As to a brief history of this NGO, it should be said that poets, including the poetesss Katerina Anghelaki Rooke, gave the name. Poiein kai Prattein means 'create and do' and exists as non profit Urban Society since 2002; before that, the poets called themselves 'Touch Stone'.
Stepping stones towards this NGO were among other things:
- the organisation of the the Fifth Seminar, 'Cultural Action for Europe' in Athens 1994,
- the conference 'Myth of the City' bringing together 15 poets and 15 philosophers, architects, planners to talk about living conditions in cities and which was held in Crete 1995,
- the Article 10 ERDF Project CIED standing for 'Cultural Innovation and Economic Development', the Interreg III B CADSES Project HERMES and SISMA along with the MIRIAD 21 Project in 2003 - 2008 which included creation of an the Internet Radio, to be found at www.heritageradio.net, studies of museums and of successful cultural planning strategies, vulnerability studies of cultural heritage with regards to seismic related activities, civil protection exercises,
all while pursueing interests of civil society striving towards good practice together with other NGOs and political authorities.
From Poetry to Cultural Actions for Europe to European Projects
Organization of Fifth Seminar, i.e. conference: ‘Cultural Actions for Europe’ with 135 participants from all over Europe. Contract: Flemish Government, Belgium with further support by the Ministry of Culture and Office for Tourism.
It was preceded by a poetry conference with 35 poets in Kamilari, Crete where they sounded out poetry to the topic “Poetry and Mythology”.
The singer Savinna Yannatou produced with the voices of the poeces cassette to the theme “the human voices in poetry” (see Beyond images/poetry).
As to major highlights, while Andre Loeckx spoke about fragmented cities, Louis Baeck enunciated the differences between the Mediterranean and Atlantic tradition for while the former incorporates economy into culture the latter upholds a seperation of the two and thereby neglects culture. Liana Sakelliou-Schultz expressed a new viewpoint about secularization insofar as she stated the state feels terrorized the moment culture begins to emancipate itself from the state. There were four plenary sessions and ten workshops linked to specific action fields:
1) The culture of international networking
2) Urban/Regional planning and culture
3) Transportation or the making of a new traffic culture
4) Dealing with unemployment or companies becoming learning organisations
5) Culture and economy with artists being hired to teach workers how to remain creative even under uncertain conditions
6) Civilization differs from culture as it involves institutions transmitting culture e.g. film, theatre, museums
7) Education and culture with Prof. Picht from College of Bruges working with Athenian students to bring about consensus as to educational needs
8) Language, literature, poetry impinge upon culture in both a direct and indirect way
9) Culture has to do with health, an example thereof being art therapy
10) European Capitals of Culture exemplified with Eric Antonis, artistic director of Antwerp '93 and Bart Verschaffel, coordinator of literature of Antwerp '93 leading the crucial discussion on how to evaluate this success story started by Melina Mercouri in 1983 with Athens first European Capital of Culture in 1985
Out of this followed the ten-finger concept for research and policy folder to link culture with special fields like transportation.
The Fifth Seminar adopted recommendations put forward by Alecos Alavanos with regards to the return of the Parthenon Marbles.
It concluded with a panel discussion about cultural actions needed for the Middle East in the presence of ambassador from Israel, David Sasson along with Louis Baeck and Alecos Alavanos. Louis Baeck said that Israel should not request military help but ask from Europe for scholars who can show the way on how to understand and appreciate the Arabic culture.
Research co-operation in the European Projects ARTICULATE and LOGOS and this jointly with Thanos Contargyris, DIALOGOS.
ARTICULATE deals with evaluations of European Projects while LOGOS developed out of the key concept of cultural adaptation ideas on how to market products in a cultural diverse Europe made up of different languages and values.
