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CODE NAME: DOWRY CONTRACT - A gesture for marriage bondage
Opening: 23-07-2019 22:00
Duration: 30'
Venue: Lazaros Koundouriotis Historical Mansion


A gesture for marriage bondage


The visual artist Margarita Petrova and the actress Danae Papoutsis meet in Hydra for ANIMART 2019 to present a performance and a video installation based on the exploration of the social, economic and historical backround of the island at the beginning of the last century.

The actress wears −for the second time− the veil of Penelope's Webs team and reads texts, known as ΠΡΟΙΚΟΣΥΜΦΩΝΑ (dowry contracts), which depict the social conditions of another era, the genealogical trees, their relatives, the linguistic idioms and the feelings of the marriaged couple at the beginning of its common life.

At the same time, a video (30') with local womens from Hydra island telling their own story will be screened.


Photography: Danae Papoutsi is portrayed by Margarita Petrova



A dowry is a transfer of parental property, gifts, or money at the marriage of a daughter. Dowry contracts with the related concepts of bride price and dower. While bride price or bride service is a payment by the groom or his family to the bride's parents, dowry is the wealth transferred from the bride's family to the groom or his family, ostensibly for the bride. Similarly, dower is the property settled on the bride herself, by the groom at the time of marriage, and which remains under her ownership and control. Dowry is an ancient custom, and its existence may well predate records of it. Dowries continue to be expected and demanded as a condition to accept a marriage proposal in some parts of the world, mainly in parts of Asia, Northern Africa and the Balkans. In some parts of the world, disputes related to dowry sometimes result in acts of violence against women, including killings and acid attacks. The custom of dowry is most common in cultures that are strongly patrilineal and that expect women to reside with or near their husband's family (patrilocality). Dowries have long histories in Europe, South Asia, Africa and other parts of the world.

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