American International School of Thessaloniki, Greece

Host Country Studies Trip to the Thessaloniki Center of Contemporary Art

THE RIGHT TO BE HUMAN, is a major exhibition on Human Rights organized by the State Museum of Contemporary Art, The Goethe Institute and The School of Fine Arts of Thessaloniki. It is co-curated by Professor Thalia Vrachopoulos, Art Historian-critic from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York and Professor Harry Savvopoulos, Art Historian-critic, School of Fine Arts of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Intrigued by the curators’ statement that “The exhibition rebuts, re-examines and rejects inequities and exemplifies the goals of humanism and social justice” we decided to organize a guided trip for our Grade 9 students. There was, however, a second, very important, incentive. Audiovisual artist and jurist Dr. Eleni Fotiadou, was also invited to participate with her audio-visual Installation, titled Totem: 16 Frames per second. It was an important opportunity for our students to have a direct dialogue with an exhibiting artist, exploring the conceptual and formal choices in practice, while viewing the actual sculpture. 

The curators of the exhibition state that “Global humanism and social justice share a goal that seeks to promote both individual and social right of fair access to opportunity and benefit; and, to embrace equality as governing principle in all areas of modern life.” It was only right to start exploring the exhibition with an introductory activity on Human Rights as defined by the United Nations, back in 1948. We started the tour with an  analysis and a simulative exercise on the necessity of Human Rights by Ms  Amalia Spiliakou, continued with a tour of the Exhibition by Ms Katerina Paraskeva, a Museum Expert, and concluded with Dr. Fotiadou, who explained to the students the importance of “The right to privacy” in our world of new media technologies and expanded internet communications.

Grade 9 students were intrigued, inquisitive, questioning and totally attentive. It was an amazing trip.

Dr. Eleni Fotiadou

Mrs. Amalia Spiliakou