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The Hellenic American Project at Queens College Opens Online Ehibition “1821 - 2021 Memories of Liberation Μνημεσ Απελευθερωσησ: Artworks by Ioanna-Maria Giakoumaki and Foteini Panagiotopoulou”

Flushing, New York, November 17, 2021—This month, the Hellenic American Project (HAP) at Queens College presents the latest in a year-long series of events commemorating the Greek War of Independence (1821 to 1829). The online exhibition, 1821-2021 Memories of Liberation Μνήμες Απελευθέρωσης: Artworks by Ioanna-Maria Giakoumaki and Foteini Panagiotopoulou, incorporates historical texts documenting the revolution, with a second component based on the memoirs of one of the revolution’s leaders. The exhibition, curated by HAP Director Nicholas Alexiou, a Sociology professor at Queens College, is accessible here.

Giakoumaki and Panagiotopoulou—co-founders of the Greek Myths Monemvasia group, which explores elements of Greek cultural inheritance—used objects, heirlooms, costumes, and passages from the Greek Declaration of Independence to create mixed-media works. The foundation of these works is pages from 70- to 80-year-old Greek municipal registers that were originally meant to be recycled. The artists turned the thin, fragile sheets into shapes with embossed or perforated designs, creating fixed forms. In some of the works, iron and canvas-gauze in combination with powders, and sheets of gold and silver, evoke the pieces’ invaluable essence. 

Another component of the exhibition offers a new way to perceive and read the 200-year-old memoir, Another component of the exhibition offers a new way to perceive and read the 200-year-old memoir, Visions and Miracles, by General Makriyannis, who was pivotal in helping to win the revolution. Using the blackout technique—in which a document is redacted, leaving artistically isolated words or phrases—writer Akrivi Griva created poetry from Makriyannis‘ prose.
 
The Greek Declaration of Independence was formally drafted in 1822 by Filiki Eteria, a secret society founded with the aim of liberating Greece. The exhibition seeks to symbolize the revolution as a complex international event and a multifaceted story of freedom—the freedom of enslaved people, territories, and symbolizing the freedom of spirit and thought.

About the Hellenic American Project
Based in the Queens College Department of Sociology, the Hellenic American Project (HAP) documents the Hellenic American presence in the United States from the first wave of mass immigration in 1900 to the present. It operates as a research facility, archive, Greek American library, museum, and event space. HAP seeks to create a seamless narrative that encompasses the Hellenic American experience through an innovative multifaceted approach, making combined primary and secondary sources available to the public for educational and research purposes. Among its initiatives are recording generational oral histories, analyzing population data, curating and digitizing digital cultural artifacts and publications, and organizing academic symposia and cultural events. Founded and directed by Queens College Sociology Professor Nicholas Alexiou, HAP is the only program of its kind in New York City.

About Queens College
Queens College produces more education graduates who become principals, teachers, and counselors for the city’s public schools than any other college in the metropolitan area. The college contributes to the local talent pool as a powerful economic engine and a leader in tech education. Students from across the country and around the world are attracted to study at the Aaron Copland School of Music. Its renowned faculty and alumni include nationally recognized composers, conductors, and performers who have received over 100 Grammy Awards and nominations.  
 
Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, the college helps its more than 20,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college has been cited by Princeton Review as one of America's Best Value Colleges for four consecutive years, as well as being ranked a U.S. News and World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit our homepage to learn more​.
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