[Creative Writing] Athene Was

In Athena is a digital curatorial project by Athens-based art director and designer Klaus Jürgen Schmidt. I was invited along 49 other creatives to contribute to a collective archive of reinterpretations of what the idea of goddess could be in present-day Athens. I contributed a series of short texts about the goddess Athena as described in the Iliad, and transcribed her attributes in contemporary terms. In Athena was presented during an event at the Greek Archaeologists Association in Athens on the 5th of May 2016; it will be published as a website in the future, and might also appear in print.


Athene jumped out of her father’s head like an idea; and although an idea is perhaps the only thing she ever was, let’s try to think of her as having a physical body, in which case there are some things we need to consider. To begin with, she was gestated inside a brain: her body came neither from the mucous membranes of the womb, nor did she feed from a placenta. Rather, she grew out of neurons and grey matter —she emerged from the mitosis of an immortal’s brain cells. This neural body of hers she then dresses with a metal exoskeleton (her armour) and deadly devices that have laser beams and shoot pulse waves (according to Homer at least). Despite her human appearance and plump, white forearms, Athene was a cyborg.