Μεταμόρφωση / Metamorfosea
This cultural project - Μεταμόρφωση / Metamorfosea - focuses on environmental issues. The project is led by a Dutch director, Sjoerd Wagenaar, founder of Peer Group and now an independent theatre director and creative thinker.
The idea is to build a beach on the pier and the coast of Eleusis around the so-called graveyard of dumped ships. It can be temporary. Who knows - maybe it will eventually become permanent. But let's take this small step, together with the local community, and reclaim a strip of coastline. Let's show a better future. Let's inspire the authorities to finally clear the graveyard.
The 'graveyard' is located between the refinery and the city's cement factory. Together they stole this stretch of the city's coastline. Two of the basic ingredients of cement are sand and seashells. Just what it takes to make a beach.
Very often the activist voice is one of clamour and complaint. Of fury and frustration. And too often it leads to nothing more than demonstrations which do nothing to further the cause. Indeed often activist demonstrations isolate communities, alienate local government, and move little or nothing forward.
But image a positive voice. A fresh and creative voice. A voice which works to seek solutions, a new vision. A voice which inspires?
Imagine hundreds of people, from all over Eleusis and its surrounding coastline, from all over Greece (imagine the national press campaign!), walking the old Sacred Way from Athens to Eleusis with a handful of sand.
A hat filled with sea shells.
And a heart filled with hope.
Imagine all these people coming together on an appointed day in 2021, and dropping their sand, their sea shells on the pier and on the polluted beach by the graveyard.
Imagine planting trees in the pier. Trees along the stretch of ‘beach’ by the dumped ships.
Imagine a wood growing next to the polluted seas.
Imagine a beach, created from all the beautiful beaches of Greece. In Eleusis.
Imagine the hope this positive action could offer the citizens of Eleusis.
Trees are a sign of hope, Of rejuvenation. Look around the world. People use trees and greenery to reinvigorate, re-oxygenate polluted or desolate environments.
Imagine a wood and a beach by the graveyard of dumped ships in Eleusis.
Imagine the celebration that would ensue!
It may be short-lived but it would offer a symbol of hope in a desperate landscape.
The project has been conceived by Chorus (GR) and Brave New World Producties following the selection of both organisations for the Tandem European Cultural Programme. The project involves a Dutch and a Greek creative team, with bilateral professional capacity building built into the project. The project is also part of a pan-European project: Ulysses: a European Odyssey (UEO), which involves 18 cities around Europe. Using James Joyce’s masterpiece, Ulysses, as an inspiration and springboard, UEO is an exploration of contemporary issues in European cities today – a cultural Olympic torch lasting from June 2022 to June 2024. Eleusis is linked to episode 14 in Ulysses, using environmental arts to explore the ecological challenges facing our sacred seas and shores.
The project is part of the program of Eleusis European Capital of Culture 2023.