art, pedagogy & research
"The living tongue that tells the word, the living ear that hears it, bind and bond us in the communion we long for in the silence of our inner solitude." Ursula K. Le Guin
A collaborative project with artist Nikos Kostopoulos
realised on Tinos, Greece during KINONO Tinos art gathering, FIRE residency (2020)
Veggera investigates how a community is formed and sustained through storytelling.
The project takes its name from the old Tinian tradition of Veggera that used to be performed mainly by women and children on the island of Tinos during cold winter evenings. Veggera was in general terms a social visit, and the name refers not only to the gathering itself but also to the way leading there, the collective walk to reach the house and back. The act of walking together seems of equal importance as the gathering, as part of a sacred ritual, holding lanterns to light their way towards the friendly house. There, they would be sitting next to the hearth knitting, roasting chickpeas, playing together, telling and listening to stories narrated by the older women.
Our veggera was realised through storytelling workshops with the children at the 3rd Elementary School of Tinos, visiting and discussing with the women of Falatados village who shared their memories with us, and exploring the Tinian landscape and folk stories. It concluded with an audiovisual installation presented at the Garden of Sykia, Tinos.
Special thanks to the fifth grade students Agapi, Arbri, Ioanna, Nikos, Simos, Stavros, Theodora, Rika, Vasilis, the 3rd Elementary school of Tinos and especially Pinelopi Diaskoufi and Stelios Mportas, as well as Anna Alverti, Marina Desypri and Frantzeska Papagiannopoulou, for their kind hospitality and valuable stories.