Mayor’s Greeting for the 56th Dimitria Festival
“Breaths”: If 2020 showed us what it meant living in a dystopian environment, 2021 reminded us that the human species is resourceful and capable of devising solutions, so that we could return to our pre-pandemic normalcy safely, to a time when we were not individuals, but social beings. Today we can breathe again.
“Breaths”: This breath of fresh air which we were deprived of for so long, returns, and with it we can celebrate the return of live, tangible Art! This homecoming is celebrated at the 56th Dimitria Festival inside the theatre, the museum, the cinema and the concert hall. For twenty days the city invites us to meet up again in these venues of performativity, together with our friends, experiencing Art the way it is supposed to be experienced: live and in discourse with the creators and their projects.
“Breaths”: Theatre, dance, music, visual arts, photography and cinema call to us, to face the challenging return to Life. We are all called upon to discover our common breath. Because it is through Art that we find a way out of the difficulties we are faced with, we find relief, we are healed. Through Art we are guided into rebirth and therefore to the life-giving breath.
“Breaths”: As always, Thessaloniki manages to surpass our expectations, and so, yet again, the Dimitria Festival will imbue the city with a breath of fresh air. Twenty Greek and international productions are ready to welcome back the audience, to enter into a discourse and communion with the city of history and culture, shining a bright light into a living, creative and hopeful future.
I am especially grateful, that – as the Mayor of Thessaloniki – I will be able to welcome you personally to this year’s 56th Dimitria Festival, and to the exceptional projects that our artistic committee and our collaborators in the Municipality have selected for our return from the digital to the active Culture.
We will all be present, living through the communal experience of performances in their natural spaces, sharing our common BREATHS.
Mayor of Thessaloniki
Deputy Mayor's Greeting
“The 56th Dimitria Festival, with a programme rich in images, sounds and innovative ideas, which, through a contemporary artistic perspective, reflect all the elements that unite and express creators from across the globe”. This is what the Dimitria Festival is for us, the festival of our city designed with the joy of our return to live performances.
Culture is experience, interaction, imagination, satisfaction, joy, enjoyment, knowledge, entertainment, reflection, but above all it is creation, it is breath of life. This year’s Dimitria Festival revolves around ‘Breaths’, a topic which bears a distinct and evident symbolism, standing for every breath that we have lost, for the need to take those breaths right from the beginning.
The 56th Dimitria Festival makes a dynamic comeback, embraces the city, its creators and artists of the international scene, forming an impressive mosaic of artistic creation. It is a living cell of culture which constantly evolves, experiments, broadens its horizons by incorporating new trends of modern culture while simultaneously keeping its relationship with the audience and the city alive.
I would like to warmly thank all the artists who participate in the 56th Dimitria Festival, as well as the contributors to the productions and our collaborators, the artistic committee of Dimitria and the executives of the Directorate of Culture for their invaluable assistance and of course all of you, the magnificent audience of Thessaloniki, who support the Festival throughout the fifty-six years of its artistic journey in the city.
Deputy Mayor for Culture & Tourism
Art Direction's Greeting
After the pandemic ordeal, art has rushed once again to take its place in the functioning of human nature. Forced confinement, isolation, and suffocation (emotional, spiritual, physical) passes the baton to BREATHS. This is the thematic title of this year’s 56th Dimitria: BREATHS.
After the cultural imprint and “distancing” of last year’s Dimitria, this year comes to establish in a figurative manner the simple- yet necessary, majestic, and vital- body function of breath. Is it a coincidence that during this pandemic so many of us felt the importance of the simple “Respiration- Breath”, which although taken for granted is so important for all our fellow citizens?
The effective functioning of art and culture is equally essential. It is a breath that thanks to this conversation softens the destiny of human nature.
BREATHS… a solution for all Thessaloniki’s citizens to get back on track in the long history of our culture.