling for my delay, my headache (after the three hours lesson) becomes stronger. If only I could ride my bike and travel around the city, the country, the world, the…oh my mobile is ringing and my mother reminds me of the composition I have to write for my following day’s French lesson. No time for dreaming, only duties. I’m late again, my headache is horrible and the hours of dancing, which I wanted so badly, ended up to be a struggle to remain upright.
I’m walking home, exhausted. It’s half past ten, I’m hungry and all I want now, is to cry out of pressure and exhaustion. My life is full of things I like but I do not have time to appreciate and enjoy! My family is in the lining room having a conversation, but I can hardly say “hello” before I take my shower. My sleepiness is stronger than hunger, so… bed time! The 5 best minutes of the day, are when I jump on my bed, I close my eyes, I take a deep breath and… where is my alarm? I don’t want to be late at school again. Oh, it’s Friday! A little smile is now on my face, the first one of the day. And that’s when my world begins. A world without so many duties, a world of pleasures and endless dreaming.
(it would be a great idea if camera focused on the lips of the girl in order to show her feelings from a different aspect. It’s only an idea of presenting the changes of her emotions during the day )
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The astronomer. by Anastasia Repouliou

We are on the observatory of Penteli, trying to discover the secrets of our universe. We are observing the same sky our ancestors were observing. They had discovered so many things, that we have put aside just in order to discover them again. Because for some, this searching of the world has led to nothing less, than admitting that the philosophical view of our ancestors was true. The astronomer that’s going to guide us through this quest has come to realize this. This is where he works for many years now. He talks to us about the observatory of Penteli. Soon the conversation takes another turn. One of the things characterizing him is his deep love for his homeland’s culture and traditions. Has he come to combine scientific progress with respect to our traditions? This, we are to find out. What’s for sure is that he has come to understand that his studies have led him to realize some truths.
These truths had been already discovered and told by ancient Greeks. They passed through time hidden inside our still alive traditions. He can spot these truths, when living with the elderly people of his village, through moments of joy, pain, moaning, celebration and companionship. He believes that one does not observe the stars in order to analyze them, but in order to touch the greatness and truth of creation. And when you have come to feel so small in front of cosmos, then you can recognize the same greatness and truth in small things of tradition, like moaning or dancing on the wild mounts of Heperus.
He explains this notion to us. This knowledge that he has come to discover, is something he wants to share with others. This he can do through co organizing an astronomical event called “Astronomical Nights”. During this event, amateur and professionals astronomers get together on high places, away from cities, where they camp and observe the stars and other astronomical phenomena. These events are not organized by individuals, but by astronomical institutions and a great amount of interest has been expressed. What he did is achieving to organize such events in the place where he comes from, at the Zagorochoria, near the ancient oracle of Dodoni. For him, it is a way to combine his two great loves; astronomy and Greek culture and tradition. It is his will to enrich modern astronomy with ancient philosophy of the Universe.
While observing the stars, this man has come to discover truths that have remained inside him from antiquity to nowadays through tradition. Truths about life, humanity and other grand mysteries.

ImageThe Workshop,by Chloe Anastasiadou
 It all started in November 2006.

Ten (10) deaf students were studying to The School of Fine Arts in different years. Traditionally the foundation of the school greeted several deaf people who graduated having faced many difficulties during their studies mainly because of communication problems they faced.

This time the students come together to claim equal access to knowledge. Together with their parents appealed to teachers and administrators of ASFA to ask a professional interpreter of Greek Sign Language to come to the school.

At a general meeting of the section this subject was discussed and a teacher was aware of Anastasiadou Ourania, who is a painter, had graduated from the same school, is daughter of deaf parents, and who was specialized in teaching deaf in America at the Gallaudet University in Washington, the most specialized worldwide for Studies in deafness. Having Greek Sign Language as the her mother language and having this experiential relationship with Deafness in conjunction with art, allowing her to know in depth the needs of students, made her the best person for this position.

It was an amazing coincidence; the school made immediate steps to post Ms. Anastasiadou and to start a wonderful educational adventure. Students could consult with teachers in workshops, watched while interpreting the theoretical courses. They could attend any afternoon workshop selection they wanted, with no problem.

Little by little a group with plastic art pursuits was created, in which were discussed all aspects of artistic reality in Greece and abroad. Most terms of art terminology did not exist in Greek Sign Language. The group started to meet in the library and analyzed the movements of art, browsing through art books, exploring concepts, understanding these concepts, generating through these discussions, through these processes, new meanings ascribed to artistic terminology in sign language.

In parallel the children began to attend lectures and seminars. All together they were visiting Exhibition Openings to galleries or museums in the evenings. Ms. Anastasiadou organized tours to museums in large retrospective exhibitions of various artists or thematic exhibitions (Huan Miro, Louise Bourgeois, Tsarouchis and many others). In June 2009 an educational journey was made with hearing fellow students in the Venice Biennale. It was an amazing experience for the deaf students who come into contact with contemporary art production, having full access to information and to tour and coming to conciliation and communication with fellow students who accept them and support them.

Life lesson for all. Ms. Anastasiadou was looking for performances to match the perceptual ability of the children. Many people stood by providing free tickets. The children went to Athens Concert Hall, the Palace Theatre, Athens Festival, coming into contact with alternative theatrical performances that were not based on the spoken word.

Little by little they began to graduate. The graduate of the children had great success; each one has its own artistic idiom. Some jobs reflected the experience of deafness. Many excelled, two released were Top rated in the year among the students. Teachers are proud of these works there is no charity treatment. They work and receive a reward without favors, without pity.

The works flourished, the lives flourished, the graduates are appointed all over the Greek territory. New students entering the School of Fine Arts, the cycle is renewed. They organize exhibitions and participate in biennale and foire, they are invited to participate in exhibitions, festivals, some people started Masters. Graduated and current students meet, the thread continues to unfold.
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An Erasmus program specifically for deaf children began to exchange students with the School of Fine Arts in Marseilles. The circle expands as long as the horizons of children. Like Oscar Wilde says, we’re all in the gutter but some of us are looking king at the stars and dream of a world without discrimination.

I have to say that as this program is still in action, Ms Anastasiadou, the students and observers will eagerly give us already made videos and images from their archive and also help us to shoot new material!

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