Screen capture (awful, we know!) of Julia Jones from Flowers of Crete being interviewed on NEA TV about the need for conservation and education on the island. 

"At the end of my short piece," says Julia, "I made a plea that rubbish should not be thrown from cars, especially plastic frappe cups!"

The interview was part of a larger piece on the Sustainable Alternatives for Poverty Reduction and Ecological Justice (SAPREJ) conference and the work of the Academy and visiting delegates.

News photo-feature: beach clean up

Wildlife art from beach clean up, September 2012

The first art competition for the environment was held at the Academy in conjunction with the International Sustainable Alternatives for Poverty Reduction and Ecological Justice (SAPREJ) Conference. 

A call went out to all the local schools in the area and the response was quite amazing.  Over 120 entries were received and the winners were presented with certificates and prizes at the closing ceremony of the Conference.  Each child who submitted an entry received a T-shirt and the event was well covered by the local media.

Delegates from around the world turned up and gave a couple of hours of their time to help in gathering rubbish from the beach at Kolymbari.

In a period of around two hours a small group of delegates collected five sacks of rubbish from the beach below the Academy. 

At first glance this beach looked relatively clean, but we were all horrified at the amount of plastic and tin cans had been thrown or washed there. 

The challenge: to turn the rubbish collected from the beach into an art installation entitled 'Athanos' - 'immortal'. The Greeks call the America agave Athanatos.

First stage - already looking like an Agave.

Making a start.

Finished installation. During Saturday afternoon, delegates were invited to come and attach their chosen piece of rubbish to the Athanatos.  It proved to be a really interesting and amiable time, with many delegates giving up their 'beach' time to participate. 

The installation also provoked a great deal of thought and debate and everyone agreed that this should become a feature of future conferences.

Next year, it is hoped to make a call to artists to submit their own version of 'Athanatos' - 'everlasting' - the local name for the Agave americana, in whatever medium they choose.    

This was our original news item:

Wildlife art from beach clean up

With the Orthodox Academy of Crete and Jan-Willem Sneep, Chair of PlantaEuropa, Rosemary and I are working with local children around Kolymbari to clean up the beaches near the Academy. We are using the plastics collected from the beach to make an art installation entitled 'Athanos' - 'immortal'. The Greeks call the America agave Athanatos, so we are building an installation in the grounds of the Academy from retrieved plastics, which will represent this cactus-like plant, now well-known on Crete and established in many parts of the Mediterranean.

Free advertising slots on Nea TV are letting people in the area know about this event and we hope that the ripples we create will start to spread around Crete and help clear up our wonderful beaches.

Collection of plastic from the beach will take place on Saturday, 29th September, and then creating of the installation will take place on Sunday 30th September. The event will run alongside the International OAC Conference on Greed, Poverty and the Environment.

Julia Jones, 20 September 2012

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