What’s On(line) in Athens and Thessaloniki – Quarantine Edition!

In the face of the coronavirus lockdown, many festivals, museums and more have taken their activities online. Here are the best virtual events and other digital offerings!


Editor’s Note: Due to the countrywide coronavirus lockdown, all in person cultural and recreational events have been canceled or postponed. But in their stead a slew of interesting online events are being organized by Greek institutions right now – below are some of the most interesting.

Regular updates of exhibitions, concerts, and events taking place in Athens will fill this article again once the measures are lifted.

Benaki Book Bazaar

Benaki Museum / bazaar.benaki.org, May 4-20

The Benaki Museum’s 7th Book Bazaar will take place exclusively online this year. The books on sale are 240 English and Greek titles published by the museum, on subjects ranging from Classical Greece to Byzantine Culture, Folklore, Modern Greek Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, to Photography and European art. They will be sold at a discount of 50%, 70% and 80% on their sale price. Publications of 2019-2020 will have a discount of 10%.

The bazaar web page is unfortunately only in Greek. Call the Benaki Museum Shop ((+30) 210.367.1000) if you need help placing your order.

Shop here (link in Greek).

Thessaloniki Doc Festival

Filmfestival.gr, May 19-28

Those located in Greece will be able to watch the 77 productions to be presented at this year’s Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, hosted with the support of the Ministry of Culture, for free from their homes, as the organizers have decided to move this year’s event online. The films will be available for 400 free viewings, and the juries will also watch the films online in order to distribute the awards.

Note that the screenings will only be available within Greece.

Read more and find the screenings through here.

Platforms Project NET

Platformsproject.com, May 14-31

Organized for the eighth consecutive year, Platforms Project draws artist groups and art spaces from all over the world. This year, however, due to the coronavirus, the annual art fair will look quite different. Instead of getting together under one roof, the artist hubs will gather online for an interactive web-based fair accessed through the Platforms Project website. Visitors will be able to see the artwork the artists of the groups (video-art, painting, photography, installations, live performances, and more), follow a rich programme of lectures on contemporary art in Greek and English, and engage in direct, real-time dialogue with the artists.

Read more about Platforms Project here, and find the schedule for this year’s online events soon here.

Summer Nostos Festival: RetroFuture Edition

Stavros Niarchos Foundation / Snfestival.org, June 21-28

The Summer Nostos Festival, which is normally hosted annually at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, is going online this year. The organizers are promising lots of music and performances by Greek and international artists as usual, plus highlights from previous festivals, DJ sets, and, in place of the usual charitable “SNF RUN: Running into the Future” which takes place every Olympic Day (June 23), a “virtual run”, where participants will run on their own, yet connected.

More details to be posted soon here.

Virtual Races

RaceFinder.gr, every month throughout 2020

With the aim of keeping athletes active throughout the year, Race Finder has presented a program of races to take part in from afar. While lockdown in Greece means you can’t run, swim or cycle in large groups, these races can be completed alone or in pairs, with the help of a smartwatch or a mobile app. After completing the races and sending in your results, medals will be delivered to winners in five age groups by post.

A new challenge, including a swim race, a running race and a bike race, is presented each month, and athletes may choose any day of the month to complete any of the distances of their choosing.

Use the code “challengefree” to take part in the races for free in April.

Find more information and sign up here.

Opera Online

OPANDA / Youtube.com, from March 24

The City of Athens’ Culture, Sports & Youth Organization (OPANDA) is streaming the recordings of three operas directed by Isidoros Sideris, captured at the Olympia Municipal Music Theatre Maria Callas.

The performances include Franz Lehár’s light-hearted operetta The Merry Widow, performed at the theater this winter (watch here), and Jacques Offenbach’s La Belle Hélene (watch here) and Orphée aux Enfers (watch here), recorded in the winter of 2018-19.

The performances are translated versions in Greek, but non-Greek speakers can still enjoy the music and the costumes.

Meet the Future

TIFF / Youtube.com, from March 27

As part of their online project “Festival 2.0”, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival is streaming short films by Greek directors that participated in the program Meet the Future of the 60th TIFF, that took place on November 2019, on their Youtube channel. New films are being added every few days.

