34 Exercises of Freedom: #34 The Epic of Eleftheria 
by Irena Haiduk and Eirini Vakalopoulou

Eirini Vakalopoulou, opening of the Public Programs of documenta 14 at Parko Eleftherias, photo: Stathis Mamalakis

In the East and Far East, the South, deep South, the other side of North, and the Far and the Deep West, history is mostly an oral technique. The poet is a witness. She records and weaves history and allows others contact with it through the act of listening and re-telling. During the Ottoman occupation that lasted for five centuries, Serbian history was recorded and transmitted mostly through oral means by singers called guslars. The tradition persists to the present day. The poems tell a range of histories both public and private: of births, deaths, weddings, treaties, battles, migrations, and retaliations. In the early 1800s, the majority of the poems were collected by Vuk Stefanović Karadžić and published in Serbian in Vienna and Leipzig.

To mark the last event of the inauguration of the Public Programs of documenta 14 at Parko Eleftherias, Haiduk presents the process of creating an oral epic telling of the event. The poem shall serve as a historical record.


Irena Haiduk is against biography.

Eirini Vakalopoulou was born in Thessaloniki. She studied International Relations and has an MA in Advertising. She has worked in advertising agencies in Athens and as a teacher of marketing. Vakalopoulou is also the author of a novelette and two compilations of poetry.

Posted in Public Programs
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