Shoah Film Collection -  Interview Project

Voskopoulou, Angelina

Angelina Voskopoulou
Greek video creator

Her video Behind this page but not disappearing 2015, 16:40
can be reviewed on


Interview: 10 Questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

Born in Athens, Greece on 14th May 1981.
I am a graduate (BA with Distinction) in Fine Arts and Technology and I also have a Masters degree in Digital Arts(university of the Arts London). I am teaching at Athens cultural center Art and New Media . I am also the course leader in Digital Arts at iversity (platform for open massive online courses) More over, I am working my own videos, as well as sculptures made from polyester. I am also the Co founder and video artist/director of ‘state of flux’ dance group.

On 2010, I was one of the Representative artists in European meeting of young artists, of the European network for town twinning, congress hall National Center of scientific research ‘Democritus’, Athens cultural center.

I have shown my work in many art festivals and exhibition spaces worldwide(Greece,Italy,Canada,Sweden,London,USA,Spain,Peru,Argentina,Bulgaria,Morocco)

2. When, how and why started you filming?

When I was growing up I was mostly exposed to art through an esoteric need for experimentation . I attended schools which, did not have an art program but, luckily, was brought to art galleries and fairs, shown documentaries, even spent weeknights drawing on the kitchen table…and though I really don’t think I was ever pushed in any way toward a career in art, I’ve always been interested in something art-related. When I hit highschool, I took my “experimentation” to the next level i continued exploring the world of drawing, until I basically spent all my non-homework non-dancing hours in my room working on art stuff. I have always drawn…but i didn’t think about fine art as a career until I began spending nearly all my free-time working on it and, at that point, it was hard to think about anything else…
I can’t say that this is a path that any artist should plan, but I also don’t know where I’d be had anything gone differently. The lack of structure taught me to experiment…But ‘painting ‘ wasn’t enough for me , I was trying to find my ‘mean’ of expression . That happened when I first met my maestro (Nikos Navridis). It was a meeting at the art school’s theater where he show us his video works and other works related to film and experimental filmmaking and that moment was the moment of my rebirth. I have found my way -That was it! But The truth is I have been interested in filmmaking since I was 15 years old. I had watched and loved a lot of films prior to this time. I had written some ‘spontaneous’ screenplays and had also tried to film them. I was interested in finding a way of telling a story….

I was mostly exposed to art through an esoteric need for experimentation. when you working with video/ film, you You have to constantly push yourself to grow and learn with the changing times. Pieces of us exist in all of our work regardless of how good, bad, old, or new it is. Experimenation! Experimentation is the key to test on an idea and try to create an art project.

3. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

When I create a video work, for the most part, I am creating videodance, (also known as screendance), I am not documenting. I am making dance for the camera. I choreograph a piece knowing that I will re-organize and ‘manipulate’ the material during the editing process. combining Elements such as time, space, speed and spatial composition. In addition, one incorporates the movement of the camera, as well as the composition of the frames. Even though the body in movement is the ‘seed’ and inspiration of screendance, often the movement phrases get ‘throw’ around, the end becomes the beginning, the body gets fragmented and layers of dancers end up superimposed into different backgrounds, creating a new work which in some cases is far apart from the movement material that it was based on. My decisions are based on the rhythm and composition of the new piece, as well as on the design, contrast and the proximity to the camera. I am trying to create a creating a visual metaphor. Using a combination of both, narrative and location. The concept of a video choreography, in my films, is based on my own lyrics texts and ideas.

4. What was the reason to start your film included in Shoah Film Collection. Tell me the story behind your film? Why did you choose the given form of representation? Is your film included in Shoah Film Collection the first one dealing with the Holocaust?

Yes, actually is the first of my films that belongs to this collection. Actually it was near death experience. But the central feeling is that what makes you keep fighting against death is love, which is as strong as death …The concept of this film was about a life articulated in the void, deprived of every stimulus and devoid of any meaning, must correspond to a “frozen” time, without a flow. A time that
knows no past or present, static, unmoving, a bad eternity…

