STA caught up with Margarita Georgiadis about the opening of her new exhibition The Dance of Zolongo as part of the 39th Greek Festival in Sydney.

As the 39th Greek Festival of Sydney is commemorating 200 years of the Greek War of Independence, I am honoured to have been invited by the festival committee, alongside artist Phillip George, to produce artworks based on this theme. Researching historical events for this project, I was immediately inspired by the story of the Dance of Zalongo, a story my father used to tell my sisters and I when we were children.

During the Souliote War in December 1803, the Souliotes began evacuating Souli after their defeat by the forces of the Ottoman ruler, Ali Pasha. It was during this evacuation, a group of around 60 Souliot women and their children were trapped by Ali’s troops in the mountains of Zalongo. In order to avoid enslavement, rape, and murder, the women threw their children first and then themselves off a steep cliff. According to legend, they jumped off the precipice one after the other while singing and dancing.

The virtual exhibition is available to experience online. 

Download a copy of The Apotheosis Exhibition Catalogue (16MB) 

Sales enquiries to the Greek Festival of Sydney Director, Pamela Proestos at or (02) 9750 0440

Visit Margarita’s website or follow her on instagram. 

This project was supported by an STA MicroGrant and the 39th Annual Greek Festival Sydney. 
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