The Catastrophe of Smyrna destroyed much of the city; in great part its Greek Christian community and the traces of their centuries-old culture. Many of those who escaped the ravaging fire saw their last moments on the city’s waterfront known as the Smyrna Quay. This site holds great significance for those that hold roots to the city unshaken over the past century.
In 2015, 93 years later, the light of that community, along with its language and heritage, will be reignited through the power of music, faith, and friendship with Greek and Turkish singers and musicians who will hold a first-ever live concert on the Smyrna Quay, celebrating the city’s culture.
In addition, Stamelos will be documenting the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit and journey to the city where the first ever Greek Orthodox liturgies in the remaining churches of Izmir will be celebrated. One includes Stamelos’s own family’s church, Agios Haralambos in Çesme. These liturgies will act as a great symbol of re-igniting the city’s Greek Orthodox community and heritage in hopes of creating a new beginning of religious freedom and tolerance within the Aegean region.
Hello Anatolia is a continuous journey of unveiling the historical richness of Smyrna and Asia Minor, while building a bridge between Greek and Turkish cultures on an international platform, all with the aim to enrich the cultural heritage through film and music. The following aims are:
- To document the historical neighborhoods of the city which bear the names of several songs in Rembetiko and Smyrneika.
- To document the historical Greek Orthodox liturgies which will be held in 2 of the city’s remaining Orthodox Churches of Smyrna (Agios Voukolos, Agios Haralambos) as well as the main church of Agia Fotini (originally a Dutch Chapel which has been given to the Greek community since 1981).
- To document the collaboration of amazing and talented Greek and Turkish musicians and singers.
- To document the entire concert performance and distribute it to international audiences
- To record the concert and distribute the music internationally online and on CD.
- To build ties between cultures and people with this project, which will act as the catalyst for many more events to come.
- All of these documentations will be presented on film, soundtrack, and a printed book.