Syndrome of the Present Seminar #1

Yeni Cami

Friday, 26/01/18 – Day I 
17:00 Arrival at Yeni Cami (New Mosque).
17:30 – 18:00 Introduction
18:00 – 19:00 Opening lecture by Savas Michael–Matsas: “Paths of Emancipation: Sabetai Tsvi and Baruch Spinoza
19:30 Dinner at Restaurant Sempriko.

Saturday, 27/01/18 – Day II
08:30 – 09:15 Introduction
09:30 – 10:30 Pre-tour presentation by Iosif Vaena.
10:30 -12:00 City Tour: “From Byzantine times to the Present” with Iosif Vaena.Thessaloniki, Saloniki, Salonique, Selanik, Solun: the multiplicity of its name does not only bear witness to the city’s long history but also to its multifaceted, complicated and often contested past. We can understand Salonica better if we observe the city space from a vertical perspective. Each layer with its internal hues represents an once powerful authority, be it an empire, a religion, a class or a state. Each one of them has left an imprint in the architectural and urban landscape. Christian churches built over ancient pagan temples, labyrinthine alleys replaced by broad avenues, Ottoman mosques replaced by modern city blocks, a city center erected on the ashes of the old city, a vast Jewish cemetery buried under the current University campus: all these virtually invisible traits of societies and communities gone await the open eyes of any curious observer who wishes to understand the historical fabric that violently produced modern Salonica.

12:00-13:00 Lunch at Elliniki Meze

15:00 – 19:00 First round of discussions and presentations.

  1. Marc David Baer, Oreet Asheri, Pawel Maciejko, Alexander van der Haven, Melis Birder, Roee Rosen, Erden Kosova, Yael Bartana
  1. Bik van der Pol, Julian Reid, Gil Hochberg, Yael Davids, Amir Engel, Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa, Danielle Riou, Yolande Jansen, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Natasa Ilic.

 20:00 – Dinner at Resturant Katsamaka
Sunday, 28/01/18 – Day III
08:00 Arrive at the Yeni Cami.
08:30 -10:30 Lecture by Dimitris Stamatopoulos: “Religion and Orientalism”.
10:30- 13:00  Visit near Sinatex
13:30 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30 – 16:30 Guided visit to the exhibition “The dusk of our old city” by Giannis Epameinondas at Villa Kapandji.


We tend to think of the fire of 1917 as the turning point in the recent history of Thessaloniki. In one respect, this is true: combined with the change of rule in 1912 and the advent of the refugees with the population exchange in 1922-23, the fire triggered the redesign of the city’s urban fabric. The central political decision of the Liberals’ government under Eleftherios Venizelos included three factors in the new plan: the discipline of urban planning which had just emerged in Europe; the contemporary investment capital which exploited the new, valuable and upgraded land; and hellenisation, which in the minds of the inhabitants (not just of Greeks) was synonymous with progress and modernisation in infrastructure, economy, commerce, education, bureaucracy and social structures.

17:00 – 19:00 Second round of discussions at Yeni Cami.

19:00 – 19:30 Closing remarks.

20:00 – 21:30 Dinner a Moúrga.

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