CULTURE

Olympics exhibition takes a sociopolitical approach

There is a veritable avalanche of publications and exhibitions dedicated to the Olympic Games and their history. Most of them approach the topic from a historical perspective, with detailed analyses of older writings, photographs and rituals. The Foundation of the Hellenic World (254 Pireos, Tavros) is now attempting to reveal a different aspect of the Modern Olympics in a show titled «Olympic Games Stories: A Different Exhibition,» which not only stands out in content, but also in the manner of its presentation. The show will run for two years. The exhibition puts forth the idea that the Games are an expression of a variety of cultural facets (political, social, financial, symbolic, etc.) on a domestic and global scale. The show also attempts to highlight the significance of the Games to individuals, social groups and anyone else participating or involved in them. The exhibition is organized around these basic concepts and separated into units according to the significance of the Games in antiquity and on four different levels in the modern age: on the level of the individual (mostly the athletes), the city which hosts the Games, the country and, finally, the world as a whole. The organizers have applied a variety of interesting means to cover this period from 1896 to 2004. They have incorporated into the displays the stories of individual athletes (Spyros Louis, Constantinos Tsiklitiras, Jesse Owens, Jim Thorpe, Muhammad Ali, Emil Zatopek, Nadia Comaneci and Pyrros Dimas), original testimonials and interviews, evidence of the changes a city hosting the Games undergoes (showing Athens in 1896, Helsinki in 1952, Moscow in 1980, Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996), clippings from newspapers, photographs, filmed highlights from various Games, footage of opening and closing ceremonies, as well as scenes from medal-giving ceremonies. Each section of the exhibition is introduced with an explanatory note which allows the viewer a better understanding of what he or she is about to watch on screen.