Symbiosis Lesvos Arts Festival

We welcome the world!

Mytilene | Eresos | Plomari

26th July to 26th August, 2016

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SYMBIOSIS Lesvos Arts Festival is the project of an individual group of people with cultural, artistic and humanitarian backgrounds, aiming to promote the island’s cultural heritage​ and​ ​promote ​intercultural dialogue and collaboration.

Our festival will be divided into three thematic sections, in the city of Mytilini, the village Eressos and the village Molyvos. The duration of the festival is a full month, from the 26th of July, until the 26th of August, 2016. The program includes musical, artistic and theatrical performances, everyday workshops in all these domains, both inside and out refugee camps, panel talks, a food festival and a film festival.

Entrance is FREE of charge and we invite people to participate voluntarily, as performers, assistants or co-organizers in this multifaceted, cross-cultural celebration!

The event

The event will take place in Lesvos. For more details click here.

How the idea came about

When 3 Greeks from Thessaloniki, met a Palestinian, and later, a local from Lesvos, SYMBIOSIS Lesvos Arts Festival happened!

Hussein arrived in Lesvos in January to work as a cultural mediator for Doctors Without Borders - that was the first time he found himself on the island. He was struck by its beauty and its people. What brought him to the island was the need to support the refugee communities, soon enough, however, he got involved with the local community and realised that they too deserve our solidarity for their amazing acts of selflessness! Rita is enthusiastic, positive and always focuses on the best side of people. You'll often spot her speaking to her dog, Paris. Rita has a history of love for the island. She had visited it numerous times, until a year ago she decided to move here. She quickly became an active member of the local community, and started a youth acting group, mounting a number of shows with local students.

Hussein met Rita and heard her idea about starting a theatre group. At that time, he was working on the idea of a festival. Soon, they had written the concept of Hope Theater that took elements from Rita's theatre concept and Hussein's experience of The Freedom Theatre in Jenin's refugee camp. The Hope Theater will be a cultural centre aiming to build capacity in the community, promote cross-cultural collaborations and attract international artists to this culturally rich island. It will be a project with long-term ​prospectives that will be launched at the SYMBIOSIS Festival.

Meanwhile in London, Lida had been working on the idea of an arts festival in Lesvos for a few months. Lida is a vagabond from Thessaloniki living in London. ​Her greatest inspiration is people - her favourite activity is to hang out with the elderly and listen to their stories. Local volunteer groups put her in touch ​with Hussein & Rita. After a Skype chat, the two festivals merged activities and this is how SYMBIOSIS came about.

Eri is a cat-loving free spirit hailing from Thessaloniki. In an act of courage, she fled city life and moved to Lesvos. She was quickly inspired by the place and its people and decided to stay. A music aficionado, she took an interest in the project straight away. A day later, she had already booked some amazing bands for what became the SYMBIOSIS Lesvos Arts Festival - the team was slightly worried that she'd turn SYMBIOSIS into a reggae festival. And then Mersa came into their lives; an artist, a yogi and passionate recycler. She knows the local art scene inside-out. She is a decision-maker and does things on the spot. Her proactive character and great knowledge is the island make her a valuable member of our main team.

About Us symbiosis festival
Molyvos symbiosis festival

SYMBIOSIS Lesvos Arts Festival aims...

  • Create an understanding and a connection between the local island community, the visitors, the volunteers and the refugees.

  • Give locals, refugees and international participants the chance to demonstrate their talents and express themselves in a safe, non-judgemental and welcoming community.

  • Introduce international audiences to Lesvos: one of the Mediterranean’s architecturally, naturally and culturally richest islands.

  • Introduce new models of sustainable tourism that are best-matched to Lesvos’ position on the frontlines of the refugee crisis.

How can you support SYMBIOSIS Lesvos Arts Festival?

There are many ways in which you can support our project, and a million reasons why you would decide to do so!

  • Donate to our crowdfunding: any small or big donation will bring us a step closer to making reality what was once an ambitious dream! This is not a one-off summer project; SYMBIOSIS will mark the beginning of a bigger project that will aim to promote multiculturalism, cross-cultural dialogue and exchange and capacity building in the community. The more funds, the more activities we can carry out. The more funds from individuals, the more independent we can remain from external organisations and sponsors.
  • Invite people to Like us on Facebook
  • Invite people to Follow us on Twitter
  • Invite people to spread the word about our Crowdfunding
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