Despina Giavara

Interview: Avgi Kalogianni | Photo: Nikos Zappas

My library is my paradise

Despina Giavara is an actress and the owner of Brazil port bar in Pisso Livadi. Nowadays more and more artists are turning to the creation of a space whose objective is to combine both the artistic activity with the banquet and hospitality.

With the experience of nine years in “Brazil” in Pisso Livadi, what do you think lies behind this desire?
We invent ways to combine artistic expression to entrepreneurship. These spaces are ideal to stage art exhibitions, photography expos, theatrical performances, music concerts, poetry recital… So automatically one creates “art episodes”. The positive aspect is that in a bar usually one meets people in a cheerful mood, ready to contribute to cultural dialogue.

Those who know you personally know about the love you have for books. What is the one that touches you the most?
My library is my paradise. It would be unfair to all the rest to pick just one book. But I can tell you what the one I reread more often is: “Hamlet” by Shakespeare.

In Hamlet the restoration of justice the hero seeks, is almost of the same nature as the kind of justice Orestes fights for. The ideal of justice, is it an instinct or a social conquest of man?
Feeling. Value. Possession. However, the issue with justice is that it is not something tangible. Something that is implied. When two people have a disagreement, each one believes he is right. You need to get over yourself, in order to get into each other’s position to discern what is right. And finally, justice is a matter of ethics. One needs to practice all the time, to review, to criticize, to reshape one’s ethics in order to be fair. And therefore, I believe this is why writers put their heroes to fight so hard to restore justice.

Crisis. Why did we come to this point and what do you think needs to be done?
Man is a spiritual being with material substance. We only deal with the matter and we have forgotten our true nature. Shift is what is needed. And one more thing. We should not expect things to change themselves or to be changed by someone else (the government, the fate…). Each one on their own must do the best they can every day. Nikos Kazantzakis wrote: ”Love responsibility. Say I, on my own will save the world. If lost, I’ll be the one to blame.”

You meet every summer people who visit Paros from every corner of the earth. How do you feel as a Greek hostess and what would you like your visitors to take back in the luggage of their memories?
I feel very grateful that I can be in this position and meet so many interesting people from different cultures around the world. Because the more you meet different people, the more you realize that we all share common concerns and expectations. As for what I would like them to take back, there is only one thing: the Greek ”Light”.

Summer 2015