REAPPEARANCES| Places of origin as a foundation for the development of participatory models
location: Aristi, Zagori, Epirus
date: 17/08/2020 - 13/09/2020
tutors: Michalis Besiris, Kostas Tarnanas, Christos Tsekas, Pavlos Vichas
aegis: Region of Epirus, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO
co-organisers: Boulouki, Aristi Youth Foundation, TCG Epirus Department
sponsors: Ministry of Culture and Sports, local businesses, crowdfunding campaign, White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities, Municipality of Zagori
coordination: Faidon Moudopoulos - Athanasiou
collaboration: HSGME LITHOS Lab, Vassilis Ganiatsas (symposium moderator), Georgios Smyris (symposium moderator), Anna Zacharaki (workshop participants, communication and crowdfunding coordinator)
photography: Eleni Mitropoulou
‘Reappearances’ project was a combination of a practical workshop and a participatory restoration of an old cobbled pathway, important part of Aristi’s ‘kalderimi’ network, in Zagori region. The main goal of the workshop was to involve the local community in the appreciation and management of its own cultural landscape and public space. Through this process, we traced the potential of a cultural heritage management model based on active civil engagement. Placing the focus on local stakeholders, the program was targeted at the people of Aristi: those who permanently reside in the village, as well as those who originate from Aristi and the broader area of Zagori, but live in different places around Greece and abroad. Three young local apprentices and twenty volunteers worked under the guidance of four experienced stonemasons during four weeks in order to construct a sixty meter long pathway, around sixty five square meters of dry stone walls, along with a small public fountain. In the course of the restoration project, local collective memories over the historical use of the pathway were rejuvenated.
Another crucial part of the project was the one-day symposium on the cultural landscapes and the art of drystone knowledge, during which two round-table discussions were hosted; the first one regarding the use of local materials in the cultural landscapes and the second one regarding the legal framework of drystone craftsmanship. Representatives from academic and respected institutional bodies –including the Ministry of Culture– but also masons and local authorities, participated in the discussions, which concluded with issuing two decrees of multilateral understanding. The project was also framed with parallel activities, such as hiking along Voidomatis in the UNESCO global geopark of Vikos- Aoos, a cultural walk at the historic place where the Grambala Battle took place, a visit in the sacred forest of Ayia Paraskevi and documentaries screening.