The city of Elevsis will hold the title of European Capital of Culture in 2023 following an EU decision to postpone the city’s term initially scheduled for 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent impediments to the implementation of the program. The term of other Future European Capitals of Culture* was equally adjusted.

2023 ELEVSIS on the occasion of the announcement of the new term, presented its new vision of the program along with its new visual identity opening for the first time its gates to the global art space through an international open call for independent artists and artistic groups, institutions and organizations from Greece and abroad. The new General Artistic Director, Michail Marmarinos, an internationally renowned Greek director, presented the axes of the new artistic program that draws inspiration from the rich and diverse history of the city. Thus, 2023 ELEVSIS aims to form a comprehensive artistic, research and educational program, under the title “MYSTERIES of TRANSITION”, which focuses on four strategic objectives: Culture, People, City and Environment.

From the Eleusinian Mysteries to the Mysteries of Transition

Elevsis, whose name signifies the arrival of a notable person or an event, is one of the five most important sacred cities of antiquity known as the city of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the mystical rituals that were taking place in honor of the goddess of agriculture Demeter and her daughter Persephone. The Mysteries were a celebration of humans’ association with Nature and Mother Earth praising the cycle of life, as it is described in the myth according to which Persephone went down to the land of the dead and returned to that of the living each year, in perpetual transition. The Eleusinian Mysteries were taking place every September and were held consistently for over 2,000 years celebrating the change of seasons offering a vision of eternal life and triumph over death.

Apart from its reach cultural heritage, Elevsis, thanks to its natural port and strategic location, 21 km west of Athens, in the Thriassian Plain was transformed from the 19th century onwards in one of Greece’s largest industrial centers. The signs of both heavy industrialization and -over the years- of deindustrialization are prominent on the body of the city that is keeping its cultural wealth well-guarded, like a timeless mystery. The entire history of modern Greece unfolds in Elevsis, as the substance of the city goes from the ancient glory to the industrial development, migration, labor movements but also to the decline of manufacturing and unemployment.

2023 ELEVSIS European Capital of Culture seeks to unveil the invisible side of Elevsis, marking a new era for the city and its transition to a new model of development, focusing on its dynamic cultural assets focusing four strategic objectives:

The aim is to support the artistic creation and cultural expression in all terms through the reveal and development of informal forms of existing culture in daily life activities within the local society.

2023 Elevsis through its program aims to warm up citizens’ confidence, pride and enthusiasm for the city encouraging their creativity and enhancing cultural diversity within the community.

When it comes to the city of Elevsis, the aim is to present and communicate its obscured features, values and cultural heritage. Through the establishment or the revival of infrastructures that can improve the quality of daily life for the people 2023 Elevsis will try to introduce the city as a peripheral center for Culture, education and creativity.

Incorporating first of all, a series of green practices into 2023 Elevsis day-to-day running and its productions, the aim is to shape a collective eco-consciousness in local and regional level. 2023.


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