Lambrakis LivZ Favorite 

Date: 

Oct 20 2012

Location: 

Tallinn, Estonia

The performance, “Lambrakis LivZ”, concerns the re-enactment of the political speech of Grigoris Lambrakis given in Athens in 1962. Grigoris Lambrakis was a peace-activist, assassinated by a paramilitary plot on June 1963 at Thessaloniki, Greece. The title denotes the first letter of the Greek word "Zei" ("[He] Lives!"), a popular graffito which appeared for the first time in the 1960s on buildings' walls in cities around Greece, in order to demonstrate the growing reaction against the conditions that led to the assassination of Lambrakis. He became a towering figure not only for the Greek left-wing protests and politics but also for the centrists. The life and death of Grigoris Lambrakis inspired the author Vassilis Vassilikos to write the political novel "Z". In 1969, the Greek-French film director Costa-Gavras made the film “Z”. 

It seems paradoxically, that although Gr. Lambrakis is dead, he is still alive haunting the imagination of any social struggle.
The political speech of Gr. Lambrakis given in June 1962 reflects the whole political climate of his era (Cold War politics, peace and anti-nuclear weapons activism, Africa's colonization and struggles of anti-colonization movements, NATO and German militarization, Communist peace plans, etc). The speech acts as a time capsule and bears all the typical leftist rhetoric in Greece and abroad, characteristic of the polarized socio-political climate of that period. Although it may sounds outdated to the contemporary ear, certain fragments of the speech that apply to concrete realities of the past have a resonance to our nowadays situation. It seems that problematic realities of the past have remained un-resolved and unchanged so far. This paradox of a speech from the past that retains its validity and contemporaneity has been the starting point for the re-enactment of the speech. This paradox is intensified by the performance itself. For its staging no props or any costumes were used for the performer, in an attempt to avoid imitation of the 60's era. In this way, the audience is confronted with and puzzled by the paradox of a speech that although is clearly a part of the past, through a contemporary reenactment, highlights its up-to-date aspects. The aim of the reenactment is to expose, in all its complexity, the problematic, tricky and contradictory oxymoron of a legacy that still haunts the imagination of any social emancipating practice, by revealing and bringing to the fore these paradoxes.
The performance has been presented up to now on six different occasions in open spaces in Athens, Greece (May Day, speech’s anniversary June 23rd 1962, anniversary of Athens liberation from the WWII German occupation October 12th 1944, etc) and twice in Tallinn, Estonia. 

 Presentation in Tallinn, Estonia. 
Does the political speech of Grigoris Lambrakis appeals to an international audience and especially to the contemporary audience of the ex-socialist countries? The political speech of Grigoris Lambrakis could be universal?
Grigoris Lambrakis's political speech adopts the doctrine of Nikita Khrushchev's Soviet Union which promoted the concept of “peaceful coexistence” (between socialist and capitalist countries). In the Baltic countries this concept presumably was received with suspicion and perceived as a hoax. As stated on a label at the 'Museum of Occupations' in Riga, “arming of the USSR is done under the banner of fighting for peace.”
The presentation of the proposed performance/re-enactment of Grigoris Lambrakis's political speech will highlight the ambivalence of such a performance in Tallinn, Estonia, a country that has historically dealt with the consequences of the ex-Soviet Union's political and social repression, recently though an adopter of the Euro currency and a strong supporter of the Western, European Union and Eurozone neoliberal politics.
The speech in Tallinn will be presented in Greek with supertitles in English and Estonian.

Credits: 
Concept-Direction: Stefanos Mondelos 
Performance: Spyros Zoupanos 
Set Design: Nafsika Tzanou
Art Direction: Nafsika Tzanou, Stefanos Mondelos
Speech's Translation in English: Stelios Koutelis
Speech's Translation in Estonian: Maria Blauhut
Texts Editing: Maria Mondelou
Documentation: Sergios Tsitakis

October 20, 2011
Culture Factory Polymer
Ülase 16 / Madara 22, 10613 Tallinn, Estonia
Polish Embassy Room (SUUR SAAL), 10pm-1am
http://kultuuritehas.ee/?p=743

October 21, 2011
Kumu Art Museum
Weizenbergi 34 / Valge 1, 10127 Tallinn, Estonia
Atrium, 2-4pm
http://www.kumu.ee/en 

More Information:
Dimance Rouge
www.dimancherouge.org
Dimanche Rouge Press Release
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I5zIgCz9Fl0zZ0gtNtdILx2X_TE4ZwwA17n02jMNthU/edit?pli=1
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