In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.

Thessaloniki cultural crossroads

Starting this year, the city of Thessaloniki will be hosting some of the world’s greatest cultures. This year, the admirable cultures of the Middle East will be honored all around the city.

With a series of musical events, theatrical productions, film and documentary festivals, museum exhibitions from antiquity to modern times, culinary events, conferences and symposia, proving that a mystified east and an idealized west don’t exist in isolation from one another, but have always existed in a state of mutual influence.

Here you will find a brief presentation of some of the events which will take place in 2011.

Click on image to download the brochure (pdf: 1,04 MB)

Thessaloniki cultural crossroads

Thessaloniki Concert Hall

Homage to the Music of Sephardic Jews
First prize winners of the «Completion of Hebrew Music» in Amsterdam (May 2008), the ensemble «Me la Amargates Tù» presents Hispanic- Hebrew songs. Performances will be taking place on Friday, April 15, 2011. This project constitutes part of the 6th International Guitar Festival “Guitar Plus”, which as from 2011 is maintained and developed under the auspices of the Thessaloniki Concert Hall.

Great Religious Music Masterpieces: A. Dvorak - Requiem
This is a grand co-production between the Thessaloniki Concert Hall and the Thessaloniki State Orchestra, involving a performance of Dvorak’s Requiem during the Orthodox Easter celebrations. The project also aims to function as a statement of friendship between Greek and Israeli artists. For this purpose, Yoel Levi, one of the greatest Israeli conductors of our time, has been invited to lead the TSSO and all collaborating artists and soloists into a great final performance. Performances will be taking place on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.

Samson and Delilah is a grand opera based on the Biblical tale of Samson and Delilah.
The opera remains popular and constitutes standard repertoire at most major opera houses. The production is currently being developed and performances are expected to take place during the first quarter of October 2011.

Musicians for peace: ADAP (Association Des Artistes pour la Paix)
In 2001, a group of musicians from Turkey, Greece, Israel, Cyprus, Egypt, USA, Iran and Armenia, created “ADAP” in cooperation with Unesco. ADAP has since toured the world with concerts aiming to promote peace and friendship between conflicting nations. The production is currently being developed and two performances are expected to take place in the second quarter of October 2011.

Concerts featuring Arab and Israeli music
Performers from Arabia and Israel, present a unique concert of symphonic music on traditional instruments. The production is currently being developed and the performance is expected to take place during the second quarter of October 2011.

Thessaloniki Book Fair 5-8 May 2011

Literary Festival: The Middle East… when ideas rise up

Current events often impose their own rules, according to Egyptian Nobel laureate in literature, Naguib Mahfouz. They may even affect the spirit of an international book fair such as the upcoming one in Thessaloniki, that is organized by the Greek National Book Centre (EKEBI).. Hence, most of the Arab states that are now in the headlines because of the popular uprisings and the momentous changes in regime and policy will be represented at the Thessaloniki International Book Fair. Also present will be writers from Turkey, Ethiopia, Israel, Iran and Pakistan. But the main concern of this Fair is not restricted to the momentous events, the successive uprisings and their repercussions on these nations, its main theme is the cultural output of these countries, their literature and the ideas that have made a significant contribution to those historic and decisive changes. The Middle East: so far, so close.

Tariq Ali (Pakistan-UK), Salwa Al Neimi (Syria-France) Yohannes Tsegay Gebregeorgis (Ethiopia), Gamal Ghitany (Egypt), David Grossman (Israel), Tuna Kiremitci (Turkey), Hoda Barakat (Lebanon), Sophie Bessis (Tunisia-France), Boualem Sansal (Algiers), Malek Chebel (Algiers), Bahaa Taher (Egypt), Subhi Hadidi (Syria).

Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki prepares for 2011 a series of activities regarding the relationship of the city of Thessaloniki with countries of the eastern Mediterranean basin.

1. “The Jews of Thessaloniki. Indelible marks in space”

Central temporary exhibition dedicated to the Jews of Thessaloniki
Opening: OCTOBER 2011

The exhibition concerns the presence of the Jewish community in the city, from antiquity to present times. Through routes in the modern city, visitors will have the chance to meet places-landmarks, connected closely to the Jewish population and its activities. Objects, pictures, texts, narratives comprise the tangible or impending “indelible marks” in the modern city and constitute the palimpsest of the largest Jewish community in Greece. The Museum, in the occasion of the exhibition, will collaborate closely with the Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki, which will host part of the exhibition. The exhibition comprises the participation of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki in the 3rd Biennale of Thessaloniki entitled “Old crossroads making new”, organized by the movement of the 5 museums of Thessaloniki with the State Museum of Contemporary Art in head.

