Democritus University of Thrace, School of Architecture
Greece: When the Carnival stopped: The struggle for cultural life in the city of Xanthi
When the Carnival stopped: The struggle for cultural life in the city of Xanthi, Northeastern Greece.
When the pandemic began, carnivals where the first cultural performances to get cancelled in Greece, since they coincided with the pre-lent celebration period in the country. Xanthi’s Carnival, the oldest one in Northern, Greece taking place since 1966, was also interrupted for the first time in its 54 years old history. The Carnival, the central festival of the city, is crucial for its cultural and economic life. A network of dozens of cultural institutes, clubs, museums, carnival and cultural societies are working during the whole year to present their work at the Carnival. 2021 is the second year in a row that the Carnival will not take place as it used to do. In this paper, I will deconstruct how the mechanism of the afore mentioned network worked and evolved through the Carnival’s history. Following, I will describe how the Carnival responded to the new conditions of this two-year disruption, focusing on the problems of the pause that was imposed and presenting the consequences of the numerous cancellations of public performances at the city’s cultural actors. My analysis will be also accompanied by a commentary on the ways my current ethnographic work on Carnival was affected by the pandemics.
Biography of the author:
Dr Sirakouli earned her PhD on Anthropology of Music researching cultural performances and music in North Eastern Greece. She has worked for various research projects and cooperated with numerous cultural institutions, associations and foundations. After being a visiting lecturer for the subjects of cultural education, festival and cultural policy, she became a teaching fellow on geography, music mapping and networks (NKUA). She is currently a post-doctoral researcher in the area of arts, celebration and space at School of Architecture, DUTH.