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13th General Assembly of Diazoma Association – What Diazoma is to me and how I see its future

13th General Assembly of Diazoma Association

Please read below Mrs Mary’s Belloyianni speech;

”Ever since 2010, when I became a member of Diazoma, I have felt proud of my choice. I joined a great family of people inspired by culture and who produce culture, a family that several times a year, every year, provides me with happiness, uplifts me, and gives me the opportunity for action, as I can combine culture and innovation on the one hand, values that Diazoma cultivates, and education, on the other, which is a cause I serve as a philology professor.

I am deeply grateful to Diazoma President Mr Stavros Benos, who entrusted me with the Education sector of Diazoma and made me an active volunteer – a title he came up with. This means that I draw ideas and dreams from my work and I invest them in Diazoma, and that I draw intellectual capital and its successful application from Diazoma and invest it in my work. It was within the operative environment of the Association that the plan for the education programme ‘Adopting ancient theatres. Students guide students in ancient theatres’ was created in 2014. The programme was immediately approved by the Ministry of Education and it gave us the joy of seeing it implemented.

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In the five years of its implementation, 2014-2019, eighty-seven (87) schools participated, from Primary and Secondary education, and all geographic regions of Greece. This includes all types of schools: General Education, Musical Secondary Schools, Ecclesiastic Education Schools, Special Education Schools. It should be noted that most schools, no matter what school year they started implementing the programme in, continued to do so uninterruptedly in the following years. The programme did not even stop during the lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic!  Two hundred and sixty-seven (267) teachers from both education tiers have participated, guiding two thousand four hundred and five (2405) students in responding to the role of the student-tour guides, as well as encouraging  and inspiring all the students to ensure they promote and protect the theatres and auditoriums with the creation of imaginative student creations and the implementation of various events, as anyone interested in the educational platform of Diazoma, Generation D, can clearly see  (https://www.diazoma.gr/generationd/#/ ).

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For the 2020-2025 five-year period

Our goals are:

1/ for as many schools as possible in Greece and abroad to become acquainted with and implement the educational programme. The schools that have implemented the programme will become its ambassadors in their Regions. Furthermore, presentations will be planned in cooperation with the Regional Education Directorates

2/ to encourage and increase cooperation between schools, through the creation of networks for the ancient theatres

3/ to address the educational programme to preschool education, having appropriately designed it, in order to raise awareness among young student as regards protecting our cultural and natural heritage.

4/ to connect the educational programme to the International Theatre Network, through the creation of a space for young audiences on the platform.

5/ to help schools plan and implement cultural/environmental routes that will connect the theatres and auditoriums with the natural environment, the agronutrition sector, and modern nearby cities and their unique characteristics: historical buildings, cultural monuments, modern production and creation, gastronomy and tradition, namely, the basis of Diazoma’s philosophy, which is the incorporation of natural and cultural monuments to the centre of life, sustainability, and viable growth. These routes will constitute proposals for:

  1. a) educational visits to supplement or complete classes on various subjects.
  2. b) educational tours or excursions
  3. c) experiential lessons
  4. d) the core of cultural, environmental, health education, or other programmes approved by the Ministry of Education

6/ to encourage schools to emphasise digital creations (videos, virtual tours, digital narrations, digital posters, digital guides, digital games, digital calendars, digital applications, etc.) in Greek and other languages. The COVID-19 pandemic clearly highlighted the need for the use of digital products by students and for students.

7/ to propose to Greek students studying at schools abroad to become ambassadors of the educational programme, and to virtually guide their international classmates and teachers on a tour of the natural and cultural monuments of Greece.

8/ to continue the collaborations that Diazoma has successfully cultivated

a/ with Athens University of Economics and Business (Teacher Education Programme). The collaboration aims to jointly support volunteer actions of an educational nature in the field of holistic cultural management of monuments and their utilisation in training potential educators in economics and IT.

b/ with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism of Cyprus and the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, for the “adoption” of ancient theatres and auditoriums in Cyprus by Greek students, in the framework of joint educational programmes approved by the Ministry of Education

c/ with the Festival della filosofia in Magna Grecia Cultural Association, which is based in Elea (Velia) in Southern Italy (home of the philosophers Xenon and Parmenides) and which organises and interdisciplinary scientific programme every year, implemented as a philosophical route for students at Classical Study Secondary Schools of Italy. Greek students will undertake guiding Italian students on tours of ancient Greek theatres, as well as of archaeological sites where the Italian students will participate in philosophy workshops.

d/ with Patakis publications, in the framework of the Teen Month, where a three-meeting workshop will be implemented; one at Patakis Bookshop at which students will meet executives of Diazoma and the architect and restorer of the ancient theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus, and at which they will be informed on the philosophy and principles of Diazoma, as well as about the history of the theatre; one at the ancient theatre itself, in order to answer any questions; and a final meeting at which they will provide a guided tour to their classmates.

We are ready to welcome more from Greek and international schools.

I think you understand that by making young people participants in the vision and successful programmes of Diazoma, and by raising their awareness regarding the matter of cultural and natural heritage holistically, its future will be more than positive.

In closing, allow me to express my warmest thanks to Mr Konstantinos Boletis, who eagerly responds to school invitations and who uses his scientific knowledge to leads us on the enchanting journey of the development of the theatre of Dionysus Eleuthereus, impressing both teachers and students. I also offer my gratitude to Ms Maria Kourasani for her priceless help in managing the Generation D educations platform and Mr Socrates Mechterides who created it.

Mary Belogianni

Philologist, PhD Archaeology

Head of Diazoma educational programmes (margofiv@otenet.gr)”