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‘Before, Now, After’ is an interdisciplinary project bringing together contemporary dance, traditional live music, oral history, documentary film and photography. Through a contemporary journey on the island of Leros, unveiling the hidden histories of locals with Asian Minor heritage, the project creates movement while focusing on the mee8ng with ‘the other’ body: that of the local popula8on, the co-creator, the place, the objects. We explore the excava8on of the past as an opportunity to listen through the body and meet with opinions and events of another era. A chance to converse through art with the local community, to mobilize different ways to relate to our history and to explore the collec8ve undertaking of shaping our future.

DOCUMENTARY: Every person is a universe. Our camera can capture the faces of our Heroes, but until it had captured their souls I knew we wouldn't be able to have a film. Generations of people and generations of places on parallel pathways, shaped by History or chance, and sometimes even changing their course. The documentary 'Before, Now, After' brings to light unknown stories of today's Lerians, that come from generations of refugees from Asia Minor. In this ever-constricting world, each one of us needs the other. We must seek the humanity wherever it can be found.

Direction: Xenia Tsilochristou
Screenplay: Xenia Tsilochristou
Story & Research: Polen Kolia Petersen, Chloe Aligianni Choreography - Performance: Chloe Aligianni, Polena Kolia Petersen

Assistant director - B Camera : Alex Rummler
Assistant director of photography: Alex Rummler, George Kalkanidis

Music: Chloe Aligianni
Narration, Texts, Translation: Polena Kolia Petersen
Director of Photography: Xenia Tsilochristou
Editing: Xenia Tsilochristou
Drone Operator: Daniel Covadlo
Thanks to Rezarte for creating part of the costumes for the film

Graphic design: Aron Vizy

PERFORMANCE: We come to this world through movement. We begin moving before we even see the light of day and keep moving until we depart from this world. Movement is our dawning. It is simultaneously our continuation and our only possibility to connect with the Other and with that which is different from us. The act of unveiling traces of the Asian Minor history of Leros, the people of the past and their descendants, ‘moved’ us. Through this dance performance 'Before, Now, After' we are able to share with you our encounters with the people of Leros with Asian Minor history. We set in motion the stories that took us on a journey, through our own medium, dance and choreography, and of course through music that fused with elements of Greek folk tradition, bridges the ethereal and suspended now of contemporary dance with our roots. We are moving with the hope that this encounter will lay the foundations for a tomorrow grounded in togetherness, in our shared experience and our dreams. Through the eternal circularity of time and the fleeting - yet full of meaning - meeting of bodies in space and time.

Concept - Research: Polena Kolia Petersen, Chloe Aligianni

Choreography - Performance: Polena Kolia Petersen, Chloe Aligianni

Music: Antonis Ntallaris
Musicians: Antonis Ntallaris, Grigoris Paraponiaris, Giannis Tsiftis Video: Xenia Tsilochristou
Graphic design: Aron Vizy
Thanks to Rezarte for creating part of the costumes for the performance.

The following pieces of music are heard during the performance: ‘Apo Xeno Topo ki Apo Alargino’ (traditional song from Asia Minor), ‘Instrumental Zeibekiko’ - Iordanis Tsomidis alongside original compositions by Antonis Ntallaris.

PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION: Photographic portraits of the people who opened their homes and passed on stories about the Asian Minor heritage of their families and friends.

photoreportage by George Kalkanidis

QR CODES: Wander with us on the island of Leros and the local Asian Minor history. Discover the 4 QR codes in the above locations, scan with your mobile phone, and indulge in an immersive experience, traveling back in time through true stories of Asian Minor refugees, as they were passed down to us by their living descendants.


Concept, texts, narration, sound: Chloe Aligianni & Polena Kolia Petersen

visit Leros island to listen to the stories hidden behind the QR codes and explore the historic sites.

more about Leros

more about the project


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presented at:

Leros Island, 2022

(Archeological Museum,  Lakki Cinema, Leros Primary School)

International Documentary Festival of Ierapetra (Crete)



1. Ag. Kioura (entrance)

2. Partheni (airport)

3. Panteli (fountains at the dock)

4. Lakki (old market)

*for a well rounded experience, use of headphones is recommended

The production took place within the framework of the 2022 program, of the "All of Greece One Culture" institution by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, as well as a creation grant from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports for the first stage of creation. The project is also supported by the Municipality of Leros, the cultural and educational association Artemis, the Asian Minor Association of Leros, the Center for Asian Minor Studies and with the sponsorship of Blue Star Ferries.

We kindly thank the Municipality of Leros for the technical support, Eleni Kefalogianni at the Archaeological Museum of Leros as well as Alexandros Antonopoulos, Antonis Androulakakis and the anonymous sponsors of the project. Finally, we thank all the people and families who opened their homes and hearts for the research and filming process, as well as all the Lerians who welcomed us to the island.

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