Boston, MA.- Remembering Smyrna: The Catastrophe of 1922, a four-day commemoration of the Smyrna tragedy, will take place at the Maliotis Cultural Center in Brookline, Massachusetts from Thursday, September 22 through Sunday, September 25, 2005. Through film, lectures, dance, music, exhibits and cuisine, the project will offer an authoritative and balanced understanding of the incidents and circumstances of the tragedy in 1922, as well as glimpses into the culture of the Greek communities in Smyrna and Asia Minor during the early 20th century.
A workshop in Smyrnaean dances, led by renowned dance instructor Demetrios Tzotzis of Montreal, will open the project on Thursday evening. The workshop is sponsored by the Boston Lykeion Ellinidon, whose members will also participate in the instruction. The commemoration continues the following evening, Friday, with the screening of Politiki Kouzina, the award-winning 2002 Greek film directed by Tassos Boulmetis about the life of an ethnic Greek family in Istanbul and its forced move to Greece in 1964.
Events on Saturday, September 24 are held throughout the day, beginning with a mid-morning multi-media presentation by historian Angelos Athanasopoulos.
Dr. Athanasopoulos, who received his Ph.D. from Boston University and is widely recognized for his creativity in integrating video technology into educational presentations, will provide historical and political context for the 1922 tragedy. A buffet luncheon of authentic Smyrnaean dishes catered by Ithaki of Ipswich, Massachusetts will follow Dr. Athanasopoulos’s presentation. Each guest will receive a set of recipes of the menu items that include etymologies and histories.
On Saturday afternoon, panelists will recount and discuss the experiences of some ethnic-Greek families who were living in Smyrna in September of 1922. The panel will be moderated by Emerson College professor Emmanuel Paraschos and will include Speros Vryonis, Jr., eminent Byzantinist and author of Mechanism of Catastrophe, a recent study of the expelling of Greeks from Turkey in 1955.
On Saturday evening, Gregory Maninakis and his Mikrokosmos ensemble (bouzouki, keyboard, violin, guitar, percussion and vocalist) from New York will perform music about the Asia Minor tragedy and its refugees as well as traditional Asia Minor music. The concert will be introduced by the screening of the Greek Public Television (ERT) documentary, In the Dance of History: the Settlement of the Refugees, with live English translation voice-over by Emmy Award-winner Yannis Simonides, also from New York.
The commemoration concludes on Sunday with a memorial service at the Hellenic College chapel (located just above the Maliotis Center) which will be immediately followed by a reception at the Center.
Over the four days of the commemoration, an art installation and a book exhibit will be continuously open. The installation, by artist Annee Spileos Scott and entitled Bloodlines, portrays the horror that occurred in the harbor at Smyrna during the conflagration of the city. The book exhibit, sponsored by the Hellenic Literature Society, will display and offer for sale a variety of books relating to the history, politics and culture of the Greeks of Asia Minor and related subjects. Professor Vryonis will be available to sign copies of Mechanism of Catastrophe.
Although a number of events are free of charge, tickets must be purchased for the film Politiki Kouzina, the Saturday evening Mikrokosmos concert and the Saturday luncheon. Additional information and tickets can be obtained through any of the committee members or from the Maliotis Cultural Center (617-522-2800).