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Pedro Olalla has an excellent command of the Greek language. In fact, his vocabulary is much richer than that of the average Greek, as is his knowledge of the Greek history and culture. It’s already been three decades since he first got interested in the country, and in 1994 he moved to Athens, where he is still based despite the recession. «I believe it is important that we stay in Greece and take a stand against the current situation», he says. «Not just to find the means to make ends meet in those difficult circumstances, but to be present and fight for substantial change».

All his occupations –writer, hellenist, teacher, translator, photographer, film-maker– contribute to his being an undisputed Ambassador of Hellenism, one who has studied the Greek history as only a few, but is also acquainted with the country’s day-to-day realities and looks to the future. «As a westerner interested in culture, I feel a momentum guiding me to Greece», explains Pedro Olalla. «I try to have a general view of the Greek culture, from a lot of different perspectives. I am interested in the language, the words, but also in the images – to me, words and images are sort of communicating vessels. I have written books on various aspects of the Greek culture in any time period. I have also made audiovisual works, films and documentaries in order to promote the Greek culture by combining literary, artistic and scientific information, all in my own personal way».

«In recent years there have been a lot of changes, not just in Greece, but also in Spain and in Europe and all over the world», continues Pedro Olalla. «They say what we live is a crisis. Had it really been a crisis, it would have also been a turning point, an opportunity to review the status quo and really change. But, instead of a crisis, I very much fear this is a process of extortion and looting in the name of a mush disputed debt, which will benefit only a few. Given the symbolism of this country, I believe that if the Greek people manage to repel it, this will no doubt be another great Greek contribution to the progress of mankind».

«It is no good having a fatalistic attitude in the face of such events», concludes Pedro Olalla. «It is our duty to react. It is good to have solidarity, but we can’t just confine our efforts to alleviating the impact on the most vulnerable. If we do, we become accomplices to the system de facto. We need to be more aggressive and get to the root of the problem, which is the use of politics to serve one’s own interests. That’s where we should really focus».

Credits

Direction & Post Production: Alexis Skoulidis
Make-up: Roula Lymperopoulou

Interview & Texts: Paris Kormaris
Project Manager: Agapi Tsakpinoglou

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