“I stood there , staring into the horizon, trying to distinguish or imagine
shapes and forms reflected in the clouds and the clear water. Trying to see
waves, smoke and energy fields… The messages we ourselves emit.
Every cell in a body and every molecule and atom in that cell is in a state of
incessant vibration, making up a greater amount of energy which is able to
transform the electric properties of the space they occupy. The message of
change travels to other places at the speed of light. Given that our
organisms are different, each of us echoes-reverberates in a frequency that
is a personal trait, as unique as our fingerprints. We are like radars. Sensors,
sensitive to messages from similar distant organisms.
(Close ups of ruins-skin-soul of things-digging into matter)
all paths are well-trodden, full of people and murmurs. But there is one that
differs, a path with a soul. A path that, without hesitation, begins the
rhythm of its own life. Anyway to know something well one must really
touch it. Not meaning to be crude-to my mind only inaction(inertia) is
crude. I focus on my bare feet, on this piece of soft earth. There could be
many routes leading to the same place, though none of them would be as
suitable as this one. I let it affectionately carry my bare feet. Paths like this
one appear in nature of their own volition. They are the result of the
spiritual relationship that connects the earth and its people, those who can
sense the rhythm of its breath. Such a path, embellishes the landscape
rather than violate and disfigure it.
A common thread that runs through identical or disparate elements and
ends up being a state of things retired unto itself which cannot be seen
through one’s eyes but can rather be felt. The lights pulsing timorously in
the firmament are perhaps a rhythm of recoiling into themselves. Perhaps if
we are at harmony with them we will find the meaning…the way…The earth
is living, tossing in her sleep, dreaming, stirring, breathing, panting. Her
humours course through her body. Her waters convey information. We grow,
we mature with her, or so we believe.
(Stretching)Spreading her senses towards the universe, observing and
waiting for the echo of the melody which will signal a new super-sensuous
dance. (dancer on sand)
Ready to respond. We are born in a fluid state. Everything born on earth
was born in water. We have all experienced life in the liquid element at
least once. ——————–Nine months for most -seven and a half for me- in the
womb’s liquids, a respiratory cord connected to our belly. There we heard
everything. The maternal heartbeat, the creaking bones all around us, a
frothing beer and any other sound from our immediate environment…trying
to retain our primeval functions …apart from our
bodily mass, each of us carries over 10 tons of air. The only reason we are
not crushed is that the blood and the other bodily fluids which are
compressed counterbalance the atmospheric pressure…it’s a sensitive
balance,…a sensitive chaos. So I sing of the day and the sea and the time
and the planets. And thus I am entangled with all I wish for and am at one
with everything in this guileless toing and froing, for in our future lie roving
bolts of lightning and violent flour storms ….

5. What kind of meaning has the Holocaust to you personally? Are your family or friends affected or did the topic come by chance?

History has meaning, oppression has meaning, suffering has meaning. We are a people whose essence is meaning.
This is not to suggest that any one explanation will ever fully help us to come to terms with the persecution and murder of millions of innocent people…

6. Besides the historical relevance related to the persecuted Jews and other people, the Holocaust has a universal relevance. Why is the Holocaust affecting all humans anywhere?

As Arthur Cohen once said ‘’ . . . One must live with the tremendum, and living with it requires that it be perceived accurately (to the extent that accuracy is possible about events as charged as these), clearly (to the extent that looking into the charnel house can ever be unclouded and precise), and distinctly (to the extent that it can be confronted as a constellated phenomenon which both does and does not indict all of Western civilized history, all of Christianity, all of silent humanity, and most of all, the history and faith of Israel). There was a time when it was understandable that one’s reaction to the asking of the meaning of the tremendum was the fervid wish that it had none, that it implicated nothing beyond itself, that it described an historical horror, but that it did not tear apart the fabric of the larger universe where men create, make art, think, love, ransoming the human from the mud and muck of the concrete and particular. That time is past.

7. Now, nearly 70 years after World War II, unfortunately the last Holocaust survivors will be dying soon, and no authentic witness is left to transfer the memory of the Holocaust. The Holocaust is about to be marginalized and dehumanized to any other historical incident, whereby it is measured by its final result and less as an escalating process, countless human individuals were undergoing. What do you think might be ways to re-humanize, touch people again emotionally and keep vivid the memory this way?

for the first time we became aware that our language lacks words to express this offence, the demolition of a man… Auschwitz concerns us all. Indeed what makes Auschwitz unfathomable is not only the executioners and their assistants, not only the apotheosis of evil is the silence of men: the silence of all those who looked on or looked away and thereby handed over this people in its peril of death to an unutterable loneliness… we should keep the memory alive ….

8. As a phenomenon, the Holocaust is blasting human imagination, which makes it nearly impossible for people to identify themselves with. What needs to be done, that people may find ways for self-identifying? What can do art for it?

Do we want to understand? There is no longer anything to understand. Do we want to know? There is nothing to know anymore. It is not by playing with words and the dead that we will understand and know. Quite the contrary. As the ancients said: “Those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know.”…Maybe sometimes it is better to learn to be silent.

9. After the Holocaust and World War II, the traditional (static) visual art media were failing in transferring the memory of the Holocaust, while literature, theatre, music and film were much more successful. On the other hand, due to the new technologies, the boundaries between the “arts” dissolve nowadays and the doors are open to a new interdisciplinary approach. What are the chances for this new (interdisciplinary) perception based on socializing concepts for keeping vivid the memory of the Holocaust? In which way have they to influence the manifestations of Shoah Film Collection via the interventions like a symposium, artists meetings, workshops, exhibitions, performances, screenings, artists talks, discussions etc.

I believe that the work you are doing is successful in keeping the flame of remembrance alive.
Keep the flame burning!

10. What are your future artistic plans? Do you plan to work on new projects dealing with the Holocaust or related topics like “collective trauma caused by totalitarianism”?

Not at this moment. I am working on a different kind of experimental film ….