Tag Archives: zacharias

HOENSBROEK

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Μια παράταιρη μετάθεση του πατέρα τους είχε φέρει στην βαθιά επαρχία των Κάτω Χωρών.  Τετραμελής οικογένεια, μαμά, μπαμπάς και δύο γιοι στην προεφηβεία. Ήταν αρχές δεκαετίας του ’90 – παράταιρη εποχή για οικογενειακή μετανάστευση. Κανείς τους δεν χαιρόταν με την αλλαγή.

Οι γονείς παντρεύτηκαν από έρωτα σφοδρό. Ο μπαμπάς από συντηρητική οικογένεια, στρατιωτικός στο επάγγελμα. Η μαμά νοικοκυρά, από οικογένεια κομμουνιστών. Ο δεσμός τους βρήκε απέναντί του δύο σόγια και τον ελληνικό Στρατό.

Η πόλη, το χωριό για την ακρίβεια, ήταν πολύ κοντά στα σύνορα. Για βενζίνη πηγαίνανε στη Γερμανία και για σούπερ-μάρκετ στο Βέλγιο. Τα αγόρια αναθεώρησαν εμπράκτως την έννοια των εθνικών συνόρων.

Στο χαμηλοτάβανο ολλανδικό σπίτι τους δέχονταν συχνά Έλληνες από τις γείτονες χώρες. Η συντροφιά τους ήταν μια παρηγοριά. Θεωρούσαν πάντα υποχρέωση των δύο γιων να κατέβουν από τα δωμάτιά τους και να χαιρετίσουν τους προσκεκλημένους.

Τις καθημερινές τις περνάγανε οι τέσσερις τους, τρώγοντας σπιτικό ελληνικό φαγητό με τις πιτζάμες και βλέποντας μετά ολλανδική τηλεόραση. Όταν η νοσταλγία φούντωνε έμπαινε στο πικ-απ Μοσχολιού. Ουκ ολίγες φορές κατέληγαν τα αγόρια γονατισμένα, να χασμουριούνται ενώ χτυπάνε παλαμάκια. Η μαμά χόρευε ζεϊμπέκικο με τη ρόμπα.

6 Μαρτίου του 1994 πέθανε η Μελίνα Μερκούρη. Συγγενείς από την Ελλάδα τους στείλανε βιντεοκασέτα με την κηδεία της, όπως την είχαν αναμεταδώσει οι ειδήσεις. Στήθηκαν όλοι μαζί στον καναπέ, με τις πιτζάμες. Τα αγόρια είδαν για πρώτη φορά τον μπαμπά τους να κλαίει γοερά.

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KAFKOS

Ένα βίντεο κλιπ που φτιάξαμε μαζί με την Κατριάννα Παντέλη και τον Δημήτρη Λογοθέτη για το ολοκαίνουριο φωνητικό κουαρτέτο “Γιασεμί” στο οποίο συμμετέχει και η αδερφή μου Μάρθα. Το τραγούδι είναι διασκευή ενός κρητικού ριζίτικου το οποίο αφηγείται ένα μακάβριο όνειρο.

A video clip I made along with friends for the vocal quartet “Jasmin” in which my sister Martha participates. The song is an arrangment of a traditional Creatan song. The lyrics narrate the dream of a woman inlove: she saw her lover Kafkos as a hunter and her husband as pray…

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THE BOYS NEXT DOOR

The picture came from http://panosdragonas.net/

She lived in a two-stories house with a big garden in the back. The house, though downtown, was privileged to be located at the junction of two very quiet pedestrian streets. The garden was a place of soft serenity.

She was an architect, single, had recently celebrated her 45th birthday. She considered herself open-minded and had many proofs of the fact. In the past few years, she had invented a new career for herself: designing and selling houses in SimCity.

Many would make fun of her career but, truth be told, she earned more than most of her colleagues. Spending majority of her time in the SimCity was not an issue. It was how she foresaw this new career. Seated for hours in front of a PC she kind of missed the time spent in the garden that unintendedly grew into a patch of fenced wilderness.

Right next to hers was another house of the same size and age. This one, abandoned by owners a decade earlier, had been occupied by homeless immigrants. It was a common occurrence in this neighborhood that was full of old, empty houses laying in proximity of the city center.

The police went after the illegal incumbents every now and then. Most of the time, the immigrants would disappear in time and the police would try to close off the old houses by adding extra locks onto their doors. But the house next door was special.