You can read more about the project here, and watch all of the short films that have been made public so far here.

Kireru

Onassis Stegi / Youtube.com, from April 3

The Onassis Foundation is streaming the musical dance performance “Kireru”, by the choreography duo RootlessRoot, on their Youtube channel. The performance, which features eight skilled dancers on stage, was captured in 2012, and is set to live music by John Parish.

Read more about the show here, and watch it here.

The Bacchae

ONASSIS STEGI / Youtube.com, from April 3

The Onassis Foundation is streaming a performance of The Bacchae, by Euripides, which took place on the Onassis Stegi Main Stage in 2018. Directed by Aris Biniaris, the ancient tragedy takes the form of a rock show, placing the divine Dionysus and King Pentheus in front of the mic.

The show is in Greek, and features English subtitles.

Read more about the show here, and watch it here.

Spaces #1

TIFF / Youtube.com, from April 3

As part of their online project “Festival 2.0”, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival is streaming short films, adding new ones every few days.

Premiering on April 3, “Spaces #1” consists of eight 3-minute films made by beloved Greek directors, who were instructed to shoot the works from their homes, as a response to the coronavirus. The films were inspired by the book “Species of Spaces” by Georges Perec.

Watch the films here.

Flying Jazz Quartet

Snfcc.org, from April 7

A recording from a concert by Flying Jazz Quartet which took place at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center’s Lighthouse space in 2018, is available for listening on the foundation’s website. Paying homage to jazz tradition while also infusing their performance with distinct Greek soundscapes, the quartet consists of guitarist and composer Stefanos Andreadis, trumpeter Andreas Polyzogopoulos, drummer Vassilis Podaras, and pianist George Kontrafouris, on Hammond organ.

Find the recorded concert here.

Sugahspank! & The Swing Shoes feat Irene Dimopoulou

Snfcc.org, from April 9

A recording from a concert at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in 2018, featuring the dynamic Athens based Sugahspank! & The Swing Shoes, with their particular mix of gypsy swing and traditional tunes, is available on the foundation’s website. The concert also includes a party-set with Irene Dimopoulou (vocals) and Nikos Zografos (drums).

Find the recorded concert here.

Athens Digital Arts Festival

ADAF online channels, from April 11-end of lockdown (Extended)

The International festival for digital arts in Greece, Athens Digital Arts Festival, is presenting a series of live digital art broadcasts for adults and kids, featuring live video art and animations, video documentations of performances and installations, and tributes to artists and art currents.

The live broadcasts for adults will be taking place every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 19.00, and the “ADAF Kids Live” program on weekends at 11.00.

You can watch the broadcasts on ADAF’s Facebook page, on Twitch, and on their Youtube channel.

Rebetika: The Blues of Greece

Onassis Stegi / Youtube.com, from April 11

For those interested in getting a taste of Greek music, a concert by rebetika singer Lena Kitsopoulou and her band, performed at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater in New York in 2019, is being streamed by Onassis Stegi. The rebetika songs were those of the refugees from Asia Minor, who settled in the shantytowns of Athens and Piraeus in the 1920s and ‘30s, and are a beloved part of Greek musical tradition.

You can watch the concert here.

Spaces #2

TIFF / Youtube.com, from April 21

As part of their online project “Festival 2.0”, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival is streaming short films, adding new ones every few days.

Following “Spaces 1”, with films by Greek directors, comes “Spaces #2”, consisting of seven short films by renowned international directors, created as a response to the coronavirus, with the support of the Ministry of Culture. The films were inspired by the book “Species of Spaces” by Georges Perec.

The contributing directors are Canadian filmmaker of independent cinema, Denis Côté, multi-awarded Romanian director Radu Jude, renowned American actor and director John C. Lynch, great Chinese artist, Jia Zhangke, American-Israeli director of the Advocate, who won the Golden Alexander award in Thessaloniki, Rachel Leah Jones, as well as Tarik Aktaş, one of the strongest new voices of Turkish cinema, and Mateo Bendesky, one of the voices of new Argentinian cinema.

Watch the films here.

