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a community of teachers and learners
with workshops by Syrian, Greek, and German artists

February 16-28, 2017

At the premises of Athens Biennale, Khora Athens, and Eleusis and Skaramangas Camps


We invite you to join!

Workshops held in English with Arabic translation, entrance free


Artists from Syria, Greece and Germany offer creative workshops to migrants and Athenians to develop a vision of our common future in which we grow together and learn from one another. Stories and dreams contributed by migrants and Athenians to artists will be part of a world’s history that we write together. This new collective story will be presented to the public as part of the exhibition of the Athens Biennale and published as a book.


Organized by AthenSYN, Avtonomi Akadimia, the Athens Biennale, and community center Khora Athens

In collaboration with Allianz Cultural Foundation, supported by the Creative Europe program of the European Union

With Gudrun Barenbrock, Vilelmini Vilma Andrioti, Manaf Halbouni, Susanne M. Winterling, Georgia Kotretsos, Liwaa Yazji

Including basics of sound-recording with Sebastian Bayse Schaefer, Syrian cuisine with Taher Jazmati

Documentation: Kalliopi Vagiannaki

For registration, please email until February 15 or call 690-6912882

Thurs, Feb 16
11am - 2pm “What I saw when you saw me” Gudrun Barenbrock (DE)
4-7pm “Shape of thoughts” Vilma Andrioti (GR)
Eleusis Camp
Fri, Feb 17
11am-2pm “What I saw when you saw me” Gudrun Barenbrock (DE)
4-7pm “Shape of thoughts” Vilma Andrioti (GR)
Skaramagas Camp
Sat, Feb 18
11am-2pm “What I saw when you saw me” Gudrun Barenbrock (DE)
4-7pm “Shape of thoughts” Vilma Andrioti (GR)
Varvakeios Venue at Athens Biennale, Athinas Street (building on elevated square opposite meat and fish market)
Sun, Feb 19
4-7pm “Basics of sound recording and processing” Sebastian Bayse Schäfer (DE) at Khora, Asklipiou 80
Tues, Feb 21-Thurs Feb 23
“What if” Manaf Halbouni (SY)
interviews arranged individually at
Wed, Feb 22-24
”Our inventory visualized” Georgia Kotretsos (GR)
11am-1:30pm at Khora, Asklipiou 80, Exarheia
Sat, Feb 25
11am-2pm “Water and stories” Susanne Winterling (DE)
4-7pm “What are we afraid of? Human connections” Liwaa Yazji (SY)
Skaramangas Camp
Sun, Feb 26
11am-2pm “Water and stories” Susanne Winterling (DE)
4-7pm “What are we afraid of? Human connections” Liwaa Yazji (SY)
Eleusis Camp
Tues, February 28
Morning bus leaves from Skaramagas camp for a day in Athens with artists
11am-2pm “Water and stories” Susanne Winterling (DE)
2-4pm “Enjoying and learning the secrets of Syrian cuisine” Taher Jazmati (SY)
4-7pm “What are we afraid of? Human connections” Liwaa Yazji (SY)
Bageion venue of Athens Biennale, Omonia Square
Evening bus leaves back from Athens to Skaramagas
Workshop descriptions/ artists
“What I Saw When You Saw Me” Gudrun Barenbrock (DE)
Through media, we are familiar with a certain general image of the migration crisis. But what is our individual perspective? This workshop wants to engage participants in a conversation through photos and videos from our personal picture books, our smartphones. What is it that we keep as memories? Workshop participants are invited to share personal visual material (photos, videos) and talk about those experiences. The images are merged into one single video – a kind of eye-minded library, a visual ’stream of consciousness’ and presented in a large-scale video installation.
Gudrun Barenbrock (DE) works with large-scale multi-channel installations, often in cross-media collaboration with musicians and sound artists. She holds an MFA and Meisterschueler certificate from Kunstakademie Muenster. Teachings include Wimbledon School of Art, Universidad El Bosque, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Kunstakademie Muenster. Shows include 8-Bruecken International Electronic Festival, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Bogotá, Kunstmuseum Celle, Polderlicht Amsterdam, Glow Eindhoven, Sichtlicht Projection Biannual.
“Shape of thoughts” Vilelmini Vilma Andrioti (GR)
This workshop engages participants in discussion through the use of storytelling and performing:
1.“Toxic waiting”: Participants transform items from places in the camp (like plastic food boxes, battery, soaps, chairs, plastic or wooden material, toys, keys, lipstick, etc.) to objects that symbolize the space. This action seeks to show the precarious state and the “toxic time” of waiting.
2. “Creating costumes”: Participants will transform old clothes, fabrics, and items (like blankets, shoes, scarves, belts, any metal, plastic, or wooden material etc.) from the camps into costumes.
3. “Storytelling”: A dialogue between bodies. Migrants will draw their stories. The workshop will explore the space created by other bodies with movements. It will involve all members of the group in duets by creating a “logogram flooring.”
Vilelmini Vilma Andrioti (GR) is a political choreographer and activist. She studied Sociology, Dance, Drama; and her Master's Research focuses on choreography and performance and founded adult and children's theatre groups. As a visiting lecturer at Sasha Waltz, she offered original insights into the field of "The body as a vehicle to activism" focusing on refugees issue. As an artistic director, she choreographed and directed in support of refugees: "Open Border Parade", "Safe Passage", "No Mirror", "Bordello of Borders". Vilelmini coordinated a squat for 1600 refugees in Piraeus.
"What if" Manaf Halbouni (SY)
