200th Anniversary of Greek Independence

Two Events Commemorating
the 200th Anniversary of the Beginning of
the Greek the War for Independence in 1821
Rhigas Pheraios: A Man For All Epochs
by S. Victor Papacosma

S. Victor Papacosma will give this lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, February 18, via ZOOM. A link will be sent out a week prior.
As a protomartyr for the Greek War of Independ-ence, which broke out more than twenty years after his death in 1798, Rhigas Pheraios played a critical role in the development of Greek nationalism. His writings not only inspired but also guided Greeks in their revolution-ary struggle to overthrow Ottoman Turkish rule. More generally, however, one should also view Rhigas with a broader lens to bring attention to his ideas that are still relevant for societies in the 21st century. The principles in his revolutionary proclamation, declaration of the rights of men, and political constitution were markedly universal in their call for democracy and for societies based on fairness and justice. Rhigas is therefore very much a man for all epochs.
S. Victor Papacosma is Professor Emeritus of History and Director Emeritus of the Lemnitzer Center for NATO and European Union Studies at Kent State University, where he taught for 42 years. He received his A.B. from Bowdoin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University. He has published extensively on Balkan issues, particularly on twentieth-century and contemporary Greek politics and security issues. Among his publications are The Military in Greek Poli-tics: The 1909 Coup d’État, which also appeared in Greek translation, Politics and Culture in Greece, and ten coedited volumes of Lemnitzer Center conference proceedings. He served as an officer of the Modern Greek Studies Associa-tion and as its Executive Director for ten years until 2014. Since retiring to Maine, he has been actively involved in the Midcoast Senior College.

The Greek Revolution -1821
Documentary & Discussion March 18
Join us on February 18th at 7 p.m. for a discussion of the documentary The Greek
Revolution—1821 originally seen on Greek SKAI TV. A week prior to the discussion, the link to the film will be sent out.
To tell its story, the filmmakers employed old illustrations and maps, contemporary video footage shot in Greece, re-enactments, and interviews with scholars. The roots of the conflict, and the subse-quent lengthy war, are explained in detail. For addi-tional information see “Greece under Ottoman Rule’ in Britannica at: https://www.britannica.com/place/Greece/Greece-under-Ottoman-rule
HSoM will search for relevant 1821 content that may be released from sources in Greece closer to the actual holiday date — March 25. Stay tuned!

Cloudy Sunday

ΟYΖΕΡΙ ΤΣΙΤΣΑΝHΣ (“Cloudy Sunday”)  Dir.: Manousos Manousakis, Greece, 2015

ZOOM Discussion: Thursday, November 19 at 7 p.m.          

During the week of November 12 – 19: watch on the Internet. URL and ZOOM links to be distributed by November 12.

During World War II in Thessaloniki, Greece, under the Nazi occupation, one Christian, Giorgos, falls in love with a Jewess, Estrea — something completely forbidden by both cultures. A parallel storyline follows the drama that takes place in a local ouzeri. Vassilis Tsitsanis, one of the greatest Greek rembetika composers, librettist and singer of the 20th century, plays here each evening. These dramas unfold as the Holocaust descends on the Jewish community there.  In Greek and Ladino w/English subtitles. 116 minutes.

SWING AWAY Dir.: Michael Nickles, USA & Greece, 2016

ZOOM Discussion: Thursday, October 8 at 7 p.m. with Director Michael Nickles         

During the week of October 1 – 8: watch on the Internet. URL and ZOOM links to be distributed by

October 1. (Nominal Fee of $2.99 for this film only.)

Following a meltdown that leads to a suspension, professional golfer Zoe Papadopoulos travels to her grandparents’ village in Greece to escape the harsh spotlight of the international sports world. Between baking bread and eating baklava, she meets and mentors a ten-year-old girl who is determined— against all odds— to become the next golf sensation. Along the way, Zoe rediscovers her Greek heritage, her love of the game, and the hidden strength within herself as she inspires the townspeople in an epic showdown against a greedy American developer. The film was shot on location on the island of Rhodes and stars Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie, Love Actually) and John O’Hurley (All My Children, Seinfeld) as well as many other well known actors. In English. 98 minutes.

