the organization has asked me to exhibit a selection of the series "Faces in Stone".
There will be a selection from the older series, extended with 8 newer pictures from 2011/2012.
24th until 27th of July at The Grand Serai Hotel in Ioaninia / Greece.
Many of these pictures where made in cooperation with ethnologist dr. Kalliopi Stara,
and at the opening she will give an introduction of the project and her work in Zagoria.
Thanks All for coming, hope you had fun!
Here her introduction text of this exposition:
The people of the villages around Vikos gorge in Zagori are the protagonists of this exhibition. During the last 15 years they narrated us about their life stories and their relationship with their land "sketching" their own Zagori. From September 2006 to December 2011 we visited them again and again with the idea of their portraits in our minds. Those welcomed us and stood in front of the camera lens of André Bakker. This is the story of this photograph collection.
People in stone are our own people: Antigoni, Alexandra, Alkisti, Leni, Sapfo, Rodoklia, Aglaia, Kostas, Giannis, Agapios. And their land is virtually many small lands all handmade and sculptured by themselves and their stories. In their long interaction with a hard and difficult mountainous land people have managed to domesticate it and to transform it to a field of expression of their local culture.
The mountainous land, the landscape and the people who live there are today particularly vulnerable. Abandonment, depopulation, population ageing and a voracious vegetation as a result of abandonment that swallows past human creations transform their past paradise to a present jungle. A still more vulnerable intangible culture expressed as practices, representations, expressions, local knowledge, skills and values that are transmitted from generation to generation, according to the definition of UNESCO (2003), also changes rapidly along with the world it describes.
However, love for the place and the ancestral land continue to nourish these small communities, which are maintained alive because their people are returning to them every time the sound of the bell of the village church, the melody of the clarinet or the swish of the plane tree in their village square call them back. And their people respond and come upon those who insist choosing this place to live. To these people of Zagori, who insist to live out their lives on the margins of modernity we dedicate this exhibition