15/12/2011

ATH - LDN one way

// A song for Athens //

 // A song for London //

Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon

Everything, everything, everything
In its right place
In its right place
Right place

17/05/2011

Η Rosa Parks και ο δικός μας Αλάμ

Η Rosa Parks, Αφρικανό-Αμερικανίδα ακτιβίστρια (και η "μητέρα του κινήματος της ελευθερίας"), το 1955, σε ηλικία 42 ετών, θα αρνηθεί να παραχωρήσει τη θέση της στο λεωφορείο σε έναν "λευκό" μετά από διαταγή του οδηγού. Η άρνησή της να συμμορφωθεί με τις προσταγές του τρέχοντος ρατσιστικού κανονισμού, θα δημιουργήσει το φαινόμενο του "ντόμινο" και η ίδια θα αποκτήσει διαστάσεις συμβόλου αντίστασης στη φυλετική διάκριση.
Η Rosa Parks το 1955 με τον Martin Luther King
[Αντίστοιχους κανονισμούς συναντάμε φυσικά στη Ναζιστική Γερμανία, με τους Εβραίους να στέκονται όρθιοι στο πίσω μέρος των λεωφορείων.]
Ένα χρόνο αργότερα, η Rosa Parks, κάθεται περήφανα στη θέση της στο λεωφορείο αφού καταργήθηκε ο ρατσιστικός κανονισμός.
Αυτά όμως ανήκουν στον περασμένο αιώνα. Και πολλοί από εμάς τα θεωρούμε δεδομένα. Αντιμετωπίζουμε το ναζισμό και την ΚΚΚ σαν κάτι το "γραφικό", απολύτως ξεπερασμένο και οριακά ...αστείο.
Το 2007, έτυχε να είμαι μάρτυρας σε ένα θλιβερό περιστατικό που μου υπενθύμισε πως τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα είναι κάτι για το οποίο πρέπει να δίνεις συνεχή μάχη, 24/7 δουλειά, παντού και πάντα υπάρχει ανάγκη να αντιστέκεσαι. Να μιλάς.
Να χάσεις το απόγευμά σου.
Τη μέρα σου. 
Την εβδομάδα σου.
Τη ζωή σου, για αυτά. 
Γιατί δεν είναι ποτέ δεδομένα.
Θα δώσω το λόγο στον Γκαζμέντ Καπλάνι και στο υπέροχο κείμενο (δημοσιεύτηκε στα "Νέα") με το οποίο ανταποκρίθηκε στην καταγγελία μου: 
Υπάρχουμε... Συνυπάρχουμε; Ο Αλάμ που σημαίνει κόσμος...
 Αφού διαβάσετε το εξαιρετικό άρθρο του Γκαζμέντ Καπλάνι, θα χαρείτε να μάθετε πως το εν λόγω περιστατικό έφτασε στο γραφείο του συνηγόρου των δικαιωμάτων των μεταναστών και ο πρόεδρος της ΕΘΕΛ απολογήθηκε δημοσίως (στην τηλεόραση, αφ'ότου είχα δημοσιεύσει την καταγγελία στα ΜΜΕ). Ο ίδιος δήλωσε πως θα επιβληθούν κυρώσεις στον οδηγό, κάτι το οποίο επιβεβαιώθηκε αργότερα και από οργάνωση που ασχολείται με τα δικαιώματα των μεταναστών.
Reason will prevail, my friends. Alam will be back on the bus one day. 

Ας ελπίσουμε το καλύτερο για αυτούς τους φρικτούς καιρούς που ζούμε σήμερα.

ΕΓ


29/04/2011

Kings and Queers

When it's two Queens getting married, then I'll be celebrating. 

#EqualityForAll
 
EG 

03/03/2011

Tick: "None of the above"

Όταν οι άνθρωποι λένε για εσένα πως είσαι "κάπως παράξενος" και "λίγο τρελός", δείχνει πως δυσκολεύονται να σε ταξινομήσουν με παραδοσιακό τρόπο.  
Κι αυτό είναι, πράγματι, πολύ ευχάριστο.

[Η απροσδιοριστία σου αυτή θα σε φέρει κοντά με άλλους, υπέροχους, ροζ μονόκερους.]

