CULTURE

Roma shantytown inspires futuristic utopia representing Greece in Venice

Roma shantytown inspires futuristic utopia representing Greece in Venice

A still from a virtual reality video by Loukia Alavanou that will represent Greece at the 59th Venice Biennale, opening April 23. Presented in Athens on Monday, “Oedipus in Search of Colonus” is part of a bigger installation on a futuristic utopia overlying the real Roma shantytown of Nea Zoi. “I was in an uncharted part of West Attica and got lost in the Roma ghetto, which is one of the toughest places in Greece. This particular Roma community settled there in the 1980s from Thiva [ancient Thebes] – just like Oedipus,” the artist told the press conference, adding that members of the community were cast to play the characters in her narrative. The piece is inspired by Sophocles’ ancient play on power and absolution, and by celebrated Greek architect Takis Zenetos’ vision of future cities.