First of all it was really big: two stories of approximately ninety square meters each. This meant it could accommodate a big number of inhabitants. Second, it was in really good shape. The roof was still in place, as was the floor and the windows even had glass. It was too good to be true for the penniless, homeless immigrants.

As a result the occupiers wouldn’t give up on it easily. First, the police added a couple of locks – it was easy to brake them. Next, they installed a wall in front of the main entrance and added a metal fence, making it really hard to jump into the front patio. Then they walled all windows on the ground level. Whatever the measure, the immigrants found a way to return to the privileged house.

At one point, the only way to the house was through the adjacent garden. Her garden.

From her living-room window, from her own little desk where she designed her digital villas, she witnessed all the coming and going through her garden. Dozens of them, a dozen times a day. All these young men, from the heart of Asia, from the south coasts of the Mediterranean, who suffered to reach her country hoping for a better future now suffered to enter their house, having to cross her piece of land and two sharp-edged fences.

She was afraid to stay out during the night. She double-checked her windows’ locks. But still, she refused to find a solution through the police. She thought there would be another way around the issue.

She didn’t last long. The new tenants, a gay couple in their late thirties, reinforced the fence as soon as they moved in. It became impossible to jump into the garden from the pedestrian street.

The house next door remains empty since. It’s now a piece of street art. Modern graffiti cover the facade. You can’t even tell where exactly the windows or the door stood.

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It was one of these L.T.L.R.

The naked male human was sunbathing on the nudist beach. The female dog walked directly to him and licked his chest for a little while. Her owner, a woman on her late 30’s, stand some thirty meters away. She was giving the dog her afternoon walk along the beach. She felt she didn’t have to call her away from the male stranger she was licking. Instead she walked away. A bit after, the dog run after her.

A few meters away, a flamboyant German teenager was sunbathing nude. His hair was dyed bright yellow. Next to him lied his mom also nude – she was one of these hippies that invaded Greece back in the 70’s…

The same night:

It was full moon and there were lots of people on the beach-bar. The loudspeakers played something like modern reggae that mingled with Greek traditional music coming from the next bar – it was one of these islands…

On the other end of the bar, the German boy and his mother were ordering a new round in adequate Greek: “Ena akomi raki parakalo”.

The dog and her owner were seating on a table right by the bar. There was also another woman with them, in her late 40’s, short hair dyed bright red, dressed in a post-hippy style. One could easily think the two women were a couple but after a closer look you could see they were actually close friends. Probably long time single girlfriends.

The red-haired didn’t interact much with the dog. It was her friend who ran after her every couple of minutes. The dog didn’t really follow her orders. She would go close to any table with food and every time the owner would have to cross the bar to fetch the dog back, dragging her by her collar while eloquently explaining to her in what way she had misbehaved. The raid-haired would usually add something at the end of the monologue. Something like: “You dog…”

It seemed like a lack of interest in the dog. At the same time, she would have every right to accuse her friend for lack of interest in her. She spent much more time running after her pet than talk with her. However, she looked more indifferent than pissed off by the fact. After all, they were on vacations.

The Germans were now performing synchronized smoking.

This time the dog went too far. It barked aggressively to a passenger. Her owner went to fetch her once again. As she dragged her back she told her off in a bold tone. All the people at the bar turned towards them. Half way back to the table she loosened her grab, letting the dog continue alone towards their seat. The dog actually run right to the feet of the raid-haired who welcomed her with a faint petting on the head. The dog curled under her feet. It was obvious she acknowledged her equally as her owner. Or, better say, her parent. Apparently the two women raised the dog together. They were a couple after all. It was one of these long term lesbian relationships… Most probably a successful one.

The man from the beach ordered meat balls. The dog run to him and licked his feet in hope of a treat. A bit after the German boy made his first move on him.

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OFFLINE

Το φοιτητικό σπίτι είχε ήδη υπολογιστή ο οποίος όμως άνοιγε αραιά και που για καμιά εργασία. Μέχρι που το πανεπιστήμιο έδωσε δωρεάν ίντερνετ στους φοιτητές και στο σπίτι εμφανίστηκε το πρώτο μόντεμ.  Ήταν κάπου στα τέλη του 1999.

