WHY IKARIA? An interview with Eleni.


In Ikaria I went to be by myself, in the sense that I wanted to keep away
from the human hubbub and the noise. For me it is the island of controlled
loneliness. I went there to lay off, but also to work on a script.
There are open horizons all around. They can widen the imagination.
Over and above the place is located absolutely on the perimeter of
developements, without however being ever outside. It's in orbit
like a satelite and this is a very good seat for somebody like me
whose job is to generate ideas.

(This is Nana. The following interview is sure to debunk those who want to believe Ikaria as a soporiferous island. That’s all I had to say in place of an introduction. I should also say that I did a lot of mending to improve the word order so that the whole thing made sense. I mention this in case somebody thought we talk like that when we are between us…)

Yaaa…

– Ya sou.

After two years of hard work abroad, you spent an entire winter and spring in Ikaria. Why?

– In Ikaria I went to be by myself, in the sense that I wanted to keep away from the human hubbub and the noise. For me it is the island of controlled loneliness. I went there to lay off, but also to work on a script. There are open horizons all around. They can widen the imagination. Over and above the place is located absolutely on the perimeter of developements, without however being ever outside. It’s in orbit like a satelite and this is a very good seat for somebody like me whose job is to generate ideas. This, I mean the generating of ideas, by the way, is like a national sport for the locals. Everybody have various opinions on everything. There is a philosophical consideration of the reality, a continuous searching. That was good but at the same time it took all my self-discipline so that I was able to finish my work without being drawn away into this game; neither drift into the dramatic landscape nor be sucked up by the notorious slow times which the landscape imposes. When I was through with the work, ok then I let myself drift and be sucked up for a while.

So you used the island as a base, but you didn’t want to be sucked up?

– It’s precisely as you say. In order not to mingle and interfere with my work, whatever I saw and thought about Ikaria I wrote in my blog or I said it with photos in Flickr. Again a lot of discipline was needed; and I confess that I messed up quite a few times; thought of letting everything drop and become an Ikarian hippie. Fortunately I love my job and the friends I have there and the money that come from my work and provide for my independence; so I always brought myself back to order.

How much can you reveal here about the script?

– It’s nothing too original. It has to do with the way the general policies, ideas and popular trends affect a small insignificant place. About how these trends are digested, distorted or even, you may say, come up better. How they are «materialized» as a technocrat would say. At the same time the opposite can happen as well and there lies the juice of the story: how a small insignificant place can affect in its turn, if not the central events, at least a few, very few people of which some may be important in their own special way and prove able to affect the central events.

Is it about the 17N?

– No, no … (roaring laughter) …

Yet it has to do with Ikaria?

– There is a distant relation. My favourite island helped to inspire, that was all. The story takes place in another location which I thought was very alike. It’s not an island, though. After so much travelling I am pleased to say that there are many Ikarias in the world and many of them are in Europe, although we do not usually consider our continent as contradictory and exotic… (laughter) You may find an Ikaria, for instance, in some remote provinces, in valleys between mountains, or even in some uptown urban quarters -that’s not uncommon in mid-eastern Europe.

The year before last you walked the entire part of the E4 trail from Hungary to Greece. In this particular route how many Ikarias did you encounter?

– A lot. You can’t imagine how many. The only difference with the Ikaria we know, is that’s it’s an island, not metaphorically but actually. There are very strict geographical limits and that’s easier to take and more productive as far as the concept is concerned. On the other hand these limits are too restricted; the concept would be clear but the story would be limited. It might come out as a description of customs and folklore and I wanted to avoid this. Yet… look, I might not have written a script with a setting in Ikaria, however, after I finished the script, as an adjacent return from all those long hikes in the mountains and the ravines I turned up with a few nice fairy-tales.

Is it what you said already? I mean that you eventually let yourself get sucked up?

– I have always liked to invent and tell stories. Having all the time and space at my disposal in Ikaria for the first time I let myself set my strories on stage and I tried them with myself as an actor as well. So In the natural settings of the island I pretended to be «The Doe» and the «Fair Maid Sang» from two Greek folk songs that I adore; I improvised Ophelia of Shakespeare, «The Maid of the Castle» (that’s from Ikaria); and from the modern figures I acted the «grouvalina» in Chalares river – (laughter)

Why not play «the good terrorist» too?

– Whatever but not such fantasies, dear! Nor a nun or a missionary either, roles that sound to me very close to what you ‘ve just said. They get me down; not to tell you they dispair me. I reject anybody who prays for me or shoots a gun for me or in my name in order to save me without asking me.

How about an ecologist then?

– Yes, but only for me, not for the others. Yet why should I have acted this part? What else was I but an «ecologist» in the way I behaved in Ikaria? With my organic potato garden and my endless hikes in the hills, the herbs I collected and so on, what was I but an ecologist? But don’t you think this term has degenerated to mean almost nothing? Half of the Ikarian women I know, are «ecologists». It’s not a part for a fairy-tale. It’s a real attitude in life.

Did you also act Icarus?

– No. To begin with he was a man and secondly because the story has a bad end. From winged beings I played «Serafina», a female angel of my own invention … (laughter …pause)

Are you going to do something with these stories set in Ikaria? Professionaly, I mean.

– The island is very convenient for such RPG situations. First of all nobody gets you wrong as long as you don’t offend and disturb anybody; and then there is no strict code for a respectable lifestyle. You don’t have a problem if you appear in the supermarket in dusty clothes or dry weeds in your hair. I can tell you that they may take it like an honour…

As evidence that you had «friction» with the nature of the island? (laughter)

– Yes, as long as you are not like that all the time. This would be disrespect and «grouvalization». I, for instance, more than once have appeared sweat-soaked and in rags and the next time I showed up all clean and with my hair well-made in a nice and neat afternoon clothes set… (laughter)

That’s a useful tip for some people to know. Anyway, let’s get back to my question.

– I admit that I slipped off your question on purpose. These stories are my own personal, private things. I may narrate them verbally; I may give ideas to others; but I won’t turn them into «work» : written narratives with scenic directions and detailled dialogues. They are my own salutary schizophrenia and I want to keep them so that I can change them once in a while according to my mood. In short, they are my girlish utopias and I won’t sell them. Or at least this what I think of the matter right now. Who knows, maybe when I am old, I change my mind. Or maybe the environment of Ikaria goes bad, or another danger comes about and in that case I may decide to be a «committed writer» and raise hell. (laughter…) But for the time being and with the baby I am unable to think of such activistic situations. My baby is enough activism for me now –

(These last sentences were said while Sideraki had started to cry. And so here the interview with Eleni was interrupted and stopped. Yaaaa-aaa… We speak again soon.)

Athina Sk.

Comments

(7 total)

As you may have noticed, in this interview there are no links for photos and other supplementary information. You are free to use your imagination.

Monday January 29, 2007 – 09:48am (EET)

Fascinating; my goal is to drift off into the landscape, with neither haste nor hesitation. You hiked the E4 Hungary to Greece? I offer a humble bow.

Monday January 29, 2007 – 08:50am (PST)

Drifting into the landscape? Well said. That’s Nana’s specialty to a degree extreme. Labors for hours across thornbush lands for sport. The mad Cretan bloke doesn’t need paths -:

Oh please don’ t bow about the E4. ‘Twas a smashing experience. It offered me good reason to curl up like a cat in Ikaria soon after.
Btw, there is a E4 related thread in Flickr group «hiking».

