Manos Karatzogiannis

50 Years, One Night

AEF2-2024-Manos Karatzogiannis @Leonidas Vassilopoulos

Half a century has passed since the Athens Polytechnic Uprising in November 1973. In the aftermath of May 1968, the student movement in Greece raises a powerful voice against the dictatorship. The protest of youths and part of the Greek society that stood by them erupted as a natural and spontaneous need to resist authoritarianism and escalated into three unprecedented days of protest and ideological ferment, but above all of unanimity. What does this collective experience of solidarity and self-denial mean for us today?

On the occasion of the recent anniversary, the performance 50 Years, One Night attempts a contemporary reading of this defining moment from the perspective of the theatre. The pulsating words of real protagonists comes to life through authentic testimonies of students, pupils, and other citizens –some published, others collected during the dramaturgical research– who took part, willingly or reluctantly, in the drama of History, each from his or her own position. Bringing together older and younger generations of actors and actresses, the performance puts together the puzzle of this volatile, violent, and without a particular outline event –as the American historian Janet Lugo describes the uprisings– in a collective narrative that becomes the raw material for a valuable theatre lesson and a guide in the search for the meaning of democracy.

The production is directed by Manos Karatzogiannis. With a series of performances on historical memory (Gia tin Eleni – For Helen, Xenes Portes – Strange Doors, Martyres ton Athinon – Martyrs of Athens, Fylakas Mias Epanastasis – Guardian of A Revolution, Passport) as well as the film Melina Stop Karé – Anazitontas ti Syghroni Ellinikotita (Melina Stop Frame - Searching for Modern Greekness), the director collaborates again in dramaturgy with Dimitra Kondylaki, with whom he co-curated in AEF 2018 the retrospective exhibition - scenic installation Rooms of Memory: Wandering into Loula Anagnostaki’s World.