ANCIENT DIONYSIAN ACTIVISTS: ALTERED STATES AND SOCIAL PROTEST AT THE DAWN OF WESTERN CULTURE
During the Greek and Roman times what remained of European indigenous culture started to be assimilated into the beginning of “civilized” society and practices that once upon a time were part of many earlier cultures, became to be both very popular and very controversial. Techniques to induce altered states, like dancing to repetitive music, ingesting mind altering substance and others, were widespread among both elite and popular levels of society, first in Greece then in Rome, creating the first clashes between a way of seeing the world as “All One” and an increasingly militarized, hierarchical, misogynist and intolerant society.
In this talk Chiara will take the cult of Dionysus as an example of how people practicing rituals involving techniques to altered states of consciousness were very popular before the advent of Christianity, but at the same time were often confronted with criticism, persecution and repression.
Chiara is an independent researcher from Florence, Italy. She investigates the evolution of the ecstatic cult in the West, particularly in ancient Greece and Rome, contributing to anthologies, psychedelic conferences and festivals. She has been part of the curatorial team of Liminal Village since 2010 while she has also helped the setting up and curation of ConTent, the first cultural area in Fusion Festival, Germany in 2015 and 2016. Now she is back to the Liminal as part of the program team. She lives on the Costa Vicentina in Portugal where she often plays as DJ Clandestina.