Η κανονικότητα είναι η φυλακή όλων. / Normality is the prison of all.
 
 Always, remember Leigh.

02/03/2011

The Magnificent Leigh Bowery

He is personally one of my favorites. I will be posting more material in the future about the flamboyant, much-missed Leigh. This is just an introduction to his world.

Leigh Bowery (1961- 94), a man of gargantuan scale physically and culturally, a transvestite performance artist, fetishist designer, leader of the band Minty and theatrical giver of birth. 
Bowery is considered one of the more influential figures in the 1980s and 1990s London and New York art and fashion circles influencing a generation of artists and designers. His influence reached through the fashion, club and art worlds to impact, amongst others, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Boy George, Antony and the Johnsons, John Galliano, the Scissor Sisters, David LaChapelle, Lady Bunny plus numerous Nu-Rave bands and nightclubs in London and New York which arguably perpetuated his avant-garde ideas.




I called Leigh when I was putting my autobiography together, needing some dates and gossip on his infamous nightclub, Taboo. He was very charming and helpful. He asked me if the druggy section of the book would be ‘horribly apologetic’, adding in that heavily affected voice of his, ‘You were fantastic as a junkie, that was my favourite Boy George period.’ I laughed. It was typical Leigh, Miss Contrary, Scary Mary. I first met Leigh when he made some stage clothes for me. Of course, I’d seen him and Trojan around the clubs. How could you miss them? I went over to Leigh’s kitsch council flat in the East End. It was surreal. Leigh was in his Benny Hill day look: shop dummy wig and child molester clothes, surrounded by all this swirling 1970s bad taste. I had heard that he was an evil witch but thought he was a doll. Actually, I was in awe of him. Leigh made me two floor-length A-line coats. One was covered in gold hairgrips and the other had huge angel wings jutting out the back. They made me look fatter, which was probably deliberate. Leigh didn’t have the same size prejudices as the rest of us. He celebrated his fleshy proportions and turned them into a gorgeous fashion statement. I think that’s what I loved about him most; he pushed it in your face. Like the night he swanned into Daisy Chain in a puff-ball face mask, sequined boots with a matching push-up bra. Except for those garish trimmings, he was butt naked. A fake vagina rug hid his manhood, which I am told was substantial. Rachel Auburn said it was like a huge bruised banana. I remember staring at his big butt and thinking how brave he was and that he was quite sexy because of it. There is no question that Leigh was hiding himself behind all that spook drag, but still it was revolutionary. The rest of us used drag and make-up to disguise our blemishes and physical defects. Leigh made them the focal point of his art. I suppose some people thought of him as a ridiculous attention seeker, which he was, but there was so much more. He VI a brilliant fashion designer, art director and master of disguise. When he played the role of a prostitute in my video ‘Generations of Love’, directed by Baillie Walsh, he became the part. I know he could have been an outstanding actor if he had desired. Leigh hadn’t even begun to tap into his creative potential. That’s why he has to be remembered. A journalist at the Guardian once asked me if Leigh could seriously be called art. I said that if a pile of bricks can be called art, then Leigh most definitely can. How perfect that he died 0 a visual high. Refusing to be just another AIDS statistic, Leigh ordered his close friends to tell the world that he wasn’t in hospital but gone to farm pigs in Bolivia or gone on holiday to Pal New Guinea – no Darwin death-bed turnarounds for Leigh Bowery. When I heard Leigh had died, I cried. Just like I cried when my teenage idol Marc Bolan hit that tree. The world had lost another couture icon, another mirror ball.
Goodbye butterfly, Goodbye Satan’s child.
 

Boy George

Leigh Bowery and the unimaginative crowd:

27/02/2011

Moving out and forward

After 3 years in Zografou area (located near the University Campus, in Athens), I'm packing up and moving away. This is my way to say goodbye to my Greek university and to my current neighborhood.

16/02/2011

What would YOU wear to a "man-of-the-year" event?

Questioning "heteronormativity" was NEVER an easy job.



