This is my sanatorium for the spirit. Room 11, at Wannsee, a residence for writers in the outskirts of Berlin. It is called Literarisches Colloquium Berlin (www.lcb.de) and it provides the kind of deep silence that you need when you havn't written anything for a long time and you want to be sure that you are able to write again. I came here with a crime story I was dragging around for months and like all the great mysteries it was resolved as soon as I could think. I closed the door and called Room 11, "A Room of My Own". And the lock! How important the lock! It "means the power to think for oneself", as V. Woolf put it. So here I am, looking at the Wannsee lake as a soul landscape. It reflects the immense fear in front of the white page. And it reminds me of all the old german fairy tales that involve a lake, some trees and the lights of a house hidden in the dark. I guess this is the reason all the residencies for writers are placed deep in the woods, or near the water. To give a sense of shelter from which we can look at the terrifying things we carry inside. Memories of other similar places come to mind; I remember the three months I spent once at the Chateau de La Napoule (www.chateau-lanapoule.com), a roman castle in the South of France, for european and american artists. Or Blue Mountain Center (www.bluemountaincenter.org) in Albany, by the lake again. Edward Albee Foundation (www.albeefoundation.org) at Montauk, by the Ocean, with that Lighthouse, two miles away from the Barn. And lovely Djerassi(www.djerassi.org), at California, with its immense sculpture forest. All the places I've been to write, close at home or far away, were one, because of their symbolic value. They were, like Room 11, places with a view within.
Causes Amanda Michalopoulou Supports
WWF, Amnesty International, To Hamogelo tou Paidiou (greek nonprofit organisation for children)