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"Culture goes rural"

"Culture goes rural" is a long term-project, supported by the German foundation Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung.

The project aims to offer a program that gets the local youth of the rural area of Kryoneri Korinthias in touch with different cultural aspects. So from May 2016 until March 2017, various activities took place, inviting the youngsters to have fun and learn. In cooperation with local schools and associations, we started educating the parents of the local children and teenagers on the philosophy behind the project in April 2016.

After that, the first part of the project, an Art Workshop, successfully started in May 2016. 22 youngsters, 16 girls and 6 boys, took part in the activity. Since there was a noticeable age difference, the group was divided into a younger one, containing 7 children and one older group containing the others. The younger ones created artworks regarding the topics "Favorite Animal" and "Grandmother/Grandfather". The group of youngsters has focused on more complex art compositions, with the specific theme “Bird” to be illustrated in an abstract way. We supplied some pieces of "Optical Art" as examples for the teenager's works, to use in collages or as inspiration for drawings. We hosted different groups in the final exhibition and organised an official opening for the local community, where many people came with their families.
Another special guided presentation for the Kryoneri Gymnasium has been organised, where the arts teacher Hana Sebestova presented the paintings and their techniques to the students and invited youngsters for a future continuation of this project. A further guided visit for visitors from abroad (French Agriculture students) took place as well, where the entire project “Culture goes rural” and the cooperation with the Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung Foundation was presented. The exhibition definitively left a big impression on children, young people, teachers and local community.


Another part of the project were occassional cinema events, taking place betweeen May and September of 2016. Two screenings had been organised for each month, starting from 15 May 2016, the day of the official inauguration of Polykentro. The month of June was an exception, since only one cinema event was organised, due to school exams. Instead of that, three cinema evenings took place at the Kryoneri open-air Amphitheatre in July, where the winning films of short-film festival of Drama (a city in northern Greece) have been screened.

An arrangement was made with the Drama Short Film festival as well as the Youth & Children Film festival of Olympia, to show the winning films of 2015 in Kryoneri. We selected the films in cooperation with the young participants and payed attention to them providing a certain educational value. The interest of local youngsters and the local community for the selected films was quite vivid. We could also win the interest of young immigrants from Albania, Bulgaria and Ukraine living in Kryoneri and its surroundings, who had regularly been visiting our cinema nights in Polykentro.


Then, in October 2016, another creative workshop, this time about Photography, took place. 

The photography workshop started in October, 2016. Some participants were newcomers, some others continued from the art workshop. They were equipped with digital photo cameras, in order to be able to take pictures of their village and environment, focusing mainly on nature, old buildings and points of interest. The group decided to focus on the architectural heritage of Kryoneri and the old stone buildings dated back to 1880-1900. The youngsters divided themselves into 2 groups and explored the village, shooting interesting pictures.
Many of the participants expressed a big confusion, asking why these buildings had never been renovated. Most of them were only used as basements for agricultural purposes, or are entirely abandoned by now. Discussions regarding this topic soon started at school and in Polykentro with representatives of the local authority, adults and elderly.


One of our most successful activities happened in the end of October: A graffiti workshop.

It started October 20, 2016. The venue of the graffiti was agreed to be a large wall by the open-air Olympic sports complex of the secondary school (Gymnasium) in Kryoneri.

In cooperation with the school director, the school's art teacher and the group of the involved youngsters, a draft was created beforehand. After collectively brainstorming and deciding on a topic, the painting of the wall began; Initially the frame with colours and then with spray, step by step. To make it safe and resistant to the weather conditions, we needed to use different techniques. During that period, all students had the chance to participate and try those techniques. So, the result is their own group art project. In the winter period from November 2016 till March 2017, young students worked on the graffiti picture, with the theme “Peace and Respect”. Another graffiti, featuring a colourful peace symbol in the middle was brought to existence in the school's sports ground wall. All students participated and lent a hand. We are thankful to school students and teachers for their cooperation.

A class of the Agricultural Lyceum of Yssingeaux - France visited Kryoneri during the last 2 weeks of March 2017 and liked this Graffiti so much, that some students, in cooperation with the school pupils, made another graffiti, connected to this peace project.

There were some challenges to overcome but in the end, the results and experiences made during this project turned out well. It also sparked some discussions throughout the village to offer more activities like these for other age groups as well, since older age groups showed interest, too, and mentioned the lack of offers in their region.