Join us July 24th at 8PM for Codes of Radical Persistence, a free, outdoor film screening inspired by the life and work of Yannis Tsarouchis, at the Comfort Station grounds in Logan Square.
Jointly hosted by Wrightwood 659 and the Comfort Station, Codes of Radical Persistence aims to bring awareness to the evolving lexicon of queer persistence within Greece from the post-war era to the present day. The screening features the documentary Kaliarda (2015) by actress and director Paola Revenioti on the Kaliarda, a secret language of the homosexual community in Greece from the end of World War II through the regime change in the 70s. The program also includes archival footage and premieres a new virtual performance, Affect Alien (2021), by Athens-based artist Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou Bunny which intertwines the experience of the famous activist and rebetiko singer Sotiria Bellou with her close friend Yannis Tsarouchis. To bring further context to this work, the written program will include a new essay by the acclaimed art historian Jonathan Katz. The films in this program will be on view virtually for the week following the July 24th premiere starting July 29th.
Affect Alien is a video-performance inspired by Yannis Tsarouchi’s and Sotiria Bellou’s artistic expression, radical life and friendship in the early twentieth century, in a dialogue with the experience of being a queer person living in Greece in 2021. Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou (Bunny) brings into life, and through their own artistic language, the subversive butterfly figures of Tsarouchi’s paintings combined with a poetic transformation of the lyrics of Sotiria Bellou’s rebetiko songs. As a result, a video portrait-painting of a creature that aspires to transcend binaries and heteronormative figurations of gender and subjectivity, exploring transformation, hybridity, queer trauma and the importance of the chosen family.
Kaliarda, directed by Paola Revenioti and the filmmaking team Paola Team Documentaries, traces the secret language of the homosexual community in Greece, from the 40s until the country’s regime change in the early 70s. Paola became acquainted with Kaliarda towards the end of its use, in the 80s. The team started out aiming to record the history of Kaliarda, but realized they were recording the history of the homosexual community life in Greece during the 20th century. Themes start emerging, such as love, sexuality, hang-outs, the problems faced by homosexuals at the time and how conditions gradually changed until today. In the documentary, we speak with academics and people from the street, who had a first-hand experience of our subject.
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