CULTURE

Epic storytelling in Amari

Homer?s two epic poems about the Trojan War and the adventures of Odysseus in his efforts to get home following the fall of Troy come alive on the island of Crete through the medium of storytelling this month. The initiative belongs to the Friends of Amari association, while the works will be interpreted by master British storytellers Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden.

In the village of Amari, ?The Odyssey? will be explored in the form of a workshop taking place from October 27 to November 2, a project which will culminate in a marathon session of Odysseus’ long journey on the last day. Meanwhile, ?The Iliad? will be performed at the Garden of Ali Vafi in Rethymno (65 Tzane Bouniali, Petaladika) on October 29. Entrance to the latter is free of charge.

Lupton and Morden have received international acclaim for their narration of Greek epics and have performed in prestigious venues including the Royal National Theater and the British Museum in London. In 2006 the two artists were the recipients of the Classical Association Award for their significant contribution to the public understanding of the classics.

?We never tire of telling these stories because they are always prescient. As we tell them, we notice resonances with events in our own lives and events in the news,? said Morden. ?Homer?s depiction of humanity is as true today as it has always been. We see ourselves at our best and at our worst: as we would like to be, and as we are. Achilles is petulant and vicious, but also compassionate and generous. Odysseus is resourceful and heroic, but also arrogant and cruel.?

Chaired by Stella Kassimati, a bilingual storyteller specializing in folk tales, Greek myths and storytelling workshops, the Friends of Amari association has developed into a dedicated contributor to the Amari community through the art of storytelling. Besides throwing its support behind a number of local cultural initiatives, the association also organizes residence programs for artists and storytelling festivals.

For more information on the upcoming events, visit www.friends-of-amari.org.