Video: “It Was Nothing, It Was Everything”

On Rescuers and the Rescued Jews of Greece

with Commentary by Anna Wrobel

 ZOOM Discussion: Thursday, October 29, 7 pm

     The focus of the video documentary “It Was Nothing / It Was Everything,” is the rescue of Jewish fugitives in Greece during the Holocaust. Highlighting the almost total destruction of Greece’s Jewish community, the documentary combines archival footage and Ladino music along with interviews with rescuers and with those who were rescued in Thessaloniki, Athens, Crete, and other areas in the region. The documentary is in English and Greek with English sub-titles.

Anna Wrobel is an American historian, poet, Holocaust Studies educator and daughter of Polish Jewish refugees — a rescue partisan mother and Soviet soldier father. Her poetry and essays appear in Cafe Review, Lilith, Off the Coast and Jewish Currents, where she is a contributing writer. Anna has two poetry collections, Marengo Street (2012) and The Arrangement of Things (2018), published by Maine’s Moon Pie Press. Her work has appeared in University of Maine’s Holocaust Human Rights Center art and poetry exhibit, Dilemma of Memory, and she’s presented for the Puffin Foundation on Jewish resistance in WWII. Anna’s poetry and teaching have been featured at the Maine Jewish Museum, Colby College, UMaine-Augusta, Jewish Community Alliance, University of Southern Maine’s OLLI classes and OLLI Sage Lectures series. Poems taken from her manuscript Sparrow Feathers: Second Generation/First Person are used by teachers in several U.S. states, Poland, Germany and the Mideast. Anna co-hosts the long running poetry series, Lowry’s Lodge, with musician/writer Jim Donnelly.

Annual Social and Cutting of the Vasilopita Thursday, January 16, 2020

You are invited – bring a friend. Continuing with the Greek New Year’s tradition of individuals and organizations cutting the Vasilopita, we will hold our annual Social and Cutting of the Vasilopita from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 16, 2020 at Tiqa, 327 Commercial Street. The Vasilopita is either a sweet bread or cake that has a special coin baked inside. Whoever finds the coin in their slice has good luck for the year. Join us for a drink (cash bar), and we will provide some tasty mezedes, and maybe you’ll get the coin!

Greek Cooks

February 5, 2019

Greek Cooks Panel “The Flavors of Greece” with Bill Doukas,…A Girl in Black Dir.: Michael Cacoyiannis , Greece, 1956 Sunday, February 3, 3 PM, USM Portland Campus, Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall A talented but unsuccessful writer (Dimitri Horn) visits the sun-drenched island of Hydra for a short holiday and takes up residence in the large, neglected house of an impoverished widow. On the day of his arrival, the woman and her family are publicly disgraced when she is caught in the arms of a lover. The bitter persecution that follows arouses the sympathy and concern of the young writer who falls in love with the widow’s timid daughter Marina (Ellie Lambetti). But bitter feuds and rivalries stand in the way of their happiness together, and the couple finds themselves the targets of local hostility. Shot in eight weeks on a limited budget and using only one camera, A Girl In Black brought international attention to the Greek film industry, directory Michael Cacoyiannis and its star Ellie Lambetti. (From the Back Cover of DVD). Greek w/English sub-titles. 100 minutes.March 10, 2019

Stratos Efthymiou Consul General of Greece in Boston to Speak “US-Greek Relations in a Challenging Regional Context ”

5 p.m., Thursday, January 31,
7th Floor Events Room, Glickman Library, USM Portland

Strratos Efthymiou Consul GeneralStratos Efthymiou will talk about his work as Consul General of Greece in Boston and his country’s regional challenges, initiating a discussion about Greece and developments in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean.

Stratos Efthymiou is a career diplomat working for the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From early 2016 to September 2017 he was the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Director of its Information & Public Diplomacy Department. As Spokesperson he was part of the Greek negotiating team in the UN Conferences on the Cyprus issue in Geneva and in Crans Montana.

He was also responsible for the public diplomacy and the social media of the Greek Foreign Ministry and for the communication aspects of international events such as the Ancient Civilization’s Forum and the two Rhodes Conferences for Security and Stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.