Lucas Oldwine’s short film, ‘Syntagma’, explores the protests that gripped Athens in the summer of 2011; a vociferous and cohesive response against social injustices exposed and created by the economic crisis.


Economic crisis can become the real ground for a real social movement in which opinions and viewpoints are shaped. In June 2011, hundreds of thousands of people of all ages, nations and social backgrounds gathered outside the parliament of Athens to protest against social injustice. For some it was simply a new experience or trend, while for others it became the only way to express themselves and demonstrate their stance.

The Balkans Beyond Borders Film Making Workshop in Athens was taking place during that time, giving ten young participants from throughout Europe the opportunity to shoot with their camera the real crisis as it was experienced in its heart, in the capital of Greece.

“For the protestors that decided to remain in Syntagma square there was no turning back, simply because there was nothing left to go back to. They were young students that lost their vision for the future anymore, unemployed, homeless immigrants and drifters. Joined by their common hope for change, they organized a tented community in the middle of the Syntagma Square”, says Lucas Oldwine, a participant of the workshop and creator of the film.

From the issue of crisis in all its forms, this year’s Balkans Beyond Borders Short Film Festival tackles the issue of multilingualism and communication in the region and beyond. The title of the Festival is “TALK TO ME”.

“TALK TO ME” is a call-to-action for young people to engage actively. It is about communication in all its forms: either through language or other means of expression. The Balkans are known for their culture, traditions and multilingualism so show us the Balkan diversity that surrounds you in your everyday life. Grab your camera and talk to your parents, your friends, your lover, your neighbour, your enemy, talk to the Balkans and talk to the world. Multilingualism and communication are around us and beyond us. Let them inspire you.

So don’t lose time and TALK TO ME

Young artists up to the age of 30 from the Balkan region and beyond (Southeast Europe) are once again invited to create their own short film related to this year’s topic. The deadline for submissions is 1st April, and the festival will take place in Tirana in May 2012.

The main objective of the project is to motivate young people to create short films through which they reflect on their region’s past, current and future situation. The aim is to get a better grasp of how they relate to communication in general, as well as to the region’s cultural and linguistic diversity.

Language – apart from being a means of communication – can be considered a means of identification. Our mother tongue shows who we are, where we came from. It is part of our identity.

‘Syntagma’ is presented as part of TransConflict’s TransCulture initiative, which showcases efforts to explore and transcend conflict in the Balkans through a variety of cultural means.



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