Words, tunes and political action
A night inspired by the Nobelist Heinrich Böll
The tenth anniversary of our office in Thessaloniki has coincided with another very important date for us: the 50th anniversary of Heinrich Böll being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. It was therefore to be expected that we should dedicate one of our anniversary events to the great German writer, whose name - with the consent of his family - our Foundation bears. And not just any event, but our final event in the courtyard of the Goethe-Institut, which marked the culmination of our two-day anniversary celebration.
Wanting to present Böll's work in an original and exciting way, we entrusted the project to director Dimitris Sporidis. He focused mainly on the anti-war Böll (what could be more topical -unfortunately- than the war!) and composed a theatrical play which combined Böll’s war short stories, information from his life, but also elements from his great novels that made him world-famous, such as "The Clown" and "The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum". Through the play and the performances of the actors Socratis Logothetis and Chrysa Goutou, Heinrich Böll's sensitivity and literary merit were highlighted, as well as other aspects of his work, such as social activism, public intervention, questioning of dominant narratives, defence of human rights.
Before the theatrical performance, Michalis Goudis, Director of Foundation’s Thessaloniki office, Marc Berthold, Head of the Foundation's European Union and North America Department, and Olga Drossou, former Director of the Thessaloniki office, addressed the audience. Through their short speeches, they outlined the reasons that led - in the midst of the economic crisis - to the establishment of the Office in Greece, the choice of Thessaloniki as the seat, the activity during the first years, but also the present and future plans of the Foundation.
After the presentation of the theatrical play, the evening ended in an atmosphere of celebration, accompanied by the band Roll the dice (Yiota Papadopoulou, Paris Karagiannopoulos, Pavlos Nikou).
An important contribution to the success of the event, which was attended by a large number of people, mainly young people, was made by our co-organizers: the Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki and the Department of German Language and Literature of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.