Wiki: Heteronormativity is any of a set of lifestyle norms that hold that people fall into distinct and complementary genders (man and woman) with natural roles in life. It also holds that heterosexuality is the normal sexual orientation, and states that sexual and marital relations are most (or only) fitting between a man and a woman. Consequently, a "heteronormative" view is one that involves alignment of biological sex, gender identity, and gender roles


Once again, FREEDOM is HOT. 

In these photos, Djibril Cissé, a French professional footballer who plays as a striker for a Greek team, attended "Man of the Year" awards ceremony in Athens wearing a black skirt. He commented on his outfit by saying that "wearing skirts is pretty common in his country of origin" (France with parents from Africa). This comment, emphasizes  the questioning of heterormativity as he refers to the "locality" of gender imagery and heteronormative gender clothing/symbols.
 
Furthermore, the man-skirt situation shouldn't be as shocking to Greek people, since  they do have (like Scottish, Africans and others) a traditional "man-skirt" called "foustanela" worn by "national guards" ("tsoliades"):


[But, I guess, 'institutionalized eccentricity' is not controversial.]


15/02/2011

Not another conventional sonnet

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun (Sonnet 130)      

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

"Εδώ, ο μεγάλος ελισαβετιανός δραματουργός ανατρέπει την προαιώνια παράδοση που θέλει τον έρωτα να βασίζεται σε μια ομορφιά που εξιδανικεύεται. [...] Στο σονέτο του αυτό ο Σαίξπηρ αμφισβητεί την ειλικρίνεια των μεταφορών με τις οποίες οι άντρες της εποχής του (και όχι μόνο) στολίζουν τις γυναίκες που αγαπούν ή που πολιορκούν." 
Γεωργοπούλου, Ξένια. Ζητήματα Φύλου στο θέατρο του Σαίξπηρ και της Αναγέννησης. Εκδόσεις Παπαζήση, Αθήνα, 2010.

Read all the sonnets here: http://www.shakespeares-sonnets.com/

It's all in your mind

Bird : Lady?
Lady : Yes Bird?
Bird : It's cold
Lady : I know
Lady : Bird... I cannot see a thing
Bird : It's all in your mind
Lady : I'm worried
Bird : No one will come to see us
Lady : Maybe they come but we just don't see them. What do you see?
Bird : I see what's outside
Lady : And what exactly is outside?
Bird : It's grown-ups
Lady : Well maybe if we scream they can hear us
Bird : Yeah, maybe we should try to scream
Lady : Ok, Bird
Lady & Bird : Heeeelp, Heeeelp. Can you hear us now? Hello! Help! Hello, it's me. Hey. Can you see...? Can you see me? I'm here. Nana come and take us. Hello. Are you there? Hello!
Lady : I don't think they can hear us.
Bird : I can hear you lady
Bird : Do you want to come with me lady?
Lady : Will you be nice to me Bird?
Lady : You're always be nice to me because you're my friend
Bird : I try but sometimes I make mistakes
Lady : Nana says we all make mistakes
Bird : Maybe we should scream more
Lady : Yes, Bird let's scream more
Lady & Bird : Help ! Help us ! Come on ! Help ! Hello ! Help!  Hello ! We're lost!
[...]
Bird : It's all in your mind

14/02/2011

Activism: "All the lovers" kissing in Syntagma

"Kiss-in" against Homophobia in Syntagma square, Athens 14/02/11:


In this photo, activist and dear friend, Stavros Giannakopoulos (gaywebtv) with fellow activist Stefanos Agelastos (AthensPride) - looking good together.

U.K.A. = Unidentified kissing activists.
[The cadre is hand-made by my grand-father.]

And last but not least, Leo Kalovyrnas (chief editor of 10% mag) with a U.K.A.
More info on this occasion here:  Gay Youth in Athens to Stage Public Valentine’s ‘Kiss-In’

12/02/2011

A letter

"I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can't even write this properly. I can't read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. V." 

Virginia Woolf

[On 28 March 1941, Woolf put on her overcoat, filled its pockets with stones, and walked into the River Ouse near her home and drowned.]

Darwin's Birthday


"Darwin is the one who accidentally killed (the concept of) God. Nietzsche is just the one who performed the autopsy afterwards." Kostas Kanellopoulos
Why Celebrate Darwin Day?
American Humanist Association - vimeo.com - RichardDawkins.net