Organizers

ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI

EAST SIDE INSTITUTE USA

SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY
Representative: Maria Rantzou

EPINEIO

MUSIC STUDIES
Representative: Dora Psaltopoulou

LESVOS SOLIDARITY

UNIVERSITY OF THESSALY – DEPARTMENT OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

With the support of: Aristotle University Research Dissemination Center (ΚΕΔΕΑ ΑΠΘ)

Chairs

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Elena Boukouvala is a dramatherapist (MA), counsellor of children and young people (MA) psychologist, researcher and community organizer. She is faculty of Epineio Institute (Thessaloniki) and East Side Institute (New York). She founded PPLG in 2017 with the support of an international community as a response to refugee crisis, creating environments for social inclusion, active participation and transcultural exchange through arts. As dramatherapist, trainer, performance activist and artist, she has worked in schools, hospitals, prisons, rehabilitation wards, elderly homes, refugee camps and other community settings in collaboration with social initiatives and international organizations in Greece, UK, Romania, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Moldova, Lebanon, Algeria (Western Sahrawi camps) and USA. She has also created trainings and consultancies cooperating with organizations such as the International Organization for Migration. She has founded the international interactive exhibition "Dialogues Across Borders" (DAB) which builds on poetry and art of the participants creating opportunities for dialogue and intercultural exchange between people from diverse backgrounds. She is currently working as a therapist, teacher and community organizer.

                  Elena Boukouvala

Founder of PPLG, Dramatherapist, Psychologist, Faculty of East Side Institute and Epineio Institute, Greece, USA and UK


Dan Friedman is the artistic director and co-founder of the Castillo Theatre as well as the associate dean of UX, a free community-based school of continuing development for people of all ages, both programs of the All Stars Project in New York City. He also serves on the faculty of the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy and is a lead organizer of Performing the World, a bi-annual conference that brings together performance activists, artists and scholars from all over the world. A playwright, director, and grassroots educator, Friedman holds a doctorate in theatre history from the University of Wisconsin and has been active in political theatre and performance activism since the 1960s. He is the author or co-author of 17 full-length plays and is editor of The Cultural Politics of Heiner Muller (Cambridge Scholars Press); Still on the Corner and Other Post-Modern Political Plays by Fred Newman (Castillo); and co-editor of Theatre for Working Class Audiences in the US, 1830-1980 (Greenwood Press). He is currently working on a new book for Palgrave Macmillan, Performance, Human Development and Social Change: Creating Community Creativity.

                    Dan Friedman

Artistic Director of Castillo Theatre, Associate Dean at UX, USA


Trained as a developmental psychologist and psycholinguist, Lois Holzman has chosen to live her life as an activist who uses her academic background and experience to organize people—as individuals and communities—to participate in creating their development and in so doing, to create hope and new possibilities. She founded the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy in the 1980s with philosopher and therapist Fred Newman. Over the decades the Institute has grown into an international educational, training and research center for Social Therapeutics and other alternatives to the natural science-medical model of psychology, psychotherapy and education (www.eastsideinstitute.org). She is also the chair of the biannual conference ‘Performing The World’ (www.performingtheworld.org) happening in New York since 2001. Much of her work is building partnerships that bring the best of grassroots practices into conversation with the most innovative of academic scholarship, and giving support to community educators and activists worldwide in their efforts to make the world more humane. Among her books are Vygotsky at Work and Play; Psychological Investigations: A Clinician’s Guide to Social Therapy; The End of Knowing: A New Developmental Way of Learning; and the forthcoming The Overweight Brain: How Our Obsession with Knowing Keeps Us From Getting Smart Enough to Make a Better World. She blogs at loisholzman.org, Psychology Today, and Mad in America.

                    Lois Holzman

Developmental Psychologist, International teacher and writer, Director of East Side Institute, USA


Maria Rantzou is a graduate of the Theological Faculty of the School of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the School of Education of the Department of Primary Education of the University of Western Macedonia. She has completed a two-year distance program of Counseling Psychology from the Derby University of England. She successfully attended the postgraduate course of the Department of Theology with specialization in Pedagogy. After receiving a scholarship from the Diakonisches Werk section of the Evangelical Church and from the Kultusministerium in the Bavarian State of Germany, she attended studies at the Roman Catholic, Evangelical and Orthodox Theological School of Munich. Her studies were completed with specialization in the context of mental support of patients and prisoners. Maria has presented in various international conferences. She was appointed Ph.D. of Theological School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki specialized in Pedagogy. She has taught Pedagogy and Psychology at ASPΑITE Thessaloniki and worked at the private school of KALAMARI-ADAMANTIOS SCHOOL of Thessaloniki. She currently serves as Assistant Professor at the School of Religious Studies at the Theological Faculty of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

