May 102013

During the 80s, Paola Revenioti, transgender artist and prostitute, published the trans-anarchist fanzine To caw.

Financed by money which he derived as a prostitute, the magazine caw pioneered the struggle for the rights of gay and trans, combining the pages of interviews of Greek poets and intellectuals, interviewing various small-rogue of the Athenian streets, and photographs of her life itself Paola - images that have been compared to the work of Larry Clark and Walter Pfeiffer.

Today continues the artistic career and activism, the documentary turns in Athens, 'The PaolaProjects'. The following interview is from the May issue of the magazine Dazed & Confused.


"I was born in 1959 in Piraeus-historical place. Captains and merchants from the Aegean islands, grouped around the major port, with its neoclassical houses, while on the other side of the city was the Troube, the neighborhood with the cabaret, old prostitution, and movies that played porn movies after sunset. The U.S. Navy was anchored off the coast. My father worked in a factory and my mother was a hairdresser. "

"Do you remember the Tadzio, from 'Death in Venice'? So just looked like then, my long blonde hair. The boys of Piraeus was not soft like the Athenians. They knew how to seduce .. "

"I remember my grandmother showing me a piece of land, one summer, and he says:" What a day it will be yours "-a small courtyard, not anything, but in my own eyes seemed forest. For my father's family, however, was a legacy that did not deserve. I was a "sister"-great shame for them. I wanted to live freely and to escape from this family environment, so I enlisted in the Navy.

"I never had the chance of a proper education, but in my life I met extraordinary people, and educate them."


"In my 20's I moved to Eksarxia in Athens. Exarheia was then an oasis of poets, painters, musicians and intellectuals. A truly revolutionary neighborhood. Most of those whom I knew, eventually became famous. We wanted to change the world. I began to deal more formally with politics - as the first transsexual candidate with Alternative Ecologist Party. My views were basically anti-authoritarian and flirted with anarchy. We did squats universities, demonstrations and marches. "

"I started my own pirate radio in Eksarxia with money from my work as a prostitute. I started work at 9:00 p.m. and by 11 had about 25 guests, which translates financially to be "running" the station from midnight until 5am. "

"I always played hard with the police. I was arrested twice for the station - the first time a chance to hide the equipment in some communist neighbors. All Athens listened to 'crazy Paola. " By taking phone posits philosophical debates in the air, up and arranges a blind date. Me evicted from my apartment every evening frequented there dozens of boys, making noise. "

"I started my magazine, The caw, because there was a strong need to be heard a different voice. It was wild times then: the police arresting the tranny for fun. When it is illegal to be yourself, you have no other option than to fight back. Published reports of police brutality and violence - remember there was internet back then. "


"He was conservative seasons .. People were shouting things in the way like "slut", "scum", "Antichrist" ... I want to guide people who were afraid of sexuality and values, to create something fresh and revolutionary. "

"I collected articles, pay friends to write, or to translate, I spent hours and hours setting up it, blackening my fingers, copying and cutting."

"I remember one issue has sold out in one day. It was like a movie action: unique'd interviewed intellectuals, and combines them with artists, and photographs of young boys being pulled across Greece. I once had to gather signatures for the case of a killer who not accused of the crime, but the fact that he was gay. Many journalists and politicians then helped in my campaign. "

"The caw was not easy to finance. Pseftoaktivistes who pretended to be friends, never helped when fans started to sue against Crown - crawling for four years in the courts for the caw for silly reasons like nudity or profanity. "

"And it was not easy to have ads and content of the magazine. Prostitution was the only way. Even though I never saw the pavement like a job, but more like a challenge, an attitude, or even a way to have fun. "

"Hunting cultural figures to support me. But the truth is that it manages to publish falling with his face in the dark and spending nights in a cheerful but tough road. "


"I remember an incident with a policeman: Wait for any customer and a man? With casual clothes asked me to take me in his car. I refused - not instinctively liked him. Try, then, to violently force me to go inside. I started screaming and my friend Buba came from the corner. We started the varame, pulling our hair, slapped our faces.

A priest came to help the man, and took us to the police station. Throughout the night, the police insulted us and our spat: "So you are the oats that tried to spanked our colleague and the officer." So we found a metal cap Coca-Cola and scratched hands and neck, and extortion that if you will not let us go, we blame them for torture. "

"I never thought I wrote down my city. I lived my city. Wild. I wish then I could have imagined my future as an artist. The first camera I was a Soviet brand called Zenit. I had gotten a bargain. Later, I met a junkie who sold me a - probably stolen - Nikon F20 for 50 dollars. "

"Photographed these ordinary, but sexy boys spend their time with me. Apart from the erotic images, were in the magazine and policies. Photos through the courts, where a friend or someone who was my lover anarchist on trial, photographs police knew beaten tranny photos of the first organized political movements for gay and trans rights. "


"I wanted to force the public to hear, and to change his views. Today, social media play a large role in the protests. Then we only had the nerves and not sacrifice our freedom. "

"The first attempt to organize in Athens Gay Pride 80s was a failure. No one came.

Homosexuals were afraid to shout out loud what it is. Reorganize Gay Pride after 1990. Then there was a vaunted organization. It was more like Dionysian festivals. Came many people: aristocrats, soldiers who knew me well, straight.

Naturally, everyone jumped behind the bushes. The party took place in the Athenian woods, known as «cruising parks». I took to the streets with a bucket of glue and glue the posters myself, on every wall, "Miss Paula presents."


Today, the economic crisis means that I'm afraid to count my money. Previously, escaped spontaneously from the city, was cooking for friends. We used to share because we had a lot, because we now share a few. I'm not optimistic, but I know that usually when times are dark, arts explodes.

By Paola Project do small films on immigration policy, or even about male prostitution in Athens. Travel long distances damaged my car, paying the outrageous price of gasoline, but at least now see my videos even in Uganda, where homophobia is a problem.

I film on Ancient Greek History why the Golden Dawn - the Greek neo-fascist party-uses it as its interests, like some kind of sick branding.

Sometimes I'm afraid - I live next to their desks. But I am ashamed for these modern Nazis, who are probably uneducated psychopaths with erection problems.

Our politicians today use fear and immigrants as scapegoats, without finding a solution to this economic crisis.

I am 54 years old and I live my life to the extreme. But now looking at my old photos I find them nostalgic, in a sweet way. Some have died, others have family now ..

Time changes us all. I feel satiated with love, sex, and experience. If I could I have my own house, I would be the happiest man in the world. "

"The Greek transgender activist who broke sexual taboos" | READER'S DIGEST | LiFO

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