Just how would it be if each of us suddenly had the power to change the course of history and everyone had the opportunity to create his own state. What would your new country look like? What would be your goals as a king, president or dictator? Manaf will interview participants individually on their positions on the topic "What if". On a world map, Manaf will discuss your fantasy world with you, so that a new world map is created. Meetings are documented by video recording. For participation, please write to
Manaf Halbouni (SY) studied sculpture at the University of Fine Arts Damascus and at the Academy of Fine Arts Dresden. His work was shown at Lift Festival, Royal Court Theater London, Museum of Fine Arts Leipzig, Galerie Holger John Dresden, ART.FAIR Köln/BLOOOM, MKK, Städtische Galerie Iserlohn, Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin, Victoria & Albert Museum London, Shoreditch town Hall London, 56th Venice Biennale Venezia, Societaetstheater Dresden, SYRIE CRIS-ACTION: Artistes en creation, Insitut du monde arabe Paris/France, etc.
“Water and stories” Susanne Winterling (DE)
This workshop deals with water as a resource and as a ritual, water as an element of the commons and our common element. We want to create awareness and attention to it . Workshop participants will be collecting, writing down and audio or video documenting stories around water - facts and fiction, old and new - and create water sculptures.
Susanne M Winterling's (DE) practice is nurtured by collective background and studies in philosophy (focus on artificial intelligence and ecofeminism). Information is considered in its spatial and socio-political context, re-relating it to the probing of the limits of the medium being used. Her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions internationally. A recent body of works centres around technology/biology and favours the haptic and poetic as a critical investigation against the nature/culture divide especially in times of systemic violence and power-structures.
“Our Inventory visualized” Georgia Kotretsos (GR)
Participants will envision their immediate future and participate in an open dialogue where we will all disclose our dreams, needs and desires. We will question how identity and individualism may be compromised when we find ourselves in need and focus in learning by addressing matters that matter most to each individual. By understanding the missing links and mechanisms holding our dreams, needs and desires from manifesting, we'll discuss ways by which we can help each other to fulfil them. Participants sign up for all three days, maximum number 15. For registration, please email
Georgia Kotretsos (GR), visual artist and researcher, holds an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Durban Institute of Technology, in KwaZulu Natal. She co-founded the five-year art project Boots Contemporary Art Space St. Louis, MO, and founded BootPrint, biannual journal made by and for artists. Her work has been presented at Onassis Art Center NV, the Asian Society NY; the 4th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art; Tinguely Museum Basel, La Kunsthalle Mulhouse; Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki, at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, etc.
“What are we afraid of? Human connections” Liwaa Yazji (SY)
Fear is a human reaction, especially when dealing with the new. Both newcomers and locals are facing a situation forced on all, no one chose it; no one had the time to prepare for it, which by default means that ignorance and fear are controlling it. In the workshop, we will trace it in the form of stories of one about the other- the Unknown. We will guide the stories of newcomers and locals to challenge them into transforming fear into new experiences –if possible- to benefit from and to use the tools of narration. Fear is the meeting point, while it has always been the opposite.
Liwaa Yazji is a filmmaker, poet, playwright, scenarist and translator. She is Board member of the Syrian cultural organisation "Ettijahat-Independent Culture", published her first play "Here in the Park" in 2012, her poetry book "In Peace, we leave Home" in 2014, and a translation of Edward Bond`s “Saved” into Arabic in 2014. Her play “Goats” is set to premiere at The Royal Court Theatre in March 2016, and her play “Q&Q” premiered at the Birth Festival at The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester in 2016. Her first documentary "Haunted" (2014) premiered at FID Marseilles and received the Al-Waha Bronze award at GIGAF festival, Tunis.
“Basics of sound recording and processing” Sebastian Bayse Schäfer (DE)
After the workshop you will have basic knowledge of audio engineering. We will work with Audacity - a free, open-source audio software.
Sebastian studied sound art in Berlin and works as artist/sound engineer for various media.
Enjoying and learning the secrets of Syrian cousine Taher Jazmati (SY)
Taher Jazmati is a top level chef based in Athens. Previously he created delicious meals in Aleppo and Istanbul.
For more information in English, please email or call 690-6912882

April 2017

A curated exhibition with the results of the workshop will be held within the Athens Biennale.  

May 2017

The process will be accompanied by a publication, an Athens edition of the Krytyka Politzyczna. The workshop participants prepare a document of "contemporary history" and a collective work of art.

Drawing: Joulia Strauss

A project by AthenSYN with Avtonomi Akadimia, and the Athens Biennial


In collaboration with

Supported by