DANIEL MENDELSOHN IN CONVERSATION WITH DIMITRIS PAPANIKOLAOU: CYCLE “C. P. CAVAFY”

Onassis Stegi / YouTube.com, from April 24

The Onassis Foundation is streaming the recording of a conversation with scholar Daniel Mendelsohn, held on their stage in January 21, 2014 in the context of the foundation’s series of events revolving around Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy.

Mendelsohn, who has translated the entirety of Cavafy’s oeuvre in English, speaks about Cavafy himself, the relevance of his work in today’s world, and the ways in which he himself was influenced by the poet throughout his life.

Watch it here.

COHABITATION

Onassis Stegi / Youtube.com,  from April 25

Onassis Stegi presents “Cohabitation”, the impressive multimedia concert performed in 2013 by K. BHTA, Kornelios Selamsis and ARTéfacts ensemble, now available on the Foundation’s website and YouTube channel. The concert includes pieces by K. BHTA, re-orchestrated by Selamsis and performed by the ensemble and K. BHTA himself; the musicians also perform works by artists such as Steve Reich, Tristan Murail, Philippe Hurel and Frank Zappa on stage. 

Watch the full performance here.

ENTER

Onassis.org/enter, from April 27

Onassis Stegi in Athens and Onassis USA present ENTER, a collection of new commissioned works by artists from all over the world, including big names such as Isabella Rossellini. in order to keep culture alive in times of confinement and explore new artistic forms. The artists were given a total of 120 hours to create an artwork of their choice that was then uploaded on the Onassis Foundation’s website.

Watch the videos (which will be uploaded a few at a time) here.

Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo 

Onassis Stegi / Sgt.gr, from May 1

In 2017, the Onassis foundation hosted a talk with famous basketballers Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo about the difficulties they encountered during their early beginning, their achievements, and the opportunities they had, and much more. A recording of the discussion will be available on the foundation’s website from May 1.

Find it here.

Clio Muse Virtual Tours

Cliomusetours.com, permanent

You may not be able to visit the archeological sites of Greece in person right now, but you can take a virtual tour of a number of them any time. Clio Muse’s new virtual tours combine Google’s satellite view and street view with their own audio content. All you need is connection to the internet, and preferably headphones.

You can read about our virtual visit to the Acropolis Hill here, and find all of the available tours here.

Acropolis Museum Virtual Visit

Artsandculture.google.com, permanent

Google Arts & Culture, featuring content from over 2000 leading museums and archives worldwide, presents virtual views from the inside of the Acropolis Museum, powered by Google Street View. Navigating from a page introducing you to the museum, you can “walk” through two of the museum’s most famous galleries, the Parthenon Gallery and the Archaic Gallery, as well as read information about a number of the artefacts on display.

You can read about our experience on the site here, or begin your virtual visit here.

Greece from Home

Greecefromhome.com, permanent

The Greek Tourism Ministry, the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) and Marketing Greece have launched a new platform supporting Greece and its culture, while honoring global social distancing efforts. Via the platform, you’ll find original videos created by well-known Greek personalities, as well as a curated range of videos sourced from different Youtube channels, and find links to the Discover Greece website, where you can “digitally visit” Greek destinations through their photos and guides.

Read more about the initiative here and visit the platform here.

Did we miss something? If you know of an event that you think should be included here, drop us a line at welcome@greece-is.com!

Cycladic Society: 5,000 Years Ago

Cycladic.gr, permanent

Τhe Museum of Cycladic Art is presenting a digital representation of its 2016 30-year-anniversary exhibition “Cycladic Society: 5,000 Years Ago.” Through the museum’s website, visitors can watch photographs, videos, maps, timelines and excerpts from catalogue of the exhibition, which explored the structure of Cycladic society during the early Bronze Age.

Find it here.

160 Years Made in Greece

Technopolis / gasmuseum.gr, permanent

Technopolis is presenting a virtual tour of their 2018 exhibition “160 Years Made in Greece.” The popular exhibition, which took place on the 160-year anniversary of the old gasworks of Athens – now the Technopolis cultural space, focused on Greece’s domestic industry from 1860 to 1970, divided into eight sections (metals, chemicals, construction materials, energy, food and drink, textiles and garments, tobacco, furniture) and included 800 exhibits.

Find the tour here.

 


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