On Saturday 3 December 2022, the VAST project was presented at the AIMS 2022 (Antiquity in Media Studies) annual international conference The Kaleidoscope of Antiquity: Shifting Perspectives on the Ancient Mediterranean World and Its Modern Receptions. Dr Aristotelis Nikolaidis represented the Athens Epidaurus Festival partner at the conference with the paper Televising Antigone? Understanding the Political Values of Ancient Greek Drama in a Contemporary Media Environment.
The paper focuses on the performance/case study of Antigone by Sophocles at the Athens Epidaurus Festival in July 2022, which was commissioned for the VAST project, and presented the main research results on the communication and the reception of its values. Data collection followed a mixed-methods approach that combined qualitative and quantitative research methods, addressing theatre artists, as value communicators, through semi-structured interviews, and audiences, as recipients of the communicated messages and final co-authors of meaning, through questionnaires.
The paper also reflects on Antigone as a prominent case study in adaptation, in that it maintained the textual structure of the original, but, at the same time, updated its content by setting it in a modern political context resembling a western parliamentary democracy, and in a television studio displaying large screens and transmitting the action in real time. The paper thus discussed the concomitant associations of meaning concerning democratic values and the contemporary interpolation of political power and media power.