Christina Kyriazidi, an actress and playwright originally from Greece, has lived in a total of 7 countries. After coming to Berlin for a 3-weeks workshop, 11 years ago, she was enchanted by the city and decided to make it her home. She believes, “There are places that you are meant to be, travels that change your life” and Berlin was that place for her. While here, she developed an initiative to keep stories from all over the world alive. Get to know our July Berlinerin of the Month and learn about her inspiring initiative:
What current project are you working on?
18 months ago, I started in Berlin the initiative STORY FOR FOOD. It is a social art project that proposes an alternative economy based on stories. We record undocumented stories of people, all the stories that otherwise would get lost. Every time you record a story to our archive, you participate to the Story Economy, which means that you get a free drink or a reduced ticket at a Story Economy partner coffee shop or cinema. We also organise acoustic cinema nights and a series of events where stories are “translated” into food, art, music and songs.
What inspired you to begin Story for Food?
I wanted to initiate a social project and it came to me that I need to start from what I love most: stories. I am passionate about stories. I have spent half of my life in the theatre, either acting or writing plays. And my childhood was very imaginative too. One day I wondered: What happens to the memories of our youth, to all the stories that made us? Do stories have a life on their own, could they travel through different bodies and change other people’s lives? I thought I could start recording people telling their stories and create an audio archive with all the stories we don’t care enough to put down on paper, all the everyday wisdom and experiences which are getting lost. Then my initial idea was to build a coffee shop, where people record their stories and consume for free, while others come to listen to stories of strangers through headphones, That is why I named the project : Story For Food.
What do you have in the works for 2018?
We are currently running a Crowdfunding Campaign with the STORY FOR FOOD project. Our next step is creating a Story Radio show, broadcasting stories from our audio archive, as well as live interviews, where our guests shall spotlight the phenomenon ´stories´ from different perspectives.
One day I wondered: What happens to the memories of our youth, to all the stories that made us? Do stories have a life on their own, could they travel through different bodies and change other people’s lives?
If you could change one thing about Berlin what would it be?
I love Berlin as it is… chaotic and noisy, but also green and calm at the same time inspiring and multicultural – a unique melting pot. If I could change one thing about Berlin, it would be definitely the weather – I would add more sunny days and some seaside, if it’s not asking too much 😉
What do you do when you need some inspiration?
I shut down. I am generally very social and almost never at home. I love being around people, meeting friends, telling or listening to stories. But when I need inspiration, I simply stay at home and “do nothing” for a couple of hours. Then all the answers come effortlessly and inspiration flows.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
“Stop worrying. Trust life. Be grateful for everything and look for the hidden gift behind every obstacle.” I always repeat that to myself before every new decision, at any challenge and impediment. It helps me to question life less and enjoy it more.