Elefsina, one of the five holy cities of antiquity, was identified with the worship of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, and her daughter Persephone. The Eleusinian Mysteries were sacramental ceremonies that were held every September in honor of the goddess Demeter and Persephone, which lasted more than 2,000 years. According to Homer, the Sacraments participated in the “All Human Genes”, ie women and men irrespective of race, social class, or country of origin. Cicero states in the “Laws” about the Eleusinian Mysteries: “Why among the excellent and indeed, the divine institutions that Athens has given to mankind, nobody, in my opinion, is better than these Mysteries. Because through them we put the barbaric and wild way of life and we were educated and civilized. And, as it is, it is called “reason”, we actually learned the beginnings of life and acquired the power not only to live happily, but also to die with a better hope. ”
The archaeological site and museum remain the most important cultural resource of the city. Elefsina, due to its geographical position as a natural harbor near Athens, has become the prime location for industrial development in Greece since the end of the 19th century. Here hundreds of small and large industries are gathering. Only at the coastline of the bay, at a distance of 12 kilometers, in the late 1960s, we find 2 shipyards, 2 cement factories, 2 steelmakers and 2 refineries, almost 50% of the heavy industry in Greece. Environmentally, the city suffocates. In the late 1970s, the bay of Eleusis is considered to be the most polluted Mediterranean Sea. The University of Athens, following his research, judges the Gulf of Elefsina almost dead, since it has been covered with a mud of mud, resulting in the destruction of every marine organism.
At the same time, population composition due to overconcentration of industries is changing. Elefsina, as described by a traveler of the season, “from a village of fishermen turns into a thriving industrial city”. The population of the community is growing steadily: from 2,400 inhabitants in 1907, in 1927 there are 6,400 inhabitants, while in 1981 the population has reached 21,000 inhabitants. Approximately 2,000 refugees have been added after the Asia Minor Disaster in 1922, the first major mixture of indigenous people, mainly of Arbanian origin, with other migrants. Inner immigrants from all parts of Greece will then follow, giving the city a multicultural character. Elefsina today has a population of 30,000, while the population of the Thriasio Field area is more than 100,000. Within this historical and anthropological context, the various social groups are organized and given their labor, social and environmental struggles, increasing the mobility of the population, seeking a way out of the serious economic and environmental problems of the region. The inhabitants find a common place of coexistence, and that is the very history of the city, its culture.
In 1975, just after the seven-year dictatorship, Elefsina created its first institution, a festival devoted to Aeschylus, the first dramatist in the history of the theater, born in Eleusina in 525 BC. and died in the Gel of Sicily in 456 BC. The organizing committee of the festival consists of various actors in the city: the Municipality of Elefsina, the work center, youth clubs, folk clubs, members of the educational community, business world, about 40 players in total. The city’s need to draw data from the past building a new culture-based future has begun to be founded on the conscience of the citizens. Gradually the conditions for transition to a different growth model have been created. Elefsina currently has a large cultural reserve that includes festivals, folklore clubs from all parts of Greece, citizens who are active in the artistic and creative space, as well as many friends of the city that shape the latest cultural history of the place. They are all those who try to transform their work into an abused city, this “gaffing of history,” as Philippos Koutsaftis says in the film Agelos Petra, in a creative city in Europe.
The Aeschylia Festival is a stable institution of culture for the artists to express their artistic and pioneering creations.44th year, this year, the Aeschylia Festival consistently forms an artistic program, constantly quality, timely but also renewed. The successful course in the cultural events, through collaborations with artists, cultural institutions and organizations, sets high goals for what the festival will present each year. The Aeschyllia Festival every year takes care of to give the opportunity to artists – creators, all types of art, to present their works and to create works, inspired by the city of Elefsina.
Its particularly beautiful urban environment, historical past, modern industrial history and human experiences are emerging through a unique artistic presence within its program. Works of art and expression, which have evolved in the history of the country and the country! Culture was established in the city of Elefsina and at its core lies the relationship of man, in complete interaction with the Aeschylia Festival.The challenge to attract and gives the opportunity to express new forms of art, redefines and creates new goals for creations, constantly drawing new steps in the course of the Aeschylia Festival in the future. This is the perpetual force that offers to culture with this Co Aeschylia of the Festival.
ElEUsis21 is a laboratory that emerges from the creative encounter and association of Eleusis and Europe and cultivates in the fertile land of Eleusis the seed of creativity, innovation and knowledge. From today until 2021, we aspire to bring here the most original ideas, the most innovative actions. Citizens, residents, institutions and organizations of the city are the farmers of these ideas, the ideas that will form the backbone of the Eleusis program as the European Capital of Culture for 2021. The residents and citizens of Eleusis are actively involved in designing the candidacy through the Creative Citizens Network and Ideas Labs. ElEUsis21’s big lab gets flesh and bones through the individual Ideas Workshops that shape different city groups.