Innovation requires flexibility and new perspective, creates new opportunities and contributes to progress. Katheti, from the beginning of its operation, has applied novel ideas in many occasions. Katheti’s innovations derive from the quest for better practices and aim at the creation of such circumstances that its actions can benefit more people.
Theater workshop Crash Smallville
Katheti’s innovations began with the theater workshop Crash Smallville, which took place in October 2018. The wokshop, in collaboration with Brutal Stories and Elias Adam, was based on the model of “Informal Social Councils” and led to a documentary-theater performance.
“Informal Social Councils” are meetings in which citizens, through participatory procedures, interact and express their concerns. Their life experiences were turned into a theater play.
A member of the workshop recounts: “We talked about ourselves, the queries that are troubling us and more general issues.” And she continues: “The material for the documentary performance emerged very quickly. Then, came the rehearsals. The result and the discussion that followed the performance rewarded us, as we saw the interest of the audience and their desire to stay and discuss with us.”
A seminar about the principles and the techniques of mediation at school. It included lectures and experiential, interactive exercises.
It took place during March and April of 2019, with Maria Louiza Andriakopoulou and Evgenia Saridou, members of the company “Dialogos Mediation“, as instructors. Its subject was innovative on a national level. The unprecedented element of the seminar was that teachers and students participated jointly!
Maria Louisa Andriakopoulou tells us: “We began searching whether such a model existed in literature, whether it had been done before, whether it was correct and whether, in the end, it was likely to succeed.” And she goes on: “The result surprised us. We believe that this is the most interesting collaboration we have ever done. The participation of people from different generations, with many different backgrounds and life experiences, was unprecedented. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that we left Galatas full of admiration for our students and gratitude to Katheti, which, through this original idea, gave us the joy of participating in something so refreshing and new.”
The result of this seminar was that the local educational community met School Peer Meditation and for this practice to finally take root in Galatas Junior High School.
Combining research and stories from the area with the art of theater, the workshop team, in the summer of 2021, made a performance based on a progressive kind of theater, documentary-theater. The workshop was based on Kostas Gakis’s methodology and Natasha-Faii Kosmidou’s voluntary contribution to the performance was very important.
During the show, varied tools of the performing arts were used, such as pantomime, shadow theater, singing, video art, photography and animation.
The team showed remarkable flexibility in view of the restraining measures due to the pandemic.
In order for the endeavor to be completed, the group enlisted digital media, like Zoom, Facebook Groups and video, for improvisations and rehearsals.
Another one of Katheti’s innovations was the use of videos from its online meetings in the performance itself. It was also important that the show had English subtitles.
Thus, Katheti’s innovations in this case gave the opportunity to the amateur actors, but also the audience of the shows, to take part in an innovative kind of theater, whilst learning their local history. Additionally, English speakers had the opportunity to watch a performance that told the story of our area.
The workshop and the performances were under the auspices and with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
On January 29th and 30th 2022, an experiential workshop took place, with Miltiadis Fiorentzis as instructor, and was carefully planned in a hybrid form.
Namely, it ensured both actual and online participation. A projector, a camera and lapel microphones were enlisted, so that we could bring together, through Zoom, people from Athens, Thessaloniki and even Belgium.
Miltiadis Fiorentzis tells us: “I faced a series of interesting questions: How can I integrate the presence of online participations in the dynamics evolving among a group of people that are present in the same space? How can my direct eye contact with the people present be combined with looking at the camera? How can I monitor the influence of the exercises on the pixels of a giant screen? How feasible is bonding in a team that is divided in two? The answer to all these questions was a skill that was used by all of us on the highest level: flexibility.”
All of the above give us the strength to keep going with inspiration, imagination, flexibility and creativity. Katheti’s innovations lead towards a clear direction, that of increased connection with its collaborators and the recipients of its actions.