Eleusis 2021

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The second main theme corresponds to the great challenge that Eleusis and Europe as a whole are facing today: the challenge-need to redefine our relationship with the Other (EUrbanisation). In a recent publication by IETM, entitled “Art, Globalization and Territories”, Eric Corjin observes: “Besides these very ancient cultural roots of the European continent, urbanism is perhaps the most important characteristic of European identity.” Currently, European identity is shaped through urban politics. These groupings of urban populations are not so much dictated by a common past, but rather by our living conditions within the city: our work, our neighbourhood, our school, our studies, etc. Thus, in the modern city, people form their own links, their own networks. And today, these networks appear to extend horizontally throughout the European continent. They grow and expand, crossing national boundaries and embracing citizens in many different cities.

Eleusis and Europe have cultural diversity as a common point of reference, since they are both composed of populations of different origin trying to coexist by establishing common ground.  Contemporary Eleusis, like many other contemporary European cities, is the product of a process of migration motivated by the need to work and leading to urbanization, to the coexistence of populations that are not connected to each other by the past, but rather by present and future linkages.  Just as Europe is being shaped by an ongoing process of searching for a model for coexistence of different nations, located in distinct geographical areas, thus is Eleusis composed of many different ethnic groupings.  Some of these live in distinct neighborhoods within the city. Thus, in the modern world,Eleusis is establishing its identity through the process of urbanization, much like modern Europe. This is an ongoing effort to coexist, an effort to create Common Ground, which is not dictated by reference to a common past but to the current circumstance, to daily life, to the objective conditions imposed by the process of living and working together.

By viewing Eleusis as a “mirror” of Europe, therefore, this theme focuses on the way in which European society is formed, on the way in which we relate to each other, through 4 programmes. The “Europe of Citizens” programme focuses on the way in which European society relates internally;  the way in which we relate to each other within the cultural construct that is Europe. The programme “Europe, daughter of Phoenix” focuses on the way in which Europe relates to foreigners, with emphasis on the issues of migrants and refugees. The programme “Port of Connection” examines Europe’s relationship with distant lands and cultures, such as China and India. Finally, the “Mysteries” programme examines the way in which European cities project themselves in the fields of fantasy and sensory perception, the city as a sensory experience. Since the 20thcentury, festivals are the main vehicle by means of which European cities are projected onto the collective imagination.