In her award-winning video essay Passing Drama, Angela Melitopoulos addresses the process of collective remembering. She examines the experiences of a Greek minority deported from Turkey for political reasons in the 1920s. Melitopoulos interweaves the voices of people who fled their home country with interlinked visual material to create an acoustic picture that traces her own family history and that of the mass phenomenon of migration movements after World War One.
»In Passing Drama, escape as a subject of narration turns into a cinematic theme about narration and memory itself. History is presented as a machine which devours minorities in order to feed the majority. Drama becomes a stage for oblivion, oblivion, however, that hasn’t stopped touching people. Drama is also the name of the northern Greek town where numerous refugees from Asia Minor, among them my grandparents, settled after 1923, after having survived the trauma and deportations of the Asia Minor Catastrophe. For many of them, Drama wasn’t the last stop. Thousands of refugees and their children ended up in forced labour camps in Austria, or became guest workers in Germany yet another generation later. […] These guest workers spoke not only about poverty and civil war, but also about the persistence of their resistance, the partisan war, about camps and forced labour, and about a genocide offcially referred to as ›expulsion‹ since there is still no evidence of this organised crime even today.«
– Angela Melitopoulos
Awards for ›Passing Drama‹
Award of the Council of Europe – Video Art Festival Locarno 2000 | Award of the German Film Critics for Experimental Video 1999 | 1st Prize for Long Feature Video Art Festival Medi@terra Athens 1999
Angela Melitopoulos has been making experimental video essays, installations, documentaries and sound pieces since 1985. Her work focuses on the subjects of mnemopolitics, time, geography and collective memory in relation to electronic/digital media and documentation. Within her research, she works closely with activist networks and geopolitical research projects and she has been a long-term collaborator of sociologist and philosopher Maurizio Lazzarato.
Melitopoulos studied Fine Arts at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf with Nam June Paik and holds a Ph.D. in Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is a professor at the Media School of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Her last project Crossings was exhibited at documenta 14.
Films by Angela Melitopoulos
Crossings 2017 | Unearthing Disaster II 2015 | Unearthing Disaster I 2013 | The Life of Particles 2012 | Assemblages 2010 | The Language of Things 2007 | Corridor X 2006 | Kriks Kriks 1994 | Transfer 1991 | Above and Below Ground 1985