Tuesday January 30, 2007 – 12:58pm (PST)

(for ‘simonsterg’)

Η ΛΑΦΙΝΑ

Όλα τα λάφια που βοσκούν όλα δροσολογιούνται
Και μια λαφίνα ταπεινή δεν πάει μαζί με τ’ άλλα
Μόνο στ’ απόσκια περπατεί, τ’ απόζερβα αγναντεύει
Κι όπου βρει γάργαρο νερό θολώνει το και πίνει

Κι ο ήλιος την ερώτησε κι ο ήλιος τη ρωτάει
Γιατί λαφίνα ταπεινή δεν πας κοντά με τ’ άλλα
Μόνο στ’ απόσκια περπατείς τα απόζερβα αγναντεύεις
Κι όπου βρεις γάργαρο νερό θολώνεις το και πίνεις

Ήλιε μου Σα με ρώτησες θα σου το μολογήσω
Δώδεκα χρόνους έκαμα μόνη χωρίς ελάφι
Δώδεκα χρόνους ήλιε μου στείρα χωρίς ελάφι
Κι από τους δώδεκα κι ομπρός εγέννησα λαφάκι.

Και σαν εβγήκε ο βασιλιάς να λαφοκυνηγήσει
Το βρίσκει μοσχανάθρεφτο και το διπλοσκοτώνει
Γι αυτό στ’ απόσκια περπατώ τ’ απόζερβα αγναντεύω
Κι όπου βρω γάργαρο νερό θολώνω το και πίνω

Κι ο ήλιος τότε δάκρυσε και τα βουνά ριγήσαν
Και το φεγγάρι έσβησε ν’ ακούσει το ελάφι
Κι οι λαγκαδιές κι οι ρεματιές μαζί του αναστενάξαν
Κλάψε με, μάνα κλάψε με, με ήλιο με φεγγάρι.

Tuesday June 10, 2008 – 11:45am (PDT)

(for ‘simonsterg’)

THE LAFINA

All the deers are grazing and drinking clear fresh water
All but a humble Lafina (she-deer) who doesn’t go along with the others
She is walking in the shadows, she is turning her head away
And where she finds spurting water, she stirs mud and then she drinks it.

And the Sun asked her, and the Sun is asking her
Why humble Lafina, you don’t go along with the others?
Why are you walking in the shadows, why are you turning your head away?
And why where you find spurting water, do you stir mud and then you drinks it?

Oh Sun, since it’s you who’s asking, I will confess to you
I had been without a calf for twelve years
Sterile, ny Sun, without a calf for twelve years
And after those twelve years were over, I bore a calf at last.

And when the King came out to hunt
He saw that it was well-bred, he shoots two arrows and kills it on the spot
This is why I am walking in the shadows and I am turning my head away.
This is why where I find spurting water, I stir the mud and then I drink it.

And then the Sun bleared and the mountains quivered
And the Moon extinguished on listening to the deer
And the dens and the ravines sighed with her
Cry for me, mother, cry for me with the Sun and the Moon.

Tuesday June 10, 2008 – 11:47am (PDT)

I liked the ideas

…and beautiful poem

now I need to stay silent

Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 09:02pm (EEST)

Stay silent as long as you wish. Silence in part of «The New Eloquence». Thank you.

Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 12:32pm (PDT)


One Comment on “WHY IKARIA? An interview with Eleni.”


Σχολιάστε

Εισάγετε τα παρακάτω στοιχεία ή επιλέξτε ένα εικονίδιο για να συνδεθείτε:

Λογότυπο WordPress.com

Σχολιάζετε χρησιμοποιώντας τον λογαριασμό WordPress.com. Αποσύνδεση / Αλλαγή )

Φωτογραφία Twitter

Σχολιάζετε χρησιμοποιώντας τον λογαριασμό Twitter. Αποσύνδεση / Αλλαγή )

Φωτογραφία Facebook

Σχολιάζετε χρησιμοποιώντας τον λογαριασμό Facebook. Αποσύνδεση / Αλλαγή )

Φωτογραφία Google+

Σχολιάζετε χρησιμοποιώντας τον λογαριασμό Google+. Αποσύνδεση / Αλλαγή )

Σύνδεση με %s