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Claiming the Now: Discovering the Greek Fringe Fest

Can you tell us bit about the Greek Fringe Fest (GFF) and how the concept came about?

The GFF concept is the brainchild of Christina Bacchiella and Con Kalamaras, we both worked together on the Melbourne Rebetiko Festival and have since co-produced a series of online vocal workshops with singers from Greece and Cyprus. The GFF is a movement that will expose Greece and its booming arts scene and promote diasporic art across various forms of media. Though the theme is Greek, the festival aims to attract people who appreciate contemporary art and culture, regardless of their heritage. Greek Fringe Fest is all about unveiling independent artists who are not afforded the attention they deserve. Our mission is to curate events that do just that! Keep an eye on our page for upcoming events in Melbourne, Sydney, Nicosia, New York, Athens and who knows where else?!

The tagline of the GFF is ‘claiming the now’ can you tell us about the festival’s mission to embrace the Greek cultural vanguard?

The Greek Fringe Fest will attract talent that represents the experience of the modern Hellenic diversity. We wanted to shift beyond the folkloric representation of migration to explore the contemporary Hellenic diaspora throughout the Globe and the dynamic arts scene of mother Greece.

The financial crisis in Europe has led Greece to emerge as a hub of creativity and innovative thinking. The Greek Fringe Fest seeks to promote and celebrate contemporary culture, which can often be overshadowed by a glorified notion of the past.

What do you think the GFF will bring to the Melbourne (and international) arts scene?

There’s no doubt that Melbourne and Sydney have exceptional events, people and talent and we see ourselves as the conduit to showcase that talent on a global scale. We have struck up partnerships with Pappas Post, the Greek America Foundation in New York and soon “fingers crossed” an incredible arts organisation in Athens. We are all about networking and thrusting attention on local and international artists. We aim to tap into talent that is unnoticed and on the cusp of discovery and bring it to the world.

Given these crazy COVID-19 times how are you adapting the GFF program and what avenues has the digital world opened up?

Though we intend on producing mind altering events in real life, due to COVID-19 we are going to kick off with a series of digital events in an effort protect the public and those involved. Our first event with Vasiliki Anastasiou & Luka Lesson is a great example on how this is achievable, bringing two artists together from different hemispheres and disciplines on one platform. We see the need for us to adapt and use the technology at hand as a great opportunity – a shrinking of the world where physical boundaries are no longer prohibitive. We can feature anyone, anywhere in a digital capacity and this is one positive that has come from the tricky situation we find ourselves in.

Greek Fringe Fest // Amalgamation Project (CY) + Luka Lesson (AU)

The Hellenic Museum are proud co-presenters and supporters of the Greek Fringe Fest.


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