Dance Banoptikon

A performance by the dance company Dancevacuum, led by choreographer Vicky Vasilopoulou and the media arts team Personal Cinema led by Ilias Marmaras.

When: Thursday, October 15, 18:30

Where: Blackbox Theater, Communications Center Building

Organized by: The Norwegian Embassy in cooperation with the Frances Rich School of Fine & Performing Arts 

Guests can donate essential items to be distributed to refugees. DEREE students - members of ACG Cares will be collecting the items outside the event venue.

The performance Banoptikon is an interdisciplinary project that aims to promote awareness of the experience immigrants living in Athens. The project brings together local dancers and non-dancers who have worked together since 2013 to offer a human perspective on themes of daily exclusion, discrimination and violence faced by many of Athens immigrant population.

The project is a two-part collaboration between the dance collective Dancevacuum led by choreographer Vicky Vasilopoulou and the media arts team Personal Cinema led by Ilias Marmaras, whose videogame Banoptikon serves as the backdrop for the dancers. The videogame project Banoptikon was launched in January 2010, and was completed in the spring of 2013 as part of the European research MIG @ NET project, and explored ways in which migration as a global condition has transformed international digital networks. The project was coordinated by the University of Social and Political Sciences, Gender Studies Centre and includes partners from seven European countries.

Following the performance, a panel discussion will offer further consideration and discussion of the themes stemming from Banoptikon. We welcome to the panel Mr. Daniel Esdras Head of the IOM Office in Greece, Dr. Chryssa Zachou, Professor of Sociology at DEREE- The American College of Greece, Mr. Ilias Marmaras who is a media artist and creator of the Banoptikon video game project, Mr. Michael Afoloyan, Coordinator of ANASA CULTURAL CENTRE, Ms. Vicky Vasilopoulou who is a choreographer and director of dancevacuum and Mr. Lambros Arapakos, dance and theater facilitator. The speakers will open the discussion and reflect on the role of art in social change, each one addressing the issue from their own perspective.  Admission to the event is free of charge and open to the public.

The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of the 27 EU countries plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The EEA Grants and the Norway Grants, whose main contributor by about 98% is Norway, provide funding to reduce social and economic disparities in 16 European countries. Greece has been eligible for EEA Grants since 1994.

In the current funding period, Greece receives €63.4 million, one third of which is dedicated to supporting the country’s efforts to handle the influx of asylum seekers and irregular migrants, while the remaining two thirds are dedicated to reinforcing the Greek civil society, to providing support services to vulnerable citizens, Greeks and immigrants and to addressing environmental and climate change concerns.


Daniel Esdras, Director IOM, is the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration in Greece since 1998. He is regular member of the Special Preparatory Committee for Combating Human Trafficking set up by the Ministry of Justice. Since 2010, the IOM Office in Greece is implementing projects of Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration funded under the European Return Fund, the Greek Government, Norway, the Government of United Kingdom and the Government of Switzerland. IOM is the fund operator of almost half the EEA Grants asylum and migration allocation to Greece.

Chryssa Zachou, PhD, Professor, DEREE - The American College of Greece, teaches modules on migration, consumer society, media, gender, religion and qualitative research methods. Dr. Zachou has also taught graduate and undergraduate courses at the University of Athens, the University of Piraeus and the Hellenic Open University. She has conducted research on migration, social movements and civil society organizations, gender, religion and the media. She is an active member of the International Sociological Association and currently serves at the executive board of the Hellenic Sociological Society and a member of the editorial board of the Greek Sociological Review.

Ilias Marmaras, new media artist and co-founder, Personal Cinema group, has studied plastic arts, urban planning and philosophy at the University of Paris VIII. He has worked on productions regarding sociopolitical videogames, as well as documentaries. His work focuses on alternative video games and online 3D virtual environments. He was the initiator of the new media cultural/political project “The making of Balkan Wars: The game” and its core videogame project, ‘’The Balkan Mall.” 

Lambros Arapakos, dance and theater facilitator, has been working at the EEA Grants funded shelter run by Praksis for the last year and a half. His work uses dance, theater and crafts as tools to help the process of integration into Greek society.

Michael Afoloyan, Coordinator of ANASA CULTURAL CENTRE, a non-profit organization dedicated to develop intercultural relationships between Africa and Greece and the integration of first generation migrants and their children (second generation) who are born in Greece, refugees and asylum seekers. The organization uses art activities as means to exchange knowledge and promote art and culture, social activism, youth and community empowerment. ANASA is currently implementing an EEA Grants funded project called “A Caravan without borders” aiming at combating discrimination, racism and xenophobia and to promoting information awareness on human rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.

Vicky Vasilopoulou is the founder of Dancevacuum contemporary dance collective, which aspires to bring together, through community dance, Greeks and people from different cultural backgrounds. Dance-Banoptikon is their second creation.