Άφρικα: A Certain Kind of Freedom
In part soundwalk, in part performance art, in part punk archaeology, in part getting lost in the dark; ‘Άφρικα: A Certain Kind of Freedom’ is a nocturnal rumination bringing together historical bewilderedness with first-person embodied experience of a place.
The artist leads a night walk towards and inwards Agios Achillios island in Small Prespa Lake – near the borders of Greece, Albania, and North Macedonia – and back. En route, the walking audience is exposed to wildlife sounds and animal vocalisations, to orchestrated drama, and to historical records directly or indirectly concerning the broader area and its significance during the Greek civil war.
This region has been the theater for many violent fights and atrocities that are deemed of the bloodiest pages in Greek history and that still seem reverberate contemporary politics/tenets. The involvement of the USA in these events is regarded as the first implementation of the Truman Doctrine and, thus, the first act of the imminent Cold War. Given the substantial involvement in Greek affairs for several decades to follow, Greece is generally thought of as one of the first instances of USA-controlled state-building. The area surrounding Prespa Lakes is only scarcely inhabited ever since. Yet, it remains a vibrant wildlife habitat rich in vegetation, forests, and wild mammals (such as boars, bears, deers). The Small Prespa Lake, in particular, hosts several different species of birds, frogs, toads, reptiles, and fish. ‘ΑΦΡΙΚΑ: A Certain Kind of Freedom’ attempts to (re)situate history, contemporary ramifications thereof, and own subjective sense-making within this unique habitat, inviting the night-walking audience to contemplate on ‘freedom’ – conceptual, imaginary, or actual freedom.
The performance concludes with the artist sharing with his audience previously unreleased/uncirculated CIA documents that have been released under ‘The Freedom of Information Act’ 5 U.S.C. § 552.