A few words about Mikis Theodorakis

Nikos Marketos, Psychiatrist-systemic psychotherapist

 

From the day Mikis Theodorakis died, he became the conductor of an unprecedented phenomenon. Thousands of people, bursting with emotion, swarmed the streets of cities and villages, pulsing with the harmony of his music. Those who fought for a better society, together with those who were content with society as it is and defended it. In a hug, all the generations—those who grew up with Mikis, those who met him along the road, and those who have only recently found him.

Mikis’ conception of existence and of the world was a passionate one. Inspired by heroic struggles and inspiring them also, he was brought up in the atmosphere of the democratic and social movement for national freedom, and the unbearable grief of a generation, who experienced the obliteration of all its dreams for freedom and prosperity and became mired into civil war.

His life work, born of his times -the bloody and magnificent history of the 20th century – is an indissoluble continuum including discourse, social struggles, artistic creation and expression.

Weber observed that charisma emerges and exists in relation to a collectivity and especially in crisis. It emerges mainly in circumstances where virtue is at stake. Like many charismatic “Saints”, he was politically engaged, guided by a profound need to abolish injustice, but also a need – to a degree of obsession – to unite the opposing parties.

His music -the medium he chose to express his vision for society and civilization- belongs to the genre of music whose narrative permeates the whole multiplicity of life and can unite us in hymns and litanies (Apollonian element) or strengthen our sense of “belonging” and our bond with nature, in dance and rhythm (Dionysian element), or remind us of our mortality and longing (Orphic element).

Mikis is the agent and conductor of the great imperious, orgiastic, erotic and rebellious popular festival of freedom. The festival in which the universal spirit, for the rebirth and renewal of the world is forged and during which life is subject only to the laws of freedom and ideals, as Alekos Alavanos writes, referring to Bakhtin in his article «Five Thoughts on Politics» regarding the “Book of a Psychiatrist”.

His work, its importance for history and the people, transcend the person and his conscious choices. By dint of Mikis -as a receiver of the vibrations of his time- heroisms and defeats were transformed into an artistic work that is now, in its own right, the epic of the Greek people of modern times.

 

References

Alekos Alavanos, Five Thoughts on Politics based on the Book of a Psychiatrist, Systemic Thinking & Psychotherapy Issue 11, November 2017.

Weber M. Se: “About charisma and institution building.” Eisenstad SN, author. Chicago: Yale University Press 1977.

Μίμης Ανδρουλάκης  Σαλός Θεού, Ο Μυστικός Μίκης, Εκδόσεις Πατάκη, 2017