CULTURE

Two top UK artists kick off series of events on democracy, in Athens

A series of events promoting free speech and democratic thinking kicks off early next month with lectures by British director Peter Greenaway and writer, actor and director Steven Berkoff. The two artists will deliver the opening talks at the Benaki Museum’s New Wing at 138 Pireos Street on May 9 and 10, launching the «Democracy Talks: Let’s Talk About Democracy» event. Organized by the British Council in collaboration with the Attica Cultural Society, the overall idea of «Democracy Talks» is to open a creative dialogue between the Greek public and British artists concerning democracy as a concept that transcends cultural boundaries. According to the organizers of «Democracy Talks,» interest has been expressed in attending the event by other British artists, such as screenwriter, playwright and novelist Hanif Kureishi, director Deborah Warner and actress Fiona Shaw. Founder of the cutting-edge London Theater Company, Steven Berkoff also enjoys widespread acclaim as a stage actor, director and playwright. The first play he wrote, «East,» was presented at the 1975 Edinburgh Festival, and it was rapidly followed by other successful works such as «West,» «Decadence,» «The Secret Life of Ophelia,» «Acapulco» and «Brighton Scumbags.» In films, he has mostly appeared in the role of the villain, notably in «Octopussy,» «Rambo» and «Beverly Hills Cop,» but he has also played in «A Clockwork Orange,» «Barry Lyndon» and «Under the Cherry Moon.» The other headliner at «Democracy Talks,» Peter Greenaway, needs little introduction as one of the world’s leading avant-garde filmmakers. His visit to Athens will also mark the opening of a retrospective exhibition of his artworks at the Hellenic American Union (22 Massalias, Kolonaki) on Monday, May 9, at which he will be present. For the duration of the exhibition, from May 10-29, the HAU will also be screening the bulk of Greenaway’s films, both features and shorts.