Friday, August 20, 2010

The Plan

Seriously, anyone who embarks on a journey without a clear direction other than the vague particulars of a single country is bound to encounter some problems especially when a significant amount of substance is the expected outcome. We are going to Greece for a month this coming September with full trust and surrender to the possibility of spontaneous creative collaboration. This is not Discovery Travel and Living where travel-show hosts have fixed itineraries, fans, and exlcusive 5-star accomodation to the hotel sponsor of choice. Not even a camera-man conveniently following our every move or catching that sweet look on your face while biting into a delicious piece of -who knows? Its all raw, on the spot, and dangerously exciting. Think Alexander the Great + Into The Wild. Ok, not really. But close. So here are some clips/notes and guidelines, our way of putting some order in chaos.

Roughly Put:
So maybe we're extremely low-budget and take comfort in the fact that we do have a return ticket, and basically thats where online communities like WiserEarth, Create Culture, and Couch Surfing play a role in the grand scheme of things. Social networks are exciting and they pose great possibilities PLUS there's blogs and videos and all kinds of media you can use to communicate and educate. Its really crazy when you think of it. People using this new media have moved people and ideas in so many ways, often changing trends and mind-sets. Its powerful. In this case, however, we are specifically interested in experiencing the transition from online correspondence to actual real-time face to face interaction. We ask questions like, is it possible to form real friendships and work on real projects through these new platforms? Will we be able to inspire more interest in art, history, and culture through sharing the outcome of this collaborative experience? Will it also inspire trust and openness with people from other cultures? We shall see.

For The Love of Learning
Curious people always ask questions. We believe that only the inquisitive, who are also the most wondrous and imaginative, can truly make significant change in the world. Nobody gets to be a genius without an interest in knowledge, in exploring the unchartered, the unknown. I quote:
"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power." - Alan Cohen
Consider this and consider the ancient Greeks who have birthed philosophy, academy, democracy, olympics, literature, drama, major scientific and mathematical structures, among many other things. Now that is serious "pursuit for knowledge". For us today, looking back through history can provide a refreshing perspective to human potential. Also, theres nothing more enjoyable than being able to share a passion and have somebody else feel inspired to learn even more.
"Its education thats meant to take us into this future that we can't grasp" - Sir Ken Robinson from his inspiring TED talk on creativity

Then and Now
We know for a fact that we aren't the experts on Greece and neither are we graduates of history or professors in any field. Nevertheless, we are happy to be digging into the old history books as well as getting informed on the latest news. While we have established our clear interest in ancient Greece, we are also interested in understanding how Greece is today, its struggles, the people and how they are facing up to the new challenges. What we will be creating in the end will be part reportage and part historical flashback. We both hope to find the strings connecting both past and present and whatever may be that will emerge from this relationship would be a bonus to the adventure already taking place at this very moment.

On that note, we continue to invite others -you- who share our interest and ask for them to contribute their own curiosities and gleanings on ancient and/or contemporary Greece. Consider this as a chance to converse and explore topics that might not have been given a voice in our own individual classrooms or circles. If its true that learning is a life-long activity, why waste a great opportunity to have as much fun while were at it?

"Zeus updating his facebook!" Illustration by Eddie Renner (Click for larger view)

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