Residency Program 1st edition, October 2022
Care: Economies of Eudaimonia
The first edition of the G&A Mamidakis Foundation Research Residency Program, which took place between 15-22 October, 2022, in Agios Nikolaos, Crete, was a week-long intensive residency promoting creative interaction among cultural practitioners. It brought together nine professionals from the fields of fine art, performance, curating, writing, research, cultural production, and graphic design, who explored recent research around the themes of Care/Eudaimonia, and how we can all work together to redefine care, resulting in a more caring world. The residency program was shaped around discussions and workshops organised by invited lecturers, during which the participants debated about critical current issues including the crisis of social care and healthcare in Greece and abroad, the gradual shrinking of the welfare state, the refugee crisis, the pandemic, and the environmental crisis, as well as the secondary traumas of carers, the lack of (their) care, and ‘care washing’.
Andreas Chatzidakis presented and discussed the “Care Manifesto”, and along with fellow researcher Hara Kouki presented case studies and empirical studies on the social organization of Care in Greece within broader interdisciplinary approaches. Artist, researcher, and performer Joulia Strauss offered insights into the Athenian Ecofeminism and the practice of the self-organised grassroots university Avtonomi Akadimia, and discussed the notion of the indigenous Europe as a political vision of good life, evdemonia, buen vivir, sumak kawsay, or yumo gaj lij (living like the Gods in her Mari culture), a life in companionship with Gaia. Professor and translator Steven Corcoran, based on the fundamental premise of his workshop that reconceiving education is necessary to practices of care, presented and discussed proposals by two philosophers—Jacques Rancière and Ivan Illich—both of whom have had radical takes on the art of learning and how we can reconceive it in a more autonomous way. After all, care necessarily involves focussing our ability to attend and listen to others and to our world, and our capacity to translate what is happening or being communicated. Architect and local of Agios Nikolaos Odysseas Sgouros discussed social care through personal case studies and architectural projects from the local community. On the last day, artist and writer Alexandros Psychoulis offered an experiential experience of care, through the Greek tradition of tsipouro drinking. Through an impactful, culinary performance he created a shared condition based on verbal communication, a ceremony of compassion where one cares for the other, in order to lead everyone to a coveted transcendental experience, to a state of collective wholeness, attunement, oneness, and the sweet illusion that life is supremely simple.
A publication documenting the experience, including findings and new research from all fellows is forthcoming – stay tuned.
Fellows: Maita Chatziioanidou, Christos Chrysanthopoulos, Ariana Kalliga, Dina Ntziora, Foivos Oikonomidis, Eleni Riga, Georgia Sagri, Mariana Stefanitsi, Nikolas Vamvouklis
Workshops by: Andreas Chatzidakis, Chara Kouki, Joulia Strauss, Steven Corcoran, Odysseas Sgouros and Alexandros Psychoulis
Photography Loukianos Arnaoutakis & Maria Choulaki