Participatory action, Fournos-Center for Digital Culture, Athens, Greece, 2016
Aris Anagnostopoulos, Social anthropologist, Historian
Eva Giannakopoulou, Artist
Elpida Karaba, Art theorist, Curator
Apostolos Lampropoulos, Cultural theorist
Kostis Stafylakis, Artist, Art theorist
Dimitris Angelakopoulos, Petros Angelakopoulos, Katerina Kalentzi
In the fishing villages of the Dalmatian Coast, a common belief concerning bread held total sway during the nineteenth century. Bread coming from afar, bread brought by seamen or that kept by shepherds, had the ability to restore lactation. If a mother had stopped lactating mainly due to the evil eye, then foreign bread, the bread of the οther, would provide protection.
Le Cru et le cuit, 1964
The other is always there as a problem; in my city we all know this quite well. The other is defined by what “he or she doesn’t manage to be”: not Muslim enough, not Catholic enough, not straight enough, neither tall nor short. The other is a woman, but only because he or she isn’t (or doesn’t manage to be) a man.
One could say it is all about a typical provincial town with a heterogeneous population; but one might also be watching something beyond incomprehension and rivalry between its inhabitants.
Exactly as in the bread story that Claude Lévi-Strauss tells us, the other might also be the one who once upon a time redeemed us. I would like to thank, again and again, the renowned Greek artist Panos Sklavenitis for helping both my community and me find our path. The bread of the Kovatorthi people is now well-known as the largest bread in the world, but this is not the most important thing. What is truly important is the fact that the Kovatorthi bread is by far the sweetest one.
Zagreb, October 2016
In September 2016, the art lab Kovatorthi – and now what? engaged in a collective project that led to the production of the largest bread in the world. More than two hundred people living in Kovatorthi, a small town on the Dalmatian coast, worked together both methodically and passionately, bypassing the bureaucracy of the local authorities. Being part of a bottom-up project while at the same time developing a horizontal network, they managed to put their town on the Guinness book of world records giving a huge boost to the local tourist industry. During the event ‘The Largest Bread in the World’, participants will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the work that is being done in the lab and to discuss the importance and specificity of participatory art.