A letter never published before


“I chose to do what I do and I managed to be a good mom, a good friend and a good business partner. I am OK with myself and I feel fine for that. What I have sacrificed, pros and cons, is an issue for review in the long run ahead”. 

By Tina Politi


It was in the end of 1988 and I had asked Aliki Vougiouklaki for an interview for Tahidromos. Aliki left for a tour and the interview did not take place. Thought she sent me a letter with various thoughts on the political regime back then, on theater, cinema, herself. The text you will read is placed as it was written, uncut and unedited; it was written by her, it is authentic and therefore very interesting. (In Greek there was the note that it was printed with her own spelling and syntax).


My dear Tina Politi hi,


I am writing to you from Evros, specifically from Didimoteiho. As you know I recently started a big tour all over Greece with the play Ligo Pio Noris, Ligo pio Meta, after a long winter and a long summer, this play seems not to have an end. I made up my mind for this tour due to my natural need for contact and because it’s my duty to come close to people, who cannot easily visit Athens and see the right plays.


The problem up here is the lack of theatre premises. What does the state do? We have a theater company eager to perform, so many people eager to watch quality performance, but we have a huge issue, that of the theatre premises. We literally “squeeze” our huge sets and all our costumes with great difficulty within inappropriate cinemas, many of which will be super markets and discos next year, since contemporary Greek Cinema is not that much of a success. So you ask me if I am tired. Of course I am tired, very tired, but each one has a choice to make. I have chosen to be tired and this is something that makes me feel complete. However the most annoying thing is doing nothing, not being useful. I will go on getting tired, offering people joy and laughter.


As for the big rich wedding, I grant my self as a great case of bride, so why try to be with someone irrelevant to my profession and have him asserting himself trying to fit to a “role”?


Why have someone in my life who will want to make reductions to what I have to offer? If I will get married again? Never! Noway! Maybe later, perhaps, we will see about that, the future will tell, yes, why not?


Of course I am watching our prime minister’s health problems, I got worried and I wished he be well. As a human being concerned for another human being, I felt joy that the surgery was successful and I wish he will take over his duties soon. With regard to his personal life, I find the way he made it known to the world generous and I wish he had been that much bold in his political life too.


The truth is that yes I was concerned and I still have doubts on the fact that the “political spring” we have been waiting for is not yet visible.


I am totally beyond any consideration upon that. I am not in general interested in belonging anywhere. Aliki is uncommitted to anything like that. What I had pointed out is that Mr Papandreou is a charismatic person and it was proved that I was right. Sometimes I think that if Mr Mitsotakis had made such an appearance “holding hands” people would have burnt him alive in Omonia and he would not have been saved even by the fountains there. 


I do not wish to participate in Politics. I have seen a lot… so many years now. Governments being elected and “gone”, promises that have not been kept, politicians who have “disappeared”. I am not that crazy to be a part of it, think of me losing a battle and get so disappointed for no reason at all. I am just perfect where I am. I am “elected” for thirty years now. I prefer that.


We actually do not take care of our political blocking, the pollution, our economy, which I would not grant as prosperous, the fires that literally “eat up” our forests, the economic crime, the complete luck of meritocracy, the 166 which until it comes 167 are dead, our hospitals, no comments on the subject(!), our education system, and many many more! So what political position are we talking about? Visiting so many small towns and bigger cities at the moment, I see only small groups of people dealing substantially with culture, all the others are indifferent. Mpouzouki, black economy, and nothing more, the only thing to see is a flag with which they participate to some political, march so as to “blow off steam” and that’s all.


In Athens on the other hand we have our festivals, we have Herodeio which all cosmopolitans attend and get photographed, and we brought so many groups, watched by 800 hundred people with invitations and then we have Epidauros with Peter Hall, and we have the same cosmopolitans there who rushed their way to see this as wel,l and the newspapers writing the same again again. No one else is really interested in these cosmopolitan-cultural things. They all seem somewhat pretentious, all to be consumed by these few celebrity privileged. Of course we have Greek Cinema Center which makes a use of the Greek Cinema. The truth is we have cinema productions; we do not have an audience. But because I hate to be nagging, I am glad we still have Minotis, Chatzidakis, Elitis, Tsarouhis and we have also Melina whom we love and are proud of her and we forgive her mistakes. We also have free theatre, which makes an effort without any state support, and we have a couple of academics who truly love theatre and some journalists who grant their work as vocation and all of these sporadic cases that struggle on a personal level and feature the cultural façade of this troublesome and “nationally proud” country.


No I never walk away from a play or a movie. It is an ethical issue for me. It would be strange not to appreciate my fellow actor, even if he/she is not justified by the result, since I am being in this business for so many years.

My dear Tina, I have been asked so many times on this issue. I really do not know what I’ve earned of lost. It’s a matter of choice, I chose to do what I do and I did a great job being a good mother, a good friend and a good business partner. I am OK with myself and I feel fine for that. What I have sacrificed, pros and cons, is an issue for review in the long run ahead.


No, not even if I have been tempted, on the last minute I usually scream Crucify her! Thought I prefer not to remember the crucifixions. I only want to remember the Resurrections and wait for them.


When I meet with my friend Minos Volanakis. I am trying to reach him. If you hear from him, please call me. I will be somewhere between Kastoria, Kozani, Larissa Volos, Veroia, Katerini, Patra, Herakleio…


Let the dream come true first and we will talk about it in our next interview.


My opinion about Volanakis is that he is unique, gifted, genius, huge talent, a smart man. On what grounds of culture are we referred to? Did you see what they are trying to do, all that bunch of ignorants? STNG (State Theatre of North Greece) is being leftwithout a director and in the city all that crap. Let me stop here because I think about it and my head spins…


Greek people are betrayed by their friends, their enemies, disillusioned by their leaders and they feel so disappointed that they try to make it on their own. That’s all!


Above all I am a hard working woman. I would have nothing to ask Aliki Vougiouklaki. All questions have been “consumed” by you, dear “colleagues”, Tina beloved.

Just before I left for this two months tour all over Greece, I caught a glimpse on a magazine, an issue of Eikones back in 1960 and its cover wrote about the phenomenon A.V. Well if I go on with this craziness till 2000 and if you still make covers of me at that time, then I will be a “phenomenon”, which will have to be included in the Guinness Records.


Always being modest, greetings


Aliki Vougiouklaki



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