by Marilia Stavridou, Highway Productions, Athens.
You are raised in Greece.
You learn to be proud and appreciate your heritage.
You love the culture, the history, the people and the sun.
You seem to believe that others should respect you, maybe even envy you?
Maybe too much.
And then you grow up and go out into the world.
And find out more about your people.
And the other people away from home.
Maybe too late.
You learn that your people come with their own special set of shortcomings.
And they forget their heritage and live only for today.
And for themselves.
And bite down on that collective national pride.
Maybe too hard.
Then, the summer of 2015 comes.
And it becomes the summer of the great shame.
And the great fear.
Because everything you built your life around is threatened.
And everyone around seems to despise or pity you and your own.
Maybe too self-involved.
Because the real tragedy is not Greek this time.
And as you worry that everything you’ve worked for,
everything your parents have worked for,
may be reduced to nothing,
people from across the sea have indeed lost everything.
Maybe not everything.
They still have eachother…
Do they now?
And then, a single photo hits the web.
And one lifeless body, small and fragile as a doll,
shifts everything into perspective.
Maybe too shocked.
Because you still have Your Home.
And you still have Your Work to do.
And you are indeed lucky to have the chance to reach out and raise awareness and point fingers.
Not to put blame, but to share worry.
Maybe not soon enough.
Let’s start already, shall we?
Marilia acts as project co-ordinator for Phone Home at Highway Productions, Greece. She was born and raised in Athens, has studied Theatre, Film and TV and has been active in the production sector since 2003. In the last couple of years, she also started teaching theatre to children.