**Προς το παρόν, είμαστε
I sought meaning in academic research about conflict transformation in relation to art and media history, and efforts for recovering the commons (PhD Cultural Studies and Humanities, the London Consortium, University of London 2014). I worked and taught at a number of universities and art-centers and developed and coordinated international programs with increasing focus on education through art and free and open source technology. When my son Jano came in 2018 he reactivated my connection with a circle of heart-giving art educators in Brasil, and helped me see what the situationists’ meant with their rejection of alienated labour. For the last three years I have been using my full collection of tools and abilities to surround my small family with a sense of community and abundance that doesn’t require what Silvia Federici described as “parking our children while we go to work”. For the last three years my son and I have been learning from the bravest and most meaningful art- and eco-educational initiatives that we’ve been able to find around the world, and we’ve been holding space and rhythm for free-play with families and alternative education initiatives in our island. Through my own learning path (which included organising and chairing the internationally funded “Free/Libre Technologies, Arts and the Commons Unconference” University of Nicosia 2019, and the “Contemporary Museum and Gallery Education Practices” Conference, University of Nicosia and Cyprus University of Technology 2015, and participating in the “Re-imagining Education Conference” Ecoversities Alliance 2021; the Professionals’ Intensive Course in “Hand in Hand: Parenting by Connection” 2020; and the “What Future for Education” Course, London Institute of Education 2019) I have come to see meaningful learning as a humble process of connecting with our nature and re-enchanting our world, through delight, wonder, and hands-on care for our surroundings. As an educator I cherish opportunities to do as little as possible, to become a subtle catalyst or bridge, and to provide others a fundamental kind of support, or what Eve Annecke has described as ‘radical accompaniment’, towards a state of being that explores, develops, shares, connects, helps, and soul-seeks towards freedom. | neeii.info
Sylvia Hadjigeorgiou is a contemporary ballerina and healer, based in Cyprus. She is mother of two adult sons, has been blessedly taking care of children all her life, and has been running workshops and dance classes for children for decades. She is a prolific organiser and author:
Blessed to be the last of six children of an art family, I grew up amongst music, dance, poetry, literature, art and more, with a father that struggled with the British – Turkish occupation to provide for his family and a mother who resembled a saint.
That gave me a clear view of the miracle that surrounds us, and growing up I chose dance as my main profession. Singing, massage therapy and writing on the site.
For the last six years, with two grown sons, I changed from pushing my self to complete work and projects, to choosing what and how much to do, after the pressures of being a single working mother and a creative artist. My plans to go around the communities of the world and research for my second book were altered by the corona.
I am a Kindergarten Teacher since 1978. Two years working in the Linz Tobacco Factory Kindergarten in Upper Austria showed me that I didn’t know anything about “difficult children” and that I had to continue my education. I went to Vienna for the next two years to complete the school for children with disabilities and then worked for the next 3 years in Christoph Lesigang’s outpatient department for children with multiple disabilities. Professor Lesigang was an excellent anthroposophic doctor for children and I was lucky to learn a lot from his behavior with children and parents. I worked with the children and gave advice to the parents. After the wonderful years in Vienna I came by accident to Greece where I fell in love with my husband Dimitris Papaioannou, a painter of Byzantine icons. When we came back to Austria, I worked for the next 10 years with children with severe disabilities in a dedicated kindergarten. In 1994 my daughter Myriam came to this world and changed my life. In 1996 I started studying Waldorf Education in Vienna which lasted 3 years, completing my final thesis on the subject of the tactile sense. For 5 years I was special assistant in the two Waldorf Kindergartens in Linz for children with additional needs, and finally, 13 years before my retirement, I started and led a natural Kindergarten on a farm focusing on Waldorf Education. Beside my work I taught for 10 years Basal Stimulation for Kindergarten teachers for children with additional needs. For three years I was working with adolescents with very difficult childhoods and trauma from the war in Bosnia. I am a trainer of health gymnastics since 1985. I am a beekeeper since 2005. Now I am in pension and I am lucky to do what I like most: to share my experiences.
I am an artist, facilitator and video maker undertaking creative and educational projects. My motivation steams from the trust in an educational, intercultural and community-building value of creativity, working across disciplines of video, performance and non-formal education. I have graduated with first class Ba(hons) Sculpture and Environmental Art in 2013 at Glasgow School of Art, UK. Following on I have been a founding member of Art Shed Collective, Edinburgh; managing committee member of Market Gallery, Glasgow and a community artist at Glasgow East Arts Company. Working in Cyprus since 20017, I have supported coordination of projects and produced videos with Dance Gate Lefkosia and co-founded of We Circle Collective hosted in Agora Project where I have been coordinating intercultural events, facilitating workshops and performances. Currently I am studying International Masters in Adult Education for Social Change.
**About the space
Eimaste [είμαστε (GR), trans. ‘we are’] is an artist residency made up of various locations around Cyprus, with an emphasis on engaged and restorative artistic practices of freedom, community, and co-presence. Since 2018 eimaste has been flourishing into a broadening network of places to gather in spontaneous symposia, to write / compose cures for political illusions, establish software freedom, eat green food, dance and tell stories in circles, go for walks, and be together to thank and celebrate life.
Eimaste receives people to be in kitchens and gardens, to travel the island together, and to play and work with children and animals. An energetic place for creation and to exercise living together.
Eimaste connects a broad network of [recovering] educators across fields and different kinds of institutions in a tender deconstruction of pedagogic and schooling practices, and free play.
Eimaste is in a love partnership with A Casa Lar [the Home House] in the Tijuca National Park of Rio de Janeiro, and is co-managed by curator, artist, and goddess-singer Carolina Cortes. It is part of the Ixodos Independent Translocal Artistic Exchanges Network which supports and stages gentle exits from oppressive structures and conflicts.
**Previous Eimaste residents
Chrystalleni Loizidou & Janus
Sylvia Serena Hadjigeorgiou
Stavrodromi and the Nicosia Waldorf-Steiner education community
Theodora and Kyrios
Alexandra and Ayiannis
Yiannis, Kestrel, and Lorca