Poets and Planners with bishop of Kissamos 1995
By organizing a traveling conference throughout Crete (Iraklion, Kamilari, Chania, Kissamos and Malia) around the “Myth of the City” 15 poets and 15 planners discussed living conditions in cities to emphasize the need for untouched spaces (Paula Meehan), to consider the merging of rural and urban land as becoming 'rururb-land' (Brendan Kennelly), while there is the destruction of Sarajevo to be considered as negative example (Nikos Stavrolakis) with many more discussions about urban development, waste management and sustainability issues as well as what glance the urban environment in Paris means in reality (Bart Verschaffel). Poets like Katerina Anghelaki Rooke, Paula Meehan, Theo Dorgan, Brendan Kennelly, Baptiste Marray, Liana Sakelliou Schultz, Sofia Yannatou, Bruno Kartheuser, Pedro Mateo, and others voiced their poetic appreciation of life in contrast to architects like Juergen Eckhardt, regional / urban planners such as Phil Cooke, Anna Arvanitaki, Pavlos Delladetsima, and development experts like Socrates Kabouropoulos, in order to see if both cultural and technical viewpoints can be brought together outside specialization.
Workshop in Kamilari, Crete: Planning and Culture while preparing for the Article 10 ERDF Project CIED. Juergen Eckhardt and his architectural office in Berlin designed at the same time a conference centre for Kamilari.
Start of CIED: Article 10 – ERDF European project (Jan. 1997 – April 1999) with Volos, Greece as project leader and the cities Cardiff, UK; Galway, Ireland; Palermo, Italy and Leipzig, Germany as partners. Budget was 610 000 Euros with outcome ‘Good Practice Manual’ based on Political Declarations (Palermo April 1999) and the Volos Report: Framework Conditions for Planning Practice and Good Practice Manual
‘From Nomos and Physis to Athens of Today’ – train exhibition organized with ‘Artists without Frontiers’ and Spyros Mercouris. The train went throughout Greece and stopped along the way at different locations. Hatto Fischer developed and realized for one wagon the theme "from NOMOS and PHYSIS in Ancient Greece to modern Athens". The concept was based on Robert Payne's "Ancient Greece" and followed the path taken by both poetry and philosophy since Ancient Times to the present.
Start of the European project LORE within TERRA– towards local observatories for regional development and environmental protection.
Organised in Thessaloniki, European Capital of Culture a seminar with Spyros Mercouris on the theme: ‘Vision and Experiences’.
Organization of the Photo exhibition OSMOSIS together with Alecos Alavanos in the European Parliament, Strasbourg; then in Weimar as Cultural Capital City, and in June at the EU CIED conference in Leipzig. Photographers were asked to look outside their own cultural domain and to look into the cultures of the others with prime focus on Greece.
Organisation of the EU CIED conference in Leipzig with the Palermo Declaration being complemented by the Leipzig Action Plan.
Successful application of the EU project REINVENT within the CONNECT program initiated by the DG Culture and Education with artists becoming indicators as to what is happening in urban spaces.
Work for the Cultural Committee of the European Parliament with focus on priorities for culture within the European Union.
Together with Spyros Mercouris, 5th of May as ‘Day of Culture’.
GO ON: start of the study group for an Internet Radio / TV GO ON in conjunction with research on the same topic for the GREENS of the European Parliament.
Support of the research work done under the guidance of Jesse Marsh, Atelier. The study was prepared for STOA of the European Parliament on the topic ‘Information Society and Cultural Diversity’
Start of the work on the GO ON Internet Radio / TV concept to support the European Debate and provide information about Europe to citizens wishing to shape the European agenda.
Part of civil society in dialogue with the European Convention in preparation of the EU Constitutional Treaty and the place of culture within the European Union. This work was done together with Frederique Chabaud, coordinator of EFAH (European Foundation for the Arts and Heritage with seat in Brussels).
