Thessaloniki – Carlisle Can a new media exhibition on the subject of European identity become an area of freedom?

Thessaloniki sees the concept of freedom as being central to European identity, while stressing that freedom is never static: it has to be continually regained and re-forged qua self-empowerment. Thessaloniki asks whether we are not far more capable nowadays than in the past of sharing our experiences with others, through the new media – and whether the  media do not mark the free space that urgently needs to be captured.


ArtBOX and the Awaz Cumbria community development organization, partners to the Carlisle-Thessaloniki tandem, are planning a joint exhibition to be shown in both cities, reflecting the basic issues raised in their questions: How can we overcome isolation? How can identity become a realm of freedom? This collaborative Freiraum project is all about talking to residents of both cities. The object is to give a hearing to voices that usually go unheard, which is why the project makes a point of including and highlighting the perspectives of minorities and socially marginalized groups. Audio and video recordings of these conversations draw attention to similarities and differences between the two cities.

NGOs and initiatives working on behalf of refugees and other marginalized groups have already been invited to various workshops. At a panel discussion, Awaz Cumbria presented some tried-and-tested practical models and a tentative assessment of the situation in Thessaloniki. Also as part of this collaborative effort, the Goethe-Institut’s Artecitya programme has invited artists Evi Karathanasopoulou from Great Britain and Thomas Koch from Germany to work as artists-in-residence in Thessaloniki. A so-called “speak-easy” event will be held in both cities this winter, followed by the creation of a “Carlisle-Thessaloniki platform” in March. This platform will present video and audio recordings by Evi Karathanasopoulou, selected works by other participating artists, a video documentary and a publication.

(September 2018)

Our Partner

Founded in 1989, ArtBOX is an arts management agency that develops and produces contemporary art projects. To date, ArtBOX has organized over 200 exhibitions, conferences, festivals and other events in Greece (Art Athina International Art Fair, Artecitya, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art…) as well as in 33 cities around the world (New York, London, Berlin, Istanbul, Venice…).

The first Youth Zone event in Thessaloniki with refugee children

Download the brochure here

  • Playing with Virtual Reality © George Kogias
    Voyeur’s Reality, 2018, Thomas Koch Installation with sound, video and virtual reality. VR application Bastian Orthmann
  • Game of Shadows © George Kogias
    Voyeur’s Reality, 2018, Thomas Koch Installation with sound, video and virtual reality. VR application Bastian Orthmann
  • Intense Listening © George Kogias
    Air Free, 2018, Evi Karathanasopoulou, Sound work
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