• Getting started with the transition


    June 11, 2021, the kick-off meeting marked the official beginning of the project Transition to 8: Bridging social issues, tech and contemporary art. The teams that will work together for the following months, besides attending the presentation of the project, had the opportunity to get to know each other up close and discuss their thoughts. Each team, coming from different backgrounds and fields of expertise, brings their unique approach and ideas, making the discussions about this complex and multidimensional project even more enjoyable.

    The idea's conception and the implementation of Transition to 8 lies with the cultural management company Mentor in Culture. Panagiotis Giokas, responsible for implementing the project on behalf of Mentor, talked about “Transition to 8” and introduced the partners in the project and Eleusis's ambience, which is the source of inspiration for the project. Environmental pollution, labour, and refugee/immigrant issues are among the social issues most strongly identified in the city. The project aims to combine scientific research (sociopsychology), technology and art to ignite the public dialogue about these social matters and offer the community works of digital art and electronic music produced using as raw material data that the community has provided the scientists.

    Mrs Filia Issari, Associate Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, represented the Laboratory of Qualitative Research in Psychology Psychosocial Well-being. The Laboratory is responsible for mapping social phenomena in Eleusis and conducting the sociodrama sessions (data recording and analysis). Mrs Issari discussed the methodology developed for the project. Following, Mr Giannis Ioannidis represented the “Athena” Research Centre. The team brings their technological expertise and will analyse the biometric data collected during the sociodrama sessions. The team presented the process of developing the digital platform to provide the data to artists to produce original works of art. Lastly, Mentor is responsible for overseeing the project’s implementation and dissemination and realising multimedia festivals that will feature the artists' works.

    Having completed the presentation of the project, the setting out of responsibilities and timetables, the teams had a sociodrama session of their own, “testing” the method that will be the framework for the research and data collection within the project. The physical and emotional reactions of Eleusinians that will participate in the sociodrama sessions will provide the data that artists will later use as raw material to compose original works of art. Having experienced the sociodrama method themselves, the members of the teams gained a deeper understanding of the process and connected in a powerful and empathetic way. That is one more way this project is innovative, given that collaborators in large scale projects don’t generally have the opportunity to create such bonds.

    Our successful kick-off meeting came to its end after a relaxing conversation on the rooftop of the Centre of Eleusis/West Attica Labour Unions, where it was held. Up there, the teams had the chance to discuss in a calmer surrounding about Transition to 8, Eleusis, the social issues at stake, science, research, innovation, art and the passion they share for what is to come while enjoying a view to this so rich in history -ancient and modern- and narratives city.