Having already experienced great success in Alexandria, New York, California, Turkey, Malta, Italy and Greece, the US-based non-profit organization The Readers of Homer, under the direction of Founder Dr. Kathryn Hohlwein and of Yannis Simonides, in collaboration with the ‘Maria Tsakos’ Foundation in Montevideo, under the direction of Ms. Margarita Larriera, set sail for South America for the purpose a unique cultural event in Montevido, Uruguay, whereby more than 15.000 people participated in a series of cultural and educational events dedicated to Homer, entitled “JORNADAS HOMERICAS” (Days of Homer).
The events were centered on two marathon reading and singing renditions of the Odyssey and the Iliad, executed by about 500 Uruguayan children, students and other participants of all ages and backgrounds. About 20 readers per hour read/sang passages of 30-40 lines in ancient and Modern Greek, Spanish, English or any language of their choice. The marathon readings took place in the Paraninfo Hall of the University of the Republic of Uruguay in Montevideo.
Amongst dozens of representatives from the political and diplomatic sphere, as well as from the arts and letters from Europe, the USA and Latin America were the renowned Uruguayan author, Eduardo Galeano.
Furthermore, several parallel events related to Homer’s took place in Montevideo including: educational seminars led by leading Hellenists of Latin America, round table discussions about the immediacy and diachronic value of Homer, a student fine arts competition entitled Homer: Myth and Reality, and theatrical performances of the tragedies Oresteia and Electra performed by drama schools of Montevideo.
The JORNADAS HOMERICAS were concluded on Saturday May 22nd, with a public reading of segments from the 20th century masterpiece Odyssey by Nikos Kazantzakis in Greek, Spanish and English. This event was accompanied by University of the Republic Choir presenting the work Dizionario Greco by Czech composer Petr Eben, under the direction of Belgian conductor Johan Duijck.