“We live in a time when more and more people are opening up about their traumas and vulnerabilities, when doing so is viewed as a strength rather than a weakness,” says actor/director Socrates Alafouzos talking to Greece Is, ahead of presenting an event titled ‘A Child Who Wanted to Live’ at Athens’ Poreia Theater on June 20.
The event, which will include a screening of Alafouzos’ globally award-winning short film ‘Between Black and White’ (with English subtitles), centers on the issue of child abuse. Having survived such abuse himself, the director will aim to address the critical importance of facing and dealing with this widespread problem in our society.
“This event is a personal action directed at people facing a global malaise and aims to instigate a conversation on the topic in Greece. Especially after the global pandemic, which forced us into a lock-down that made many of us look deeper into ourselves, this is a move towards re-opening ourselves up to authentically sharing our vulnerabilities and truths,” says Alafouzos.
“I feel a deep need to share this part of myself and the knowledge I have gathered on the subject and hope for the event to be thought-provoking, educational and empowering for others. The older I get, beyond any other things I’m doing, I think it’s even more vital to share knowledge and create awareness. It’s neither a simple nor easy process, but when regarding a topic such as child abuse and childhood trauma, it’s a topic that especially in Greece needs to be addressed more directly and actively in order to create solutions and self-empowerment for victims.”
Supported by ELIZA – Society Against Child Abuse, the event will start with the screening of ‘Between Black and White’ and be followed by a talk by Alafouzos. During the talk, ELIZA clinical psychologist Tinia Apergi will interact with the director by raising questions related to the topic to further encourage understanding and audience members will also have the opportunity to ask questions and share their own related views or experiences.
Alafouzos’ career, which began in acting, includes a broad variety of roles in Greek and international theatre, ancient theatre, television and cinema. In later years, he pursued his lifelong dream of working as a film director, making the short film ‘Little King’ and later ‘Between Black and White’, both of which have received international acclaim and multiple festival awards.
The Theatron of Americas, officially established in late 2019, is one of Alafouzos’ recent initiatives, which he set up after moving to the US where he now lives and also lectures at Chapman University. The purpose of the Theatron is to present and promote ancient Greek drama in the Americas, with the involvement of international actors and theatre professionals via theatrical presentations and educational programs.
The Theatron is preparing to stage its first production, ‘Antigone’ by Sophocles, for which Alafouzos recently held a first reading in the US, in mid to late 2023. “The pandemic slowed things down considerably, but we are now back in action with our Theatron plans,” he says. During the pandemic the Theatron organized a private online event with acclaimed film and theatre actors, directors and writers participating in readings and conversation related to ancient Greek theatrical writings.