Intercultural choirs that build a habitus of solidarity

In Mytilene, between the disputed borders and beliefs, the multiple invisible efforts of coexistence and solidarity, and the many choirs and theatrical groups, stand out some actions that are now intercultural and build a habitus of solidarity.

“Opera Babel” February – March 2017 (troupe of 50 people from 4 – 60 + years old, and different backgrounds) .. The show was inspired by the “Epic of Gilgamesh” but here it had a different ending: “Because very simply here in Lesvos , a new story is being written, in which refugees, locals, volunteers, children, amateurs and professional singers and musicians will meet on a stage to take us on a journey into a new world. The one in which we can all coexist harmoniously… ”

MAHABHARABBIT May 2018 (troupe of 60 people from 4 – 60 + years old, and different backgrounds). The performance took place immediately after the attacks of some residents against a gathering of refugees in Sappho Square. Named the Mahabharata, after the Indian epic Mahabarata, the modern flood of rubbish (corresponding to Noah’s Ark) and the term rabbit – a Magic Rabbit that gives the idea of ​​an balloon, “a balloon that does not work from air and fire but with good cooperation and solidarity “and proposes the idea of ​​recycling – processing.

14/5/2018 Excerpts from Maria’s interview with Christy at the 6th Experimental High School where the rehearsals of Cantalaloun take place:

“The idea started two summers ago at the festival in Tsamakia, where we were with Fred, Mariza, and Christina. It was a three-day event open to all with acrobatics, music, dancing, and tying naval knots. Because we liked it we said to continue and so next November we started with a meeting in Mosaic (see post) where we did the rehearsals in the beginning. We rely solely on our own resources and crowdfounding. Apart from cantalaloun, there is also polyfonica with young children. It’s nice because we all meet together. My children are with me and I really like doing something all together, because then, we take the songs home and the energy of joy is transferred there.

I like that here we meet people from different countries, different cultures, different ages and finally we unite singing and we see that we are not very different but we have something very common which is the love for singing. And this attitude towards communication and to get to know new cultures and their music is very important. The choir started with the joy and love of people who wanted to be together to sing, and this core brought others and is open to all who think the same way.

We try to unite all our voices together and let this new composition come out through this different voice creation (soprano, medium major). The body is important to us and that’s why we want not to be uniform and same, but to be different in colors. Being yourself comes out clearer. You sing and your soul comes out of you.

The choir went on the anti-fascist march because singing is a way to both protest and propose. That is, to suggest the joy and the fact that this system can change for the better. Because singing, music, dance and the arts generally unite us, rather than separate us. ”

From that day on, the songs of the choir floods the neighborhoods and squares of Lesvos and especially Sappho Square with its music, every time it deems it necessary. It is slowly building a habitus of solidarity and cooperation and inspiring other collectives.

Christy Petropoulou


Bourdieu P., 1972. Outline of a theory of practice; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wacquant L., 2016. A concise genealogy and anatomy of habitus The Sociological Review, Vol. 64, 64–72.

Petropoulou C., 2019. Can the poetic of commoning change the habitus? Reflexions from Lesvos with a Latin American perspective of urban – regional social movements. In : Gouvias D., Petropoulou C., Tsavdaroglou C., 2019. Contested Borderscapes.Transnational Geographies vis-à-vis Fortress Europe. Invisibles Cities, pp.125-138.

Φρατζή Δ.,2018.

Παπανικολάου Ν., 2017  

Συναυλία 2/11/2019

Photos by: Christy Petropoulou