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Hearing Voices by Marietta Kontogianni - Athens Jewelry Week

Hearing Voices by Marietta Kontogianni

Hearing Voices by Marietta Kontogianni


We live in a polyphonous era, the most polyphonous era ever. And I realized that during the quarantine time. Whereas all the streets of the other noisy countries of this planet were covered by a creepy silence, on the internet there was and still is so much noise! Whoever wanted to say something could do a Facebook live, an Instagram live, a video on youtube or Vimeo, a webinar on zoom just to be heard. Suddenly I felt surrounded by voices that kept talking all day long, voices that I chose to listen to, and others that popped-up and talking here and there and I was trying to find the button to stop them. But the question here it is: Are all the million voices out there, being heard? and by whom?

One Friday night in June 2020, a month after the lockdown because of the covid-19 outbreak and with a lot of countries still in quarantine, I attended a wonderful live concert on TV with love songs sung by one of the most famous greek female singers Dimitra Galani. While I was listening to her singing with her amazing voice and reading all the messages send to her online by people living not only in Greece but outside Greece as well, I asked myself why me and so many others out there we have chosen to stay up late that night and attend this concert. The answer I gave it was because this voice singing these songs was touching our hearts and calming our souls. I also asked myself which are the voices I usually choose to hear and why. The answer again was that I choose to hear the voices that make me feel good, they intrigue my mind, teach me new things, help me expand my knowledge, and open my mind. And I choose to hear these voices and not others because my choice is determined on one side by my mentality which is related to the family I was raised in, to the school I went to, to the education I received, to my overall culture. And on the other side is determined by my good or bad mood of the day.

When the late George Floyd was struggling his voice to be heard by this horrible police officer who had his knee on his neck whispering “ I cannot breath” he couldn’t make it. Because the policeman’s ears were plugged up by the racism. Because he has a racist mentality and his mood of that day was that he wanted to boost himself by showing his power over another human being. And that is why he chose to ignore Floyd’s voice. But let’s look at what happened afterward. While George Floyd’s voice wasn’t heard by the police officer, it was heard by millions of people out there who started protesting all over the world against violence and racism.

The same questions I could ask myself about the voices in the art world and specifically the voices in the contemporary jewelry field. Millions of artists during the quarantine and afterward have been raising their voices on social media. Others by organizing auctions on Instagram and on Facebook to raise money to support either the workers in the medical field, the nurses and the doctors, who give battles every day against the COVID-19, either the Black Lives Matter movement and the organizations dedicated to the fight against racism. Others, who gave interviews about their work, narrated their personal story related to jewelry and opened their studio’s door to the public supported by the galleries who represent them, in a desperate attempt to sell their artworks to a rich clientele that has not been so much affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. And others who had been invited to talk about their work by jewelry platforms who raise money for a good cause. But, among them, who were the voices that echoed in the public’s ears at the end of the day?

Talking on my part I would say that the answer is once again the same. They were the authentic voices. The voices that belong to artists with wisdom in life, a deep knowledge of, and love for their art, artists gifted with talent and skills that they painstakingly acquired through the years by hard work and dedication to their cause that helped them achieve a high-level in their field. And above all artists who have a connection with the cosmos around them that is reflected in their work whether I like their work or not. And the first artist that comes to my mind as an example is Wallace Chan who touched my heart deeply when I listened to him talking about his work on Gemflix, not only because of what he said about how dedicated is to his art like a monk meditating but also because he is a humble, kind and calm wise man who, at the age of 63, is still a young boy always curious about the things around him, asking questions, observing the insects and watching super-hero movies while playing with carving gemstones, always obsessed with new discoveries and inventions like the Wallace Chan porcelain and the Wallace Chan cut.

What I want to say is that not all the voices are being heard. And this hasn’t anything to do with whether the voice is whispering or speaking loud, is speaking for a few minutes or a couple of hours. Whether the voices will be heard or not has to do and depends on the listeners. The listeners will choose to hear them or not. And their choice will be based on one hand on their mentality and the other hand on their mood of the day. But it will be based also on the answers they will give themselves to the following questions: Who the voices belong to? What is that they are saying? Why are they saying it? How are they saying it? Why do they choose to say it now? Why do they want to be heard? Do I care? Do I have better things to do than hear these voices? Do I need a little bit of silence in my life and to hear only my own voice and the voices of my beloved ones?

So the conclusion I come to is that if we all raise our voices for a good cause, when we really have things to say, things that will touch people’s hearts or intrigue their minds, and not only to make more noise on the internet or to fulfill our personal ambitions and satisfy our ego, then I strongly believe that people will choose to hear us, that our voices will be heard and maybe some things will change for better in the world we all live in.


About Marietta Kontogianni

Marietta Kontogianni is a Greek journalist based in Athens, founder of JEWELRYbox Magazine on Facebook. She has been working as a journalist for more than 20 years collaborating with newspapers, magazines and TV channels.
Meanwhile, she has been creating fashion beaded jewelry herself.
When the newspaper she was working for since 1995 bankrupted, she decided to found the bilingual (Greek-English) FB JEWELRYbox Magazine to keep on working as a journalist, to network with the people involved in the jewelry world and to express her passion for jewelry.
Up to now, she has been interviewing the prominent and emerging Greek and international artists who show their work in Athens and abroad.
Furthermore, her JEWELRYbox Magazine has been a media sponsor of both Greek jewelry platforms: A Jewel Made in Greece and Athens Jewelry Week.
Her future plan is to have a website built to promote the Greek jewelry history.e-mail:kontogiannimar@yahoo.gr
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JEWELRYbox.magazine
Website and blog on Wix: kontogiannimar.wixsite.com/profile
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/mariettakontogianni/
Pinterest: gr.pinterest.com/jewelryboxmagazine/