Ντάιλ απ, σουσάμι άνοιξε: εικόνες, μέιλ, ντάουνλόουντ, τσατ, ειδήσεις. Πριν κλείσει βδομάδα ήταν ήδη αυτοματοποιημένη κίνηση: είσοδος, κλείσιμο πόρτας, υπολογιστής, λογκ-ιν. Μετά έγινε συντροφιά στον πρωινό καφέ. Αργότερα και στο φαγητό. Μετά και στις ορμές. Μια επιδημία που χτυπούσε κάθε ευάλωτη στιγμή της μέρας, μεταλλάσσοντας ανεπανόρθωτα το ντι-εν-έι του ελεύθερου χρόνου.  Κι όπως αποδείχθηκε στην πορεία και το ντι-εν-έι της επικοινωνίας εν γένει.

Το τελευταίο προπύργιο του ελεύθερου χρόνου ήταν ο δημόσιος βίος. Ήρθαν όμως τα κινητά νέας τεχνολογίας για να το κατατροπώσουν.

Η αναβάθμιση άργησε να φτάσει να καλύπτει σμαρτ φόουν. Κυκλοφορούσαν ήδη τρία χρόνια στην αγορά πριν αρχίσουν να δίνονται τζάμπα με την ανανέωση συμβολαίου. Τα κουμπιά του παλιού κινητού είχαν αρχίσει να κολλάνε. Ο φορτιστής δεν έκανε καλή σύνδεση. Το συμβόλαιο συμπεριλάμβανε ήδη εδώ και μήνες δωρεάν μεγκαμπάιτ τα οποία πήγαιναν στράφι. Ήταν και καλοκαίρι. Ήταν και ωραίο το νησί. Πόσο μπορεί να αντισταθεί ένας καταναλωτής στις μέρες μας;

Ήταν ένα από τα πρώτα σμαρτ φόουν – μικρή οθόνη, ξεπερασμένο λογισμικό. Όπως και να το κάνουμε, ήταν σμαρτ φόουν. Είχε οθόνη αφής και έμπαινε στο ίντερνετ.

Μία βδομάδα μετά, σε έναν απροκάλυπτο εμπαιγμό του καταναλωτή από τη  μοίρα, το σμαρτ φόουν βούτηξε στη θάλασσα και πνίγηκε ακαριαία. Έλα όμως που είχε ήδη περάσει αυτή η μία βδομάδα. Το κακό είχε γίνει. Είχε επέλθει ο εθισμός στα αππς. Η πρόσβαση στο ίντερνετ παντού και πάντα. Παντού και πάντα να είσαι και κάπου αλλού: σε κάποια κουβέντα με φίλο, σε κάποια επαγγελματική συνεννόηση, σε κάποιο φλερτ.

Ο καταναλωτής δε δίστασε παρά ελάχιστα να πληρώσει 125 ευρώ για μια ολόιδια συσκευή αφού η εγγύηση δεν κάλυπτε αρπαγή από το κύμα – ο έμπειρος τεχνικός στο νησιωτικό κατάστημα κινητής τηλεφωνίας αμέσως διέγνωσε το ατυχές ψέμα πίσω από τις συνθήκες του μοιραίου.

Ενάμιση χρόνο μετά, το κινητό έπλεε τα λοίσθια. Σερνόταν για να φορτώσει το οτιδήποτε και κάθε τόσο η οθόνη αφής γινόταν τελείως αναίσθητη. Η μνήμη του μπούκωνε μέρα παρά μέρα. Το δε ακουστικό του είχε προ πολλού χαλάσει και η χρήση χαντς φρι ήταν αναπόφευκτη – το κουβάρι των καλωδίων με τα ακουστικά επίσης. Από τους δεκαπέντε μήνες έγγαμου βίου, ζήτημα να κύλησαν ανώδυνα οι πρώτοι τρεις.

Το κερασάκι στην τούρτα ήταν η καταστροφή του μίνι-τζακ του χαντς φρι. Πλέον οι κλήσεις ήταν μονόδρομες. Η ανάγκη νέας συσκευής ήταν επιτακτική.

Η μάχη δόθηκε στο κεντρικό κατάστημα της αλυσίδας κινητής τηλεφωνίας. Όλα τα κινητά παραταγμένα. Η επιδότηση κάλυπτε πολλά νέα μοντέλα. Ο καταναλωτής αντιστάθηκε στον πειρασμό και διάλεξε το πιο φθηνό. Θα μένανε και  50 ευρώ για έκπτωση στο πάγιο. Φτάνοντας όμως στο ταμείο τον περίμενε μια δυσάρεστη έκπληξη.  Κοιτούσε λάθος τιμές στο καρτελάκι. Άλλη έκπτωση το νέο συμβόλαιο και άλλη η ανανέωση. Η επιδότηση δεν έφτανε ούτε για το πιο φθηνό σμαρτ φόουν. Θα έπρεπε να τσοντάρει. Δίχως ντροπή, παραδέχτηκε το λάθος του και αποχώρησε για να το σκεφτεί.