History of Poiein kai Prattein
In December founding of POIEIN KAI PRATTEIN in Athens, Greece Dec. 2002
Advisory work for Prefecture of Athens to European Project: CORONAS – Metropolitan Governance (approved 2003)
Examining ways to support the Greek Community in Alexandria
2003 - 2007
- SISMA – Interreg III B - CADSES (2003 - 2007) vulnerability studies of urban areas with cultural heritage affected by seismic activities - the Citizens as First Rescuer - as technical support unit for Prefecture of Athens, Homeroupolis/Chios and the Region of Peloponnese with the region of Umbria/Italy acting as project leader
- HERMES – Interreg III B – CADSES program HERMES: protection and promotion of cultural heritage through use of new media, with Volos aiming to construct three new museums for Industrial Heritage, History of the City and Myth of Argonauts. Along with editorial work and contributions to www.heritageradio.net
Bringing together poets and poems in ten books about Olympic Truce: Poetry Connection: Poets and the Olympic Truce 2004
Start of Kids' Guernica
Together with PEACE WAVES organised Youth Festival in Torino to help prepare for Monitoring of Olympic Truce during Winter Olympic Games to be held in Torino 2006, and there experienced for the first time a Kids' Guernica mural being painted by an international group of youth, including Jad Salman from Palestine.
Poiein Kai Prattein under guidance of Thomas Economacos and Hatto Fischer let children paint a peace mural with the title "The War is over" and then brought by Thomas Economacos and Maya Fischer to the International Kids' Guernica 10th anniversary festival held in August in Ubud, Bali.
Organisation of the workshop on museums within the HERMES Project in Volos, Greece with special guest Carol Becker from the Chicago Art Institute.
Participation in a conference organised by the DELPHE group in Strasbourg about why development projects usually fail in the Third World. Key essay on this see The faint sound of the world drum by Hatto Fischer under section 'International'. A key focus of the conference was on the AIDS epidemic.
Advisory work for Iraklion, Prefecture of Iraklion and Kastelli with regards to the RED CODE Project on Civil Protection.
Jointly with www.heritageradio.net of the Hermes project and Spyros Mercouris, curator of the exhibition "Twenty years of European Capitals of Culture" creation of an online exhibition to set the premise for an archive of the history of European Capitals of Culture. The journalists made interviews of key actors and heritageradio created the online journal: "Europe under construction". The exhibition was shown in Patras 2006 for the first time and supported by volunteer work of students of the Technical University.
Participation in Conference in Warszawa, Poland on the role of NGOs in local development.
Work with Spyros Mercouris and the Network of European Cultural Capital Cities to prepare the next General Assembly of the ECCM Network in Patras. In conjunction with the exhibition "Twenty years of European Capitals of Culture" curated by Spyros Mercouris, there was developed together with heritageradio network an online exhibition of "Twenty Years of History of Cultural Capital Cities of Europe". It was done in collaboration with students of Prof. Haritantis of the Technical University of Patras. The archive work of the history of European Capitals of Culture is an ongoing process.
Kids' Guernica exhibition in Kastelli, Crete
' Guernica Exhibition in Kastelli, Crete
Facilitation of SISMA conferences in Santorini and in Chios.
Civil Protection Exercise in the framework of the SISMA Project in Nafplion and Athens.
In August there was organised the HERMES Summer School in Volos: Challenges for Museums in the 21st Century
In September there took place the final Conference of the HERMES Project in Weimar, Germany.
Organisation with Spyros Mercouris and the ECCM Network the General Assembly of the Network in Brussels, January 27th and preparation for the final meeting in Sibiu, Sept. 2007
Final Conference of SISMA in Perugia, Italy, March 23 - 25 www.sismaproject.eu
Kids' Guernica exhibition in Chios, May 4th - 7th
and further action in Izmir, Turkey at the end of September in order to complete the mural Chios-Izmir as sign of an intercultural dialogue to replace Delacroix's "Slaughter of Chios".
ECCM Symposium 'Productivity of Culture' and Kids' Guernica exhibition
in Athens, October 18th - 21st at the Zappeion Megaron www.productivityofculture.org
Kids' Guernica - Guernica Youth actions took place in:
- Belfast, Northern Ireland with Bernard Conlon
- Haifa, Israel with Joe Hauck, Christina Grossmann and Thayer Hasting
- Yakohoma, Japan with Takuya Kanada
- Ramallah, Palestine with Jad Salmann
- Baltimore and Ohio, USA had also Kids' Guernica actions
Two Studies within HERMES: 1) 'cultural planning', specifically about cultural planning in the digital age and 2) 'role of multi media in museums' for the City of Volos.
