Poet Koraly Dimitriadis has teamed up with Melbourne-based, all-female Greek band Bandidas (Pascal Latra, Kitty San Pedro, Apollonia Xylouri) and DJ Randy Lipz XXX (Eleni Tzaros) for a special event devoted to celebrating art by Greek women.
Sponsored by the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria, the event dubbed (Greek) Girls To The Front features a program of music, dance and spoken word with the vision to bring together women from all walks of life, as well as leaving the door open to men who support women.
To help promote the night, Dimitriadis has released a short film with an all-female cast titled Ποια εν τούτη? (Who is she?) that is available on YouTube (watch below). Shot in the Cypriot dialect with English subtitles, the poet’s aim is to bring awareness to the plight of women in migrant communities to be both seen and heard.
In 2014, Safe Steps Domestic Violence Support Centre reported that 33 per cent of calls received identified as coming from non-English speaking backgrounds. However most suffer in silence, and don’t even make the call, afraid of seeking help and worried about what their community will think. Physical and verbal abuse are also significant issues, especially for women who come from very patriarchal communities.
But how will these women be empowered, if they do not have strong females to look up to in the arts? By bringing together strong, empowered female voices, Dimitriadis hopes to inspire other women in migrant communities to promote change within the arts sectors of their own communities.
“We haven’t seen strong Greek or Italian feminist voices come through to the mainstream yet, and that’s a concern,” Dimitriadis says.
“There’s a lot of stuff like ‘wog’ comedy written by men. A lot of this comedy is men writing female characters in humorous, yet degrading ways. What about us writing our own stories for a change? There isn’t enough support in the mainstream arts sector because there is the perception that the wogs have ‘had their day’. And the migrant communities themselves have a long way to go. They are stuck in the past, and the ‘past’ is all about men. We want to help shift that with art.”
(Greek) Girls To The Front
When: Friday 18 October at 8.30-11.30 pm
Where: Greek Centre (168 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC)