This year the “Woman Scream” International Poetry and Arts Festival took place for the fourth time in Greece. Organised by the Literary Journal “Neo Planodion” and MPI ambassador in Greece, Elena Stagkouraki, the Festival was carried out in Athens and Crete, including several events with poetry, music, films and specialist speeches.
Stagkouraki participated in the 1st International Meeting of the Mujeres Poetas Internacional movement, which took place in Madrid between the 4th and 6th of March. After that, the opening of the festival was celebrated in Athens on March 10, in honour of the great Greek woman poet Zefi Daraki. Daraki was the wife of the late Greek poet, Vyron Leontaris, which was why she was often referred to as simply or just “Leontaris’ wife”, although she is a distinguished poet herself. This is what gave the opening event of the Greek “Woman Scream” Festival a double meaning. During this event, Foteini Kouvela, Secretary General of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality of the Greek Ministry of the Interior greeted the initiative and spoke though her representative about the importance of such initiatives. Elena Stagkouraki gave some facts and figures concerning the women of the Arab and Muslim world, to which the 6th Woman Scream Festival was dedicated and read testimonies by victims of violence in these areas, given to Non-Governmental Organisations. Mrs Daraki also gave a short speech with her views on poetry, social and political engagement and the nature of being a woman, followed by recitations of her poetry by other young poets (Thomas Ioannou, Lena Kallergi, Dora Kaskali, Kleopatra Limperi and Nektaria Mendrinou). The actress Nana Papadaki performed a recitation of the short story “Don’t be afraid, are you all right?” by Foteini Segredaki, accompanied by the musicians Chara Tsalpara and Theodora Athanasiou.
The second event in Athens took place on the 17th of March with the presentation of the Woman Scream Poetry Anthology. Poems written by Jael Uribe, Maria Manetti Olavarría, Mariana Rodríguez, María Julia Bourguez, Pilar Rodriquez Aranda, Beatriz Arguelles, Asunsión Caballero, Ysabel Florentino, Mar Barrientos, Marianela Corriols, Molina Mirtha Gonzales, María Salomé Oviedo García, Bárbara Villagrán, Nathaly Jimenez Von Oertzen, Itzel Zagal, Elsa Ruth Espinoza Orozco, Teresita Aguilar Mirambell, Rocío Prieto Valdivia, Zulma Quiñones and Myrna Vargas Saavedra were translated into Greek and recited during the event by the Greek poets Anna Griva, Elsa Korneti, Kleopatra Liberi, Iro Nikopoulou, Eleni Tzatzimaki and Eleftheria Tsitsa. The poet Vassilis Zilakos read from Galeanos’ book “Women”. Chara Tsalpara and Theodora Athanasiou who accompanied with their accordion and guitar respectively also this event.
During the 18th and 19th of March films related to the reality of the Arab and Muslim women were shown. “The Help” and “Desert Flower” were shown on the 18th and “Manuscripts don’t burn”, as well as “The Stoning of Soraya M.” were shown on the 19th of March.
The next event of the Festival took place in the town hall of Kissamos on Crete, on the 20th of March, in cooperation with the Association of the Friends of Speech in Kissamos. After the greeting of the mayor, the gynaecologist Charis Batakis gave a speech on “The social and financial aspects of life as key factors to mother mortality”. Members of the above mentioned Association, among which Eleni Georgakaki, Georgia Tyraki and Foteini Segredaki, recited poetry and spoke about famous cases of Muslim women-rights’ activists. During the event, scenes of the “Never Without my Daughter” movie were shown.
Greece is facing severe financial and social problems at the moment, which make women or human rights matters in general seem secondary or unimportant. However, the current migrant crisis in the country places emphasis on the need to concentrate once again in human nature and the ways of proper conduct towards others. People who assisted at the various events of the Festival emphasised the necessity both of the festival itself and similar initiatives. There were many poets and artists who showed their vivid interest in participating in the Festival next year, a proof that the Festival in Greece is growing, so that the 7th Woman Scream Festival will be even more far-reaching.