Down by the seaside

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Here I am

I grew up as a bilingual child, listening to stories in two Balkan languages, making comments in my own language composition. Once creative, always creative! I was born in Thessaloniki, a city which keeps inspiring me: the old city with houses resembling paintings; the picturesque alleys welcoming walkers and explorers; the mansions setting the imagination free; the cafes along the seafront adding a touch of vibrancy to the city.

My bachelor’s degree in English Literature paved the way to work for the promotion of human rights as well – such as gender equality and intercultural understanding, in Greece and in England. My doctoral research on the relation between vocational education and social cohesion in times of economic crisis helped me to better understand issues of wider interest.

Well, I have found an interesting answer to the question about the meaning of social solidarity. It was when I was introduced to creative projects carried out in vocational schools in Greece: those who are in need would support those in greater need. It is about showing compassion; in your own way, showing to those facing harder times that they are not alone in times of hardship. That sounds full of hope. I choose that to be the guiding light in my life.

Here are my favourite projects

My Study Stress, My Study Buddy: I devised and delivered a course for socially vulnerable women, wishing to handle uncomfortable feelings brought with being a student.

Creative Writing with purpose: I devised and delivered a course for postgraduate students, wishing to acquire a sense of belonging to a community.

Turning creative

121 Words: Writing flash fiction stories, in Greek and in English.

Interested in painting

At the National Gallery, Athens

This is a favourite painting of mine: Collecting the Nets (1871), by Konstantinos Volanakis. Known as the father of Greek seascape painting, KV is projected as an Impressionist beyond norms. In this painting, we can observe fishermen collecting the nets as the sun rises; an act that exudes energy.

With the same energy, in the pastel bag, we will be collecting thoughts, stories and projects which make us smile at life. Surrounded mainly by Impressionist paintings.

See you soon, Joanna