                    Maria Rantzou

Assistant Professor of Religious Education, School of Theology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Core Organizing Team

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Francesco Argenio Benaroio is a social theatre practitioner, IT engineer, project manager. He has lived and worked in various contexts, for the United Nations, ILO, European Commission, private sector, schools and for NGOs and grassroots organizations around the globe, as trainer, teacher and as project manager for the empowerment and dialogue of various communities. He facilitated social theatre processes in Greece, Hungary, Italy, Colombia, India, Nepal, Thailand and Burma/Myanmar. He is the founder and director of "ANAMUH – Arts for Dialogue" (www.anamuh.org), coordinating social theatre processes, training courses and communitarian performances. Francesco is deeply committed in the transformative power of theatre and arts, as means for personal healing, social change, (re)humanization, peace and dialogue between human beings and cultures.

Francesco Argenio Benaroio

Local Production Manager and International Outreach

Social Theatre Practitioner, Founder of ANAMUH Arts for Dialogue, Greece, Italy and Hungary


Elena Boukouvala is a dramatherapist (MA), counsellor of children and young people (MA) psychologist, researcher and community organizer. She is faculty of Epineio Institute (Thessaloniki) and East Side Institute (New York). She founded PPLG in 2017 with the support of an international community as a response to refugee crisis, creating environments for social inclusion, active participation and transcultural exchange through arts. As dramatherapist, trainer, performance activist and artist, she has worked in schools, hospitals, prisons, rehabilitation wards, elderly homes, refugee camps and other community settings in collaboration with social initiatives and international organizations in Greece, UK, Romania, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Moldova, Lebanon, Algeria (Western Sahrawi camps) and USA. She has also created trainings and consultancies cooperating with organizations such as the International Organization for Migration. She has founded the international interactive exhibition "Dialogues Across Borders" (DAB) which builds on poetry and art of the participants creating opportunities for dialogue and intercultural exchange between people from diverse backgrounds. She is currently working as a therapist, teacher and community organizer.

Elena Boukouvala

Chair, Founder, Artistic Director, President of Scientific Committee

Dramatherapist, Psychologist, Faculty of East Side Institute and Epineio Institute, Greece, USA and UK


Dr Tsompanaki Eleni obtains Bachelor in Dance and Professional Practice (Coventry University), Master of Philosophy in Dance and Theatre Arts (University of Birmingham), PhD in Dance in Education (University of Birmingham). She has taught contemporary dance, creative dance, improvisation and somatics at Coventry University, Greek National School of Dance and in various private dance schools in Greece. She was a basic coordinator of community dance for primary school teachers in the ‘Melina Programme: Education and Culture’, in the Operational Programme "Education and Lifelong Learning" Education of Roma children" and a lecturer in educational programmes for diversity groups and minorities. Moreover, she gives lectures about semiotics of dance and community dance on postgraduate courses at the University of Western Macedonia and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is artistic director of the Model Dance School of the Municipality of Kalamaria. From September 2018, she is a professor at the pedagogical department of the University of Thessaly.

Eleni Tsompanaki

Artistic Curator, President of Scientific Committee and Local Outreach

Professor of Dance, Community Dance Artist, Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Thessaly, Greece


Esben Wilstrup is a Danish psychologist, community-builder, and play activist. He is the co-founder and Assistant Director of the boarding school "Epos" in Denmark where students ages 15-17 learn the mandatory state curriculum but through play, performance and role-playing games (‘edularps’). When he isn't working to develop the community, staff, pedagogy, and leadership of this school or consulting with other schools to help them do the same, he works as an Associate of the East Side Institute to build an international movement of performance and play activists through the conferences/communities "Performing The World" and "Play Perform Learn Grow".

Esben Wilstrup

Director of Fundraising and Community Organizing

Co-founder of Efterskolen Epos school, Psychologist, Fynshav, Denmark


Ifigeneia Vamvakidou is from Avdira of Ksanthi. Her studies took place at the School of Philosophy of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and she got her Doctorate at the Pegagogical School of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is a professor of Modern Greek History and Civilization. She has published 5 books for the local history of Thrace and case studies from Western Macedonia, focusing in national historical sources and the analysis of memorial residues of Civilization Material. She has edited 15 books of History and Civilization exploring historical and cultural research. She has published in conference proceedings and scientific journal approximately 250 articles about the following topics: History and Civilization, Methodology, Digital History and Social Historiography. She has participated in research programs to distinguish the national cultural heritage in the field of modern and postmodern historical narrative aiming at the historical and visual literacy at an intercultural and international level.

Ifigeneia Vamvakidou

Communication Director

Professor of Modern Greek History and Culture, University of Western Macedonia, Greece