Work for the European Commission as independent expert with regards to Cultural Cooperation Projects.
Poetry Connection: This time Athens was linked to Berlin where 'Printemps des Poetes' wasorganised by Catherina Launay along with such special actions as by Ariadne Ghabel who let ten actors read the poem 'Promise' at Savignyplatz in Berlin on March 14 - 15. In a special program of 'Athens for real' of FM 104,4 of the Municipal Radio station and moderated by Alexia Amvrazi focused on this March 11th. Alexia Amvrazi read the poem 'promise' while Katerina Anghelaki Rooke and Hatto Fischer read their respective poems 'Transcriptions of a night mare' and 'Caves of truth'.
Organisation of Poetry Reading at Booze Cooperativa with 'open microphone' on 22.3.09 for Day of Poetry March 21
Guernica Youth actions:
- Exhibition opening May 7th organised by Director Gerold Schumann of Theatre de la Vallee in Ecouen outside of Paris, France
- Iman Mourad in Tripoli, Lebanon together with Maysa and Sarah in a summer camp bring together 20 seeing and 20 blind children to create a mural with the title: "Together we build a better society!"
- Preparing with Boris Tissot for a children's action to place in the atelier where Picasso painted 'Guernica'. It is to take place in September
- Preparing with Tom Anderson of Florida State University and others for the Kids' Guernica exhibition to be held in January 2010 at the museum. The exhibition is linked to the 15th anniversary of Kids' Guernica. The exhibition conjoins with the conference about "art education and social justice".
- Set-up of Kids' Guernica NGO in Chicago, USA with Stacy Koumbis. The main aim shall be on reducing violence between children and youth especially in poor urban districts.
- Recognition by the European Commission of Kids' Guernica as a creative, innovative project not funded by the EU. This acknowledgement is given as 2009 has been designated by the European Commission as being the year of 'creativity and innovation'.
- Inauguration of the Guernica Youth mural of Belfast called 'Optimism of Colors' in Belfast, 21.9.2009
- First contact with the police in Gent, Belgium thanks to Manuel Gonzales for a Guernica Youth action in 2010
Editorial work on the publication of the ECCM symposium "Productivity of Culture" together with Spyros Mercouris. See www.productivityofculture.org
Archiv work of materials gathered during the 1995 "Myth of the City" Conference in Crete and preparation for a re-visit 15 years later with the theme being "the quality of cities - the quality of spaces".
Hatto Fischer attends the conference "25 years later" to celebrate the European Capital of Culture project in Brussels.
Poiein kai Prattein attends the June meeting of the Platform for Intercultural Europe in Brussels.
Together with Katerina Anghelaki Rooke and Dostena Laverge conceptual work on an ecological and literary park on Aegina, at the core of which shall be a poetry and translation centre.
Kids' Guernica exhibition opening in Vincennes, 11.Oct. 2010 with Monique Kissel of the University of Saint Denis in Paris.
Anna Arvanitaki and Hatto Fischer attend the conference "Inclusion through education and culture" organised by the University Network of European Capitals of Culture in Pecs, 14 - 15 Oct. 2010
10. November Guernica Youth Exhibition Opening in Gent, Belgium in collaboration with the Police of Gent
12. November Guernica Youth Exhibition Opening in Gezoncourt, France: Alexandra Zanne and theme of the mural "The other: enemy or friend?"
Feb. 15 - 16 'Culture in Motion' EU conference about future cultural programs. Attended on behalf of ECoC candidate city Wroclaw 2016
Feb. 18 "Kids' Guernica and European Capitals of Culture: the cultural dimension of peace" conference in Gent, Belgium in collaboration with the University of Gent: Bart Verschaffel, the City of Gent and the Belgium Ministry for Culture and Education.
