Polittes (Citizens defeated) explores the emergence of the historical subject within specific socio-political processes. Although its content is shaped by Patricia Apergi’s Greek origins and experience, it also draws from and responds to every kind of societal crisis. As the artist herself asks: How does it feel to be a citizen of a country that is „losing“? What is the most difficult to face: anger, fear or defeat? What is of most value: the fight or its outcome? Can one emerge as a hero from a failure? Who are the citizens to be praised today?
Patricia and her team researched the meaning and ways of mourning as expressed by the chorus in ancient Greek tragedy in order to develop a specific choreography that translates the mournful dance-performance / state / representation to the contemporary reality of citizens being confronted with fear and defeat. Mourning together is a radical confrontation of the phenomenon of loss. By occupying the space of loss we master the art of consolation and gain the wisdom of collective recovery and change.
Titled Polittes, with a twisted spelling that playfully alludes to „citizens defeated“, Patricia´s work is inspired by contemporary writers and historians (such as Edouard Said, Dimitris Dimitriadis, Edouard Glissant, Kostis Karpozilos) and wishes to address the profound changes that have occurred in social and political living, the violation of rights of citizenship under the stress of the refugee crisis, and the rise of conservative and antiminority politics.
The various lessons inherited through Greek myth and drama are being reconfigured through contemporary political poetics; the kind that wishes to recognize the needs and woes of emerging societies, where class systems are dislocated, gender-based identities shift, and singularities budge under heavy psychological and body strains.
In those yet-to-be-identified societies, world citizens hear the last sounds of familiar things and learn how to accept the organic, fertilizing presence of chaos. They are confronted with an urgent demand: to invent new sounds, new images and new languages in order to describe the reality that is coming.
Duration: 60 min.
A production by Aerites Dance Company. The work has been subsidized by the Greek Ministry of Culture & Sports.