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submitted by George Poulos on 27.04.2004

Institute of Kytheraismos - A Kytherian Australian perspective

The following short article appeared in the Kytheraiki Ithea, July 2003, p. 12, and was written by prominent Kytherian-Australian solicitor, intellectual, Kytherian cultural advocate, past-President and current Committee man, of the Kytherian Association of Australia, George Vardas.

The Institute of Kytheraismos

Institute of Kytheraismos - A Kytherian Australian perspective - Kytheriasmos

"Kythera is at the southernmost tip of the Peleponnese, south-west of cape Malea. And yet belongs administratively to Attica! The land-administrative paradox happens to be grafted to another: Kythera, as land topography, as architecture, and also as culture, belongs to the Cycladic islands. However, it is the sixth of the Ionian isles (the seventh is the even more distant Antikythera). So Kythera belongs to the IOnian isles, belongs to the Aegean islands, belongs to Attica - could it perhaps belong to the Peloponnese? Kythera belongs wherever you place it by making a decision or an official declaration. Kythera belongs to everywhere, except to itself. Just like Greece, Kythera is a "utopia".

The above words were written by a reviewer of the film "Voyage to Kythera", one of the works of Greece's most famous film director, Theo Angelopoulos. We know that we belong to Kythera, but how do we ensure that generations to come will continue to make the journey, both physically and spiritually, to this remote island?

The well-known Kytherian academic and publisher, Elias Marsellos, has come up with an exciting concept to enable people of Kytherian descent and friends of Kythera from all over the world to connect: the Institute of Kytheraismos.

Speaking at a function hosted by the Kytherian Association of Australia (KAA) at the Hellenic Club in Sydney on 7 December, 2002, Elias explained his ideas. Kythera is at once our home, an idea, and a way of thinking. The myth is Kythera; the reality is Cerigo. According to Elias, "Kytheraismos" connects two different worlds: the real world of Kythera of yesterday and today, and the allegorical fantastic world of the Kythera of our dreams. Both should be able to connect.

In the past Kytherians have seen themselves in a kind of triangular context: the island, Athens-Pireaus, and the Kytherians abroad. Elias Marsellos believes that this outlook is now dated and ignores the possibilities of Kytherian integration.

The Institute would be a confederation of Kytherian Associations drawn from Kythera, Athens and Piraeus, New York, California, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra. It would enable the associations to work together in a spirit of co-operation to build a new kind of community amongst Kytherians and philo-Kytherians around the world. In that way it can promote ties between International Kytherian groups, develop communications, and provide informatio in areas of mutual interest.

Beyond that, the Institute can serve as a focal point for staging conferences, symposia, student exchange programs, intensive Greek language courses, with particular attention to the young Kytherians of the diaspora.

Elias envisages that a major conference is to be held every two years, aletrnating between Kythera, and elsewhere. A preliminary conference, held in September 2003, would be followed up with the first major conference to be held in Kythera in September 2004.

The Kytherian Association of Australia welcomes this bold and enlightened initiative. Through the Internet, the world is truly a global village and the proposed Institute will offer opportunities to Kytherians and philo-Kytherians to embrace and perpetuate the spirit of belonging to Kythera.

Elias Marsellos, and his son, Andonis, who accompanied him to Australia in 2003, have set up a web-site at

For more information about the Kytheriasmos Institute, please visit this web-site.

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