March 2 - Public consultation of ECoC in Brussels
March 21 - World Day of Poetry with Alexia Amvrasi at FM 104,4 the Municipal Radio Station of Athens
May 16 - 17 Discussion in Berlin: "European Capitals of Culture and the Sustainability Question" organised by Poiein kai Prattein and cultura 21 with Oleg Koefoed
May 24 - 25 Platform for Intercultural Europe - General Assembly in Brussels
May 27 Guernica Youth action in Candidate ECoC city San Sebastian 2016
May 28 - June 5 - Cultural action on Rhodes under the theme of 'imperishable water' or
July 22 - the bombing and shooting in Oslo leaves especially children and youth in shock, see response by Kids' Guernica
Sept. 8 International Literarcy Day - this important criterion can be a partial answer to 'poverty of experience' but it still holds that few people are taught to read and to decode images and symbols used by media in the digital age. As a matter of fact, the literarcy gap remains as a major obstacle in all developments towards democracy. It is said that 780 million of the world's adults (nearly two thirds of them women) do not know how to read and write, while 94 to 115 million children lack access to education.
Sept.8 - 11 Cultural Congress to be held in Wroclaw, during the Polish EU Presidency:,http://www.culturecongress.eu/en
Sept.23 - 25 in Germany (near OIdenburg), the Cultura 21 Forum, will be hosted by the ecological artist Insa Winkler, and will include several workshops and talks, including Shelly Sacks and Hildegard Kurt with the "University of the Trees". More information can be obtained at
www.cultura21.net (online registration required!)
Sept. 24 World Poetry Movement Day www.wpm2011.org
Oct. 5 - 7 World Summit on Arts and Culture in Melbourne, Australia: www.artsummit.org
Oct. 13 Dance innovation with Ingrid Kristensen: "præmiere på El eco del Carlito på Fyns Kunstmuseum samt det tredje innovationsrådsmøde."
October 27- 28 The 5th General Assembly of University Network of European Capitals of Culture in Antwerp will be hosted by Lessius University College and title of the conference is "‘Culture in/and Crisis’. See: www.uneecc.org
Publication of 'Imperishable Water' - stepping into the biotope of ideas. Action on Rhodes.
In cooperation with Initiative Kreisau EU Youth project: Nation and Identity 2012
Hatto Fischer in Valletta, Malta at conference Towards a strategy for Literary Exchange and Translation in the Euro-Mediterranean Region in Malta 4 - 7 April 2013
Small City / Big Dream 2013 Inauguration of Valletta upon receiving the designation of the ECoC title for 2018, and participation in evaluation meeting.
Evaluation of Cultural Spaces - Research proposals for Valletta 2018
Poetry Reading organised by Paul Dalli and Hatto Fischer: The tune of verses, Marsaxlook, Malta 2013
Support (conceptual/financial management) of dancers Christine Gouzelis and Paul Blackman for their own choreographed performance Feb. 1 /2 "Vicious cycle" - dance performance
Poetry Reading: In Search for Peace, Marsaxlook, Malta 7.Sept. 2014
Conference Europe and Mediterranean, Valletta Sept. 4 and 5, 2014 with presentation of How Europe is connected through Culture - Hatto Fischer
Support of Spyros Mercouris who organised 30 Years since the Inauguration of the ECoCs, 22 an 23 June 2015
Symposium "The need of a constructive dialogue", 1 -7 Sept. 2015 and organisation of Guernica Youth exhibition in Olympia Sept. 2 - 6, 2015
Mapping Culture II: Debating Cultural Spaces and Places in Valletta, Malta Oct 2015 with Hatto Fischer moderator for parallel session 1 / rapporteur for parallel session 6
In preparation: Reader about Greece. Yiorgos Choul and Hatto Fischer (editors) with others, including Socrates Kabouropoulos, Anna Arvanitaki, Alexandra Theoropolou, Stamatis Polenak. Publisher: Hemant Divante, paperwall in Mumbai, India
Start of a Guernica Youth Action for children and youth of refugees / guests in Berlin - ICC looked after by the Maltese organisation.