2. “Arabic world: monuments and people”
Photographic exhibition of Fanny Sarri
Opening: October 2011

The photographic exhibition will include monuments of all cultural periods of the Arabic countries in an attempt to document the coexistence of people and monuments. Through the lens of a photographer who is well acquainted with the Arabic world, modern life is presented, though the filter of the interaction of space, and specifically of monuments, with people. The monuments are related to all the civilizations that flourished in the area: Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic etc. and are now part of the anthropogenic landscape which interacts every day with the inhabitants. Through the exhibition the Greek audience will have the chance to “live” scenes of the life of common people in and around the monuments.

3. “Greece-Jordan: cultural routes”
Double photographic exhibition for Greece in Jordan and vice versa
Opening: November 2011

The exhibition presents the cultural routes of both countries, from antiquity up to today. Through the lens of two photographers, one from Jordan and one from Greece, archaeological monuments will be documented, along with scenes of contemporary life.

4. “Macedonia, the golden kingdom”
Exhibition for the history and civilization of ancient Macedonia
Opening: end of November-beginning of December 2011
The exhibition will include great objects from the collections of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and will be presented in Syria. It will be organized in collaboration with Syrian university institutions and the Greek embassy in Syria.

5. 3rd Biennale of Thessaloniki
Opening of the Biennale: October 2011

In the occasion of the 3rd Biennale of Thessaloniki entitled “Old crossroads making new” the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki will host works of contemporary art.

The Museum of Byzantine Culture

“Byzantium and the Arabs”
The Museum of Byzantine Culture under the cooperation framework of the five museums of Thessaloniki “5M movement”, participates in the 2011 Biennale events with the temporary exhibition entitled “Byzantium and the Arabs”. Focusing on the revelation of aspects of both the Byzantine and Arab cultures, the exhibition “Byzantium & the Arabs” will present the relations and interactions between Byzantium and the Arabs from the 6th-7th c. to the 15thc. The exhibition will be comprised of objects from the collections of the Museum of Byzantine Culture, as well as from selected museums and ephorates of antiquities in Greece and will be supported by explanatory texts accordingly. The duration of the exhibition is estimated from September through December 2011.

The Folk Museum and the Ministry of Culture programme“ Thessaloniki: Crossroads of Civilisations”

The Folk Life and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia-Thrace will be taking part in the Ministry of Culture & Tourism programme “Thessaloniki: Crossroads of Civilisations” with a special exhibition on Artificial Lighting from the Byzantine Era to the 20th century. The exhibition, to be held in October 2011 at the Museum, will focus on Thessaloniki, a city whose privileged geographical location at an intersection of land and sea routes made it a place where different cultures met, cults and religions co-existed, technological innovations appeared, were assimilated and disseminated, giving its urban physiognomy an ecumenical character. As an important port in the northernmost part of the Eastern Mediterranean, Thessaloniki enjoyed direct contact, via the sea, with the peoples of the Near East and indirectly with the peoples of the Asian and African interior. A series of means of illumination from the Byzantine era into modern times, from clay lamps to electric light bulbs, most of them from Thessaloniki and its environs, will illustrate aspects of artificial lighting. The exhibition will prompt the visitor to recognise the utilitarian dimension of artificial lighting in everyday life, acknowledge the importance of the religious and social dimension of lighting, reflect on the changes brought about in his life by technological developments, and ponder on why we still have such a deep inner need to seek the flame. The international character of this exhibition, with pieces from the collections of Greek museums and foundations and means of illumination from both East and West, will be enhanced by the presence of the International Lychnological Association, which is organising a Round Table Discussion on the topic of lighting in the Balkans in Thessaloniki in October 2011.


3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art

September – November 2011

Coordination: State Museum of Contemporary Art [ ]
The 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art will take place during September – November 2011 in different venues all over the city of Thessaloniki and will present aspects of the contemporary art of Israel and the Arab world. The Biennale will be held by the Movement of 5 Museums of Thessaloniki (State Museum of Contemporary Art, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Teloglion Foundation of Arts, Thessaloniki Archeological Museum, Museum of Byzantine Culture) under the leading coordination of the State Museum of Contemporary Art. Taking in consideration the identity of the Thessaloniki Biennale which is based on the awakening of the city’s multicultural memories as well as the experience of the State Museum of Contemporary Art and the other museums and cultural institutions of the city in the organization of big scale artistic events, the 3rd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art will focus its network of research and activities on the contemporary art production of Israel and the Arab countries and will attempt to open a social, transcultural and interfaith dialogue on the basis of visual arts.

Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki

End of June Beginning of September 2011

Disquieting Muses
The exhibition ‘Disquieting Muses’ presents works from contemporary women artists whose origin and life experience connects them with the Arab world, although –due to historical and political circumstances- they have chosen or they have been obliged to take distance from their birth places. It deals with the complexity of personal experience and the transformation of feelings of loss and displacement into artistic creation. A body of recent works by the artist Mona Hatoum will be centrally placed in the exhibition. The title of the exhibition refers to the famous Giorgio De Chirico painting (1916) and the poem Sylvia Plath wrote in 1957 under the same title. This poem focuses on mother - daughter relation and the daughter’s rejection of her mother’s way of thinking and approaching reality. For the concept of the exhibition, the notion of ‘Disquieting Muses’ functions as an allegory for the artist’s freedom and ability to move through different cultures and traditions selectively, to ‘invite different muses’, rejecting elements of his/her upbringing, in order to incorporate and transform traditional values which are essential for the art work.
Curator: Syrago Tsiara, CACT director

Teloglion Foundation of Arts A.U.Th.

Pieces and Fragments from Fustat
Fustat, the first capital of Egypt during the period of Arabic domination (7th century), which flourished in the 12th century, is now part of the old Cairo. It’s known for its archaeological remains, which were discovered in the last hundred years. These findings, from the rich repositories-garbage dumps, offer important information on the glorious past of the city and decorate the showcases of important museums, like the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo and private collections. From such a private collection, that of Antonis Benakis, was created the Museum of Islamic Art in Athens. Material from its warehouses, which has not been exposed in the past, is loaned to Teloglion for the purpose of the future exhibition: Pieces and Fragments from Fustat. Glass and metal gadgets, fabrics, in conjunction with Arabic manuscripts from Granada, and also the personal collection of Nestor and Aliki Telloglou along with furniture from Lebanon, create an attractive and also detailed picture of the Arab world.

National theatre of Northern Greece

5-6 May 2011

A multi-art spectacle with actors and dancers based on the famous work of the important Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran. The performance attempts to capture the poetic power which spurts from spiritual life and is unanimous and global, uncovering deeper impulses of the heart and the mind. Work in progress.

Kavafis – Places and personalities of the Arabic world in his poetry A multi-art spectacle attempting to bring on stage references of historic or fictional elements of the Arabic culture, bringing together the aesthetics of the important Alexandrian poet with the Arabic tradition, literature and theatre.

A spectacle inspired by the aesthetic, philosophic and anthropological experiences and references of the two important creators in a production embellished by the rhymes and melodies of Crete and Lebanon. Work in progress
Elegiac music in ancient Greek drama and the Arabic tradition An open spectacle bringing on stage the elegiac experience in ancient Greek tragedy with Arabic hymns and finding common aesthetics characterizing both Greek and Arabic eschatological experience.

OCTOBER 2011 - Theatre and dance meet on stage
1st part: “Last Supper”
2nd part: “Moments from the passion of Job” The dance-theatre of the NTNG unifies rituals from the tradition of the Bible with contemporary experience through the expression of dancers coming from Greece and Israel.
OCTOBER 2011 - Dybouk by Bruce Myers
based Khalil Gibran d on Salom Anski’s work
-Two actors undertaking more than forty roles, present the Jewish version of “Romeo and Juliet”, a love story embellished with ritual and music of the Jewish tradition.
- T ¬he works in progress will also be presented in a common program of performances during October 2011

Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art

September 2011

Roaming Images
Crossroads of Greek and Arab culture through the eyes of contemporary artists

Description :Contemporary artists re-define their relation with the cultural heritage of the Arabic peninsula and the Eastern Mediterranean as places of a long-standing artistic and cultural convergence. Technological developments, scientific advancements and theoretical thinking situated within a complex of an often, mystified east and an idealized west don’t exist in isolation from another, but have always existed in a state of mutual influence. The project Roaming Images – Crossroads of Greek and Arab culture through the eyes of contemporary artists researches the various concepts of image, or eikon (in Greek) or surah (in Arabic) along with the ideologies and geo-cultural climates that fostered them. The notion of image becomes therefore the universal vehicle that tells us the story of how we speak, how we think and even envision the future. In various cities along a designated route linking Muscat to Thessaloniki, appointed correspondent-curators will plan and implement an event with the assistance of local art institutions. They will commission new works of art, organize site-specific projects or public art interventions, or put together lectures, roundtables, workshops or guided tours. Both the process of research and its implementation will be accompanied by an artistic documentation.
Distinctive outcomes from these events in all stations, along with their documentation, will come to join selected art works by artists working in this broad geographical area along with archaeological objects from this area. This major exhibition will be curated at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the Thessaloniki Biennial 2011.
Stations: Muscat (OMAN), Sharjah - Dubai - Abu Dhabi (UAE), Doha (QATAR), Manama (BAHRAIN), Kuwait City (KUWAIT), Jeddah – Riyadh (SAUDI ARABIA), Damascus (SYRIA), Beirut (LEBANON), Amman (JORDAN), Tel Aviv (ISRAEL), Cairo (EGYPT), Nicosia (CYPRUS), Ankara - Istanbul (TURKEY), Thessaloniki (GREECE)

