Bon voyage, J.A.C.E.

J.A.C.E. stands for 'Just Another Confused Elephant' and it is the title of the latest film by the Greek director Menelaos Karamaghiolis who tells the epic story of a Greek-Albanian orphan that is a victim of human trafficking. Brought to Greece as a paperless immigrant, he turns into a wanted fugitivea story that resembles a contemporary Odyssey and which the narrative follows across a span of decades. If one could say that there is one prevailing theme, then J.A.C.E. is about voluntary and involuntary departures that inevitably form his identity; leaving homelands and people behindmost of the times exiting a dystopia only to enter another.

I consider myself fortunate enough to have this ambitious international co-production as my baptême du feu as an assistant director as I joined forces with the rest of the—numerous and diverse, I must admit—crew members after I had done a bit of casting for the film. A novice in the field, and having had already decided to leave the country myself, this film was both a closure of my life in Greece and a bridge to my cinematic adventures to follow.

Leaving my then fugitive tendencyand now realityon one side, I wish 'Bon Voyage' to the film and its spectators as it premiers today in Greek cinemas.

Bon Voyage, indeed, to every Jace in their identity-seeking journeys.

Official trailer with English subtitles: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmore6_j-a-c-e-official-trailer_shortfilms 

'Twice-orphaned Jace, a Greek-Albanian child, witnesses a massacre that wipes out his foster family, then falls into the hands of the predators, ruthless gangsters who 'export' children abroad for various reasons, from beggary to the organ trade. Jace ends up in Athens, begging at street corners, exploring the horrors of institutions for young offenders or serving obscure patrons in a world where violent loss seems to be his only destiny. The movie follows Jace’s inverted odyssey in a dark universe of abuse, murder and fear, as he desperately seeks a ‘family’ and a sense of belonging'[source: http://jacefilm.wordpress.com/].


My speech at the assembly of World Without Nazism, 9/10/12, Strasbourg

General Assembly of the International Human Rights Movement 'World Without Nazism'Strasbourg, 9/10/12 - Opening Session: Shpigel B. I. (chairman of the International WWN), Kravchuk L. (former president of Ukraine, chairman of Ukraine WWN), Voronin V. (Moldovian MP, 3rd president of the Republic), Goroya E. (Greek Helsinki Monitor), Cvetkova I. (Latvian MP), Bondik V. (member of the Supreme Council of Ukraine), Monrose G. (Pastor, USA), Father Sup. Philip (rep. of the Russian Orthodox Church), Bogdanov V. (chairman of the Russian Union of Journalists), Kapinsky A. (Polish MP), Bishop Lazar (rep. of the Estonian Church), Srulevich A. (Director of the European Department of the US Anti-Defamation league).

Speaker: Eliza Goroya, Greek Helsinki Monitor

[After a representative of Vladimir Putin had read his letter of support to the assembly:]
The joy of listening Putin's comments on intolerance.Where does irony end and involuntary self-parody begins? Closing this parenthesis, my name is Eliza Goroya and I am representing the Greek Helsinki Monitor where I work as an advocate for freedom of speech and freedom of—and from—religion.
I assume you've heard the news (about Greece).But how did we get here?
Greece is a country where racist attitudes and intolerance towards national, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, and other minorities is widespread in society including state and judicial authorities while fight against—and especially punishment for—racism and intolerance is almost totally absent.
Most characteristically, just a few days ago, the Minister of Justice informed the Parliament that there have been only a few prosecutions with the anti-racism law 927/79 (in effect all of them—about half-a-dozen- resulted from the some 50 GHM related complaints—no one else has filed such complaints), while the invocation of the racist motive as an aggravating circumstance as well as of the anti-discrimination law 3304/2005 in courts is non-existent.
On the contrary, the acquittal of notorious neo-Nazi Costas Plevris in his trial for his 1400-page—anti-Semitic, among others—book, even by a majority of Supreme Court judges (not in the name of freedom of expression but because his book was not considered racist!), has shown that even extreme racist views are shared by the majority of even top judges.
In such a climate, in 2000 was founded an extreme right party with racist views named 'LAOS' which quickly won seats in the EP (in 2004 and 2009) and in the National Parliament (in 2007 and 2009). It was immediately treated as a mainstream party by all media and parties and that allowed it to even join the government in 2011-2012.
In 2012, two more extreme right parties, Independent Greeks and Golden Dawn outscored LAOS and entered the National Parliament. All three parties got above 20% in May 2012 and above 15% in June 2012, with an estimate of more than 25% of the voters having voted for these three parties at least once.
Golden Dawn is not an 'average' extreme right party but an outright neo-Nazi party with a violent militant membership that is held responsible for a series of violent attacks mostly against immigrants. The only other comparable parliamentary party in Europe is Jobbik in Hungary. This is not accidental: in all Euro-barometers, the highest percentage of people who express xenophobic views (e.g. 'expel all migrants') are found in Greece and Hungary. Human rights activists (including GHM) have pointed out that all three extreme right parties, including Golden Dawn, are treated as mainstream parties: for example almost all TV channels award them time equivalent to their percentage if not more, usually uncritically. As a contrast, NGOs are almost absent from TV stations.
Furthermore, while Golden Dawn is increasingly assuming the role of law enforcement officers on the streets of Greece, polls show that it is all done with the support of the police as 50% of the police officers vote for them.
As Golden Dawn becomes more and more de-marginalised, religious leaders are publicly expressing their support towards them; it seems that the Greek Orthodox Church and the far-right are developing a sinister co-dependency as they share the same 'hate agenda'. As far as the official state religion is inextricably connected with the national identity as a cine-qua-non the enemy is common:
Non-Greeks, non-Christians and—let's not forget the pink triangle, or, the pink elephant in the room—L.G.B.T.
While 'hate speech' is not illegal, anti-blasphemy laws have become more severe resulting in a bitter blow against freedom of speech.
In short, everyone who is not Greek/white, Christian and heterosexual is in danger.
We cannot allow this to continue and climax.
As this cannot be dealt with on a local level, it is of paramount importance that we work collectively and pro-actively and stop this madness.
Not tomorrow.
Let's do it today.
Let's do it yesterday.
Let's do this.-


A streetcar named immigration

'I come here regularly; I feed them', he said. 'Because I've always relied on the kindness of strangers too'.
Hussein from Pakistan
Hyde Park, 30/05/12



GOPLACIA is now my name.

NOPLACIA was once my name,
That is, a place where no one goes.
Plato's Republic now I claim
To match, or beat at its own game;
For that was a myth in prose,
But what he wrote of, I became,
Of men, wealth, laws a solid frame,
A place where every wise man goes:
GOPLACIA is now my name.

Lines on the Island of Utopia by the Poet Laureate, Mr Windbag's Nonsenso's Sister's Son
[Thomas More, Utopia, Penguin Books, London, 2009]

   Voyageuse                            © Maurizio Nannucci 2003



We may be the hope of a country yet to be discovered.
Ίσως είμαστε η ελπίδα μίας χώρας που δεν ανακαλύφθηκε ακόμη.

John Stezaker


Normality is the prison of all

La normalità è la prigione di tutti / Normality is the prison of all / La normalité est la prison de tous / Η κανονικότητα είναι η φυλακή όλων


Greek LGBTQ activists pose in front of Banksy's 'kissing coppers' in Brighton

The LCBTQ activists Themis Katsagiannis and Stavros Giannakopoulos 
pose in front of Banksy's 'kissing coppers' in Brighton, UK.

photo credit @Goroyesque 2012