By Vivi Markatos
In a creative way the International Children’s Book Day was celebrated and Saita Publications travelled to Rafina at the Public Library of Rafina-Pikermi municipality through the fairytale “Water and Soil” by Sophia Politou Ververi and Vivi Markatos, the illustrator.
This invitation to the presentation and my participation afterwards along with all these fascinating little friends who came to meet me was an important experience to me. Who came to listen to me and the author; to see me; to see my work. I will share something I said to those new friends I made - and believe me I made quite a lot - that the thing I presented was not “my work” but the colors and the drawings on an empty page.
To some degree, the same happens to a fairytale before it obtains essence or some rendition or documentation… Actually it is and remains a blank page, it just takes the magic words to “ground” its meanings. So far this is how I have perceived it by drawing: we offer only a part of its interpretation... a standpoint. The beast is still out there. The Dragon keeps holding Sehrazat and if the magician doesn’t say the magic spell, the lance of the sword will not come out of the rock.
So many great things and truths have been said through fairytales. Indeed a colorful or very warm image, sweetly stylized, may “vindicate” their importance in our life. When I read Hans Christian Andersen I realized a lot… There was no need to go far though, since Aesop, our story teller, had narrated those stories before him.
-Is it important for someone to read fairytales? - Of course! Very important, in my opinion. From an early age I started reading, mostly fairytales. I couldn’t or I didn’t want to read other types of books. I didn’t like them... I don’t know why… maybe I couldn’t find what I was looking for? Yet, if anyone wonders about the usefulness of fairytales: I got into university by reading fairytales, achieving at the difficult point of teenage years to evaluate my priorities and desires. To build upon my dreams; to grab a paper and a pencil starting my ambitious plans...
I will quote some words that express me in this path of inquiry I go through and to the real artist-citizen opposed to the world they unveil:
“Are we, the artists of arenas and stages, conforming to the sanitized demands of the market, or seizing the power that we have: to clear a space in the hearts and minds of society, to gather people around us, to inspire, enchant and inform, and to create a world of hope and open-hearted collaboration?” (Brett Bailey) *
I do not know whether Bailey had exactly this in mind. However, a big idea, in order to remain big, has to be followed by big actions… The heart, mind and society often fight against each other, but Art is born somewhere among their cracks to state and sign their importance towards the self-destructive gaps of human deviation. This is Art’s cause.
Specifically, through the context of a program of important events, a town based mostly on the activities taken place during summer, develops an alternative “system of tourism” by giving prominence to cultural heritage; by discoursing, even jibing, the positive but also negative aspect of bliss as a result of truce.
Through the displayed fairytales, both children and adults succeeded to get naturalized in a world so real that only through the “illustrated” lies may be leaned on and patented so as to exist.
*The quote is taken from this site.
Translation from Greek: Labriana Oikonomou
Editing-Proofreading: Tina Moschovi