HomeCollaborationsGreekThe first Program on Everyday Life and Culture in Greece was recently instituted at The University of Peloponnese

The first Program on Everyday Life and Culture in Greece was recently instituted at The University of Peloponnese

The first Program on Everyday Life and Culture in Greece was recently instituted at The
University of Peloponnese. Founder and Head of the Program is the anthropologist C. Nadia
Seremetakis (www.seremetakis.com), known worldwide for her influential writings as well
as her engagement with and contributions in public anthropology.
The Program aiming at promoting and sustaining a dialogue between academia and the
wider society, held its first public- multimedia-participatory Symposium on Taste and
Memory in the S. Peloponnese (region of Messinia) from March 13 to 19, and is to be
diffused, by popular demand, into other regions immediately after.

Based on professor Seremetakis’s notion of “ethnography as performance” and drawing on
her book The Senses Still, this
event involved the active, voluntary participation of over 20 schools (elementary and high
schools) of the region, over 25 local cultural organizations, public organizations such as
theater, dance, music, the authorities of the area (all six Mayors and municipalities of
Messinia), 75 university students, and numerous citizens.

As professor Seremetakis claims, the effective mobilization and collaboration of all these
forces in presenting original works for a specific event like this—call it public anthropology,
cultural management, public education, or whatever—, can only be succeeded by “good
ethnography—ethnography as both research method and writing. The former trains you to
‘excavate’ and ‘communicate’, the latter to ‘synthesize’ effectively the uncovered

This multidisciplinary event featured lectures by renown Greek scholars, artistic
performances, and a four-level exhibition which included over 300 student’s paintings and
ceramic creations of sweet and salty memories, numerous narrations and poems on “recipes
with memory”, as well as collections of gastronomic metaphors in everyday speech, in
poetry, in popular lyrics, in ancient texts, in fairytales, and much more. These were
accompanied by homemade tit-bits and sweets offered by citizens, and local products by
world-acclaimed food businesses.
Film projections included a video documentary which registered the mobilization and
preparation of schools (students and teachers) for their participation in the event. This too
was produced by UoP students-doctoral candidates under the supervision of prof.
The Aftertaste of the event included aesthetic and gustatory interventions in the eating
areas of the university by both local citizens and students, as well as the installation of a
handmade compost bin on university campus.

The event was attended by over 500 citizens, 179 of which received certification, among
them 76 undergraduate and graduate
students, and it was covered by local and national media.

As prof. Seremetakis stated in the media, this certainly offers a different picture of “Greek
crisis” than the one prevailing in the news.
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“excerpt from ANTHROPOLOGY NOW “

Symposium-Public Event

University of the Peloponnese

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