From Slovenia to Greece

Art Residency
Eleusis, Greece
05 - 09 APRIL 2024

Community research conclusions
June 2023 - November 2023

The first phase of the project included extensive participatory research with the local communities of Eleusis, Ayntab & Yerevan, Maribor and Mont-Dauphin, aiming to unearth collective memory and explore the concept of what it means to be a pariah, to experience marginalisation, how locals relate to their own communities and nations.

Led by social researcher Effie Samara, the research lasted from June 2023 until November 2023 and had the form of community engagement sessions and one-to-one interviews.

Understanding historical memory and collective memory involves recognizing the intersection of factual historical accounts and the ways in which societies collectively interpret, remember, and transmit their past.
Pariahs brings together four diff erent European communities and explores European identity or multiple identities and shared values by searching for the common thread that connects our histories, cultures, experiences and understanding.

The project’s artistic research phase began with extensive community participation, allowing for the exploration of common patterns in constructing local, national, and European identities through participatory engagement activities. The community research sessions had the form of structured gatherings or meetings where the lead researcher interacted with members of each community to collect data, insights, and perspectives related to marginalisation.

“The Silent Understanding”

Following two research sessions hosted in each of the participating cities -Eleusis, Mont-Dauphin, Maribor, Yerevan & rural areas- through June 2023 until November 2023, the project now bears out profound connections between people in communities and communalities. These communities express distrust and wariness at the mechanics of deterministic histories promised by unbridled market-led politics. Against the pathologies of centrally managed, digitally controlled histories, the connections discovered in Pariahs are founded on solidarity and a silent social contract expressed through texture, texts, weavings, yarn, the body, the soil and their engravings in marbles and rocks. Therein, we also find a secret message of marginal values and natural laws connecting humans and societies which appear to supersede frontiers and regulatory frameworks.

There is a broad acknowledgement of this principle across the four participant countries of Pariahs and a shared concern in the loss of socialism qua sharing: the notion of prioritising shared land, resources, human connections and non-institutional historical cohesion.
The intervention made by Pariahs has so far been to identify these connecting threads across the breadth of Europe and to synthesise the thematic and the aesthetics of how marginal histories are forming centres and off-centres in prohibitively difficult times.

Read more about the conclusions of the research in each location at the Case Studies section!