Το ίδιο βράδυ αναστήθηκε το παλιό κινητό και βαφτίστηκε Λάζαρος. Αστείο στην αρχή, νοσταλγικό έπειτα, αδιάφορο σύντομα. Τα κουμπιά σκληρά, η φόρτιση γινόταν με πατέντα, η οθόνη συμβατική, το ίντερνετ απών.

Μια βραδιά ανοιξιάτικη, λίγο μετά το Πάσχα, ο υπολογιστής βρέθηκε παραδόξως για ώρες αποκλεισμένος από το ίντερνετ.  Έπρεπε να έρθουν έτσι τα πράγματα για να γίνει σαφές το πολλαπλό μήνυμα της νεκρανάστασης του Λαζάρου.

Μαζί του αναθάρρησαν και οι εξωτερικές δουλειές, οι εκδρομές και οι αίθουσες αναμονής.

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SAILING BOAT

They had been together for over ten years, now both about to turn forty. Having no children didn’t seem to be an issue.

A few years ago they moved to the suburb, in a small basement apartment. It’s important to note that no metro station was in near distance to the house. Neither was any monument or other point of any particular importance.

Lately they had been short in money so they put their house in airbnb. Their chances in subletting it were quite small – a basement flat badly located in the suburbs of the huge city. It did however have a cute small garden. Surprisingly, it wasn’t long before they had their first request. It was a middle-aged couple coming from abroad for a couple of days.

It turned out that the couple was traveling for a very particular reason. They wanted to do artificial insemination. Apparently, the biggest artificial insemination clinic of the city was located just a few blocks away from their house. The clinic had a good reputation and charged way less than the clinics abroad. It was worth the money and time for the foreign couple to travel all the way to the city to try their chances of having a baby.

This was but the first couple. Soon came a second one and so on. Past a few months some couples returned for a second try, staying again at their comfortable flat. Word spread abroad to other couples arranging to come to the city for the same purpose and after a while reservation requests arrived directly to their email. It turned out to be a considerable profit to their budget.

Every time a couple arrived they would need to leave the house. They’d either spend the days in his parents’ house or in their new investment: a French sailing boat.

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Interview

“All my life has been an on-going identity crisis. Sometime fruitful, sometimes not so fruitful”. The reporter smiled vaguely. He didn’t really understand the answer but he had found a great title for the article.

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The veteran

These are some photos that were part of the booklet for “The veteran” which was presented in Crossroads co-production market. I took all four of them while walking around Papagou, the suburb were the story of the film takes place. The four words on the pictures kind of sum up the story-line of the film: return to the suburbia, in search of misplaced heroes. Follow the link to read more about “The veteran“.

RETURN

SUBURBIA

MISPLACED

HEROES

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Before dying

The doctor said he didn’t have much time left. He quit his job and decided to spend all his savings before he died.

He went to the opera, he bought a present for the neighbor’s children and had dinner in a fancy restaurant.

On his next visit the doctor was clear. He only had a few days left.

He went on a small boat trip along the coast, he bought himself a new watch and had a new haircut.

On his next visit the doctor said he only had one more day to live.

He bought a bottle of the best wine, he spent a night in the city’s most expensive suite and gave what was left of his savings to a street beggar.

And then came his final day. But, much to his surprise, he did not die. Then past another day and another and nothing changed. He was still alive. So he decided to call the doctor. Unfortunately, the doctor refused to see him. He wouldn’t have any money to pay for the visit.

Past a few days, he died out of hunger.

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Birthday party

It was one of these parties of a friend of a friend, where you basically know only but one person. From the very first moment we entered the party we noticed something weird. It was difficult to point a finger at it. It was something about the crowd. It was a mix of people that could be roughly divided in two groups:

group a: 30+-40-, a bit conservative

group b: 25 – 30, a bit hipster

The two crowds occupied different areas of the party space. They didn’t really mix, at least at first. And, a striking detail, there was a pole in the middle of the space. Soon, a girl belonging to group a started dancing. She was actually a professional, judging from her skills. She also had the pole dancer over-sexual attitude. She danced a bit and then made out with her girl. And then danced a bit more and then back to her girl.

Well, soon we found out the key to the mystery. It was not one birthday party but two. It did look like a social clash.

We didn’t stay long. But before leaving we played a bit with the pole.

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