The Thessaloniki Cinema Museum December 2011

The Greek- Jewish Miracle Festival

A production involving the Thessaloniki International Film Festival and the Thessaloniki Cinema Museum with the Israeli Film Archives, Jerusalem Cinematheque and bringing to light important aspects of a symbiotic relation between Greeks and Jews, counting already five centuries of amalgamation and civilization.
We take special pride in producing three original films on Judaism and its interaction with Thessaloniki; a short fiction film, a short animation and a short documentary. Those films, which are currently worked upon by an exceptionally talented creative team consisting of Film School graduates, aims to revisit history, re-view and reinterpret it. The glance is fresh, thus, everyday life details and emotions, escape history books and heavy volumes for three days and find their way to the Cinema Room of Old Warehouse A, of the picturesque City Port, where the recently renovated Thessaloniki Cinema Museum is premised, for their World Premiere. The movies shall be projected, twice a day. Alongside, a photo exhibition, thematically parallel to notions of ethnic diversity and memory will be inaugurated. The Greek-Jewish Miracle Festival is planned for December 2011, just days after the 52nd Thessaloniki International Film Festival.

The Museum of Photography

June-December 2011
Exhibitions in collaboration with museums and other institutions from abroad. The Qatar Museums Authority in Qatar, the Sharjah Art Foundation in Sharjah and the Empty Quarter - Fine Art Photography Gallery in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) are some of the institutions with which the Museum aims at collaborating for the presentation of artists from the Middle East.
Organizing photographic missions for Greek artists who will work in Egypt, in the United Arab Emirates, in Qatar, Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, Jordan and respectively for artists from these countries who will work in Greece.

Organizing a project which will result into an original production of work. Photography as well as Art students and young artists under 35 from the Middle East and Greece will try to depict the "other" land. That will result in the Middle East students working on "The image of Greece" and for the Greek students working on "The image of the Middle East".
Finally the Museum plans to collaborate with other institutions from Greece and from Europe for the realization of a series of common activities focused on the Middle East, as well as the organization of an international symposium and the co-production of a historical photography exhibition.


Actions in the Arabic World
There are going to be held 3 concerts in Egypt, Lebanon and Qatar by the ensemble “En Chordais” in collaboration with acknowledged Arab artists.

Actions in Thessaloniki
Three concerts will be take place in Thessaloniki Concert Hall:
The first focuses on the tradition of the Christians of Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. Participants of this concert are the Syrian chanter Nora Orman, the Lebanese singer Ghada Shbeir (prize BBC 2007), the choral ensemble David of Egypt and the church group from Beirut. The second is dedicated to two very popular Arabic instruments, with the participation of the very skilled musicians Imane Homsy (kanun) from Lebanon and Joseph Tawardos (oud) from Egypt. Finally, in the third concert will be appeared the ensemble “En Chordais” and the acknowledged, virtuosos Arabs musicians from Tunisia and Jordan with repertoire that will highlight the relationships, the similarities and the interactions between Greek and Arabic music. In the same concert, modern Arabs poets will present their poems composed by Kyriakos Kalaitzidis.

University of Macedonia October 2011

The department of Balkan, Slavic and Middle Eastern Studies of Maceonia University, actively participates in the project “Thessaloniki Crossroad of Civilizations” 2011 Middle East through a series of lectures by scientists from the Middle East, concerning “Our Middle Eastern neighbours” STUDENT COMPETITION: JEWISH AREAS and LANDMARKS OF THESSALONIKI The department of Balkan, Slavic and Middle Eastern Studies of Macedonia University, in collaboration with Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, announces a student competition for the writing of a project on the subject “Jewish areas of Thessaloniki”. Graduate and post-graduate students from Greek Universities and Technological Institutes can take part in the competition. The writers of the top three projects will receive a financial award. Furthermore, writers of the ten top projects will be invited to present their projects in a public lecture at the University of Macedonia in October 2011.

01/01/2011 - 31/12/2011

Hours - Comments

explore Greece by region is the official tourism web site for Greece, run by the Greek National Tourism Organisation, where you'll find information on the main tourist destinations, such as cities, beaches, as well as activities, events and much more!

All content included on this site consists intellectual property of GNTO and you are not allowed to reproduce the whole or part of this work in any way. 
For information please contact: All Rights Reserved. GNTO © 2018.