Below is Sarah Cornette’s latest blog post chronicling her Fulbright journey in Greece. For more information on what she is doing check out her first blog post and be sure to check back regularly to follow along with us on her incredible journey.
A Valentine from Greece
by Sarah Cornette
I gave a lecture last night at the University of Aristotle about art education and teaching in the U.S. It was nerve-wracking to teach so many adults :), but it went very well and they are so amazed at our resources and innovative educational ideas.
My journey has already been very full of adventures!
My daughter and I had only just gotten our bearings in Athens when we headed to Xanthi, a small mountain town in Northern Greece. Xanthi is a special place that, like much of Greece, has seen thousands of years of war and different occupying cultures. Its diverse population includes ethnic Greeks, Pomaks, and the Roma. Cultural traditions mix with modern issues like high unemployment and the need to expand industry. The town is small enough that we could hear midday prayers from several different mosques blending at midday–breathtaking.
In Xanthi I worked with artists and scholars and children to collaboratively create an experiential map of the region, incorporating visual collage with poetry and collected soundscapes. The product was two maps: one a collage, and one digital map with embedded sounds and stories. You can see the digital map and listen to the sounds here.
I am now in a beautiful university town, Thessaloniki, working with local school children to complete the mural Scroggs’ students began. These students are so delighted with the project and eager to hear all about America (everyone calls the US that here). Art lessons are rare here and the group I am working with are envied by all the kids in the school! I will be adding a new section to the mural in two weeks when I fly to Samos island to work with refugee kids. If you want to follow the mural project specifically, you can visit the facebook page I made for it here.
This trip is so densely packed with experiences it’s hard to know what to write. The food is amazing. The desserts especially. I am thinking often of you all! I hope you are staying warm and keeping up your spirits this winter. I know this is the long haul, between Christmas and spring break.