Reappearances : New kalderimi in Artsista, Zagori (NW Greece)

Places of origin as a foundation for the development of participatory models in the heritage management of cultural landscapes.

“Reappearances” in Artsista Zagori

Boulouki and the Aristi Youth Foundation are co-organising the First Participatory Stone Masonry Workshop to take place in Aristi (west Zagori), between August 24th and September 13th, 2020. We invite all the people from Aristi, both residing in Greece and abroad, to participate. This workshop targets primarily people with origins from Aristi and the wider Zagori region, independently of their professional expertise, to build a new kalderimi (cobbled pathway) in the village, under the guidance of three experienced craftsmen (tutors).

Work

Our objective is to reconstruct a cobbled pathway (kalderimi)  60 meters long, connecting the village square to the neighbourhood (mahalla) of Ayos-Athanasios. Although, the path facilitates pedestrian movement around the settlement, today it is almost forgotten and only afew remaining  permanent inhabitants and visitors use it today.

 

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Aristi Zagori, survey and design proposal site plan of the pathway where the workshop 'Reappearences' will take place

Reappearances

One  main goal of the workshop is to involve the community in the appreciation and management of its own cultural landscape, andpublic space. Through this process, we want to stress the potential of a more active civil engagement cultural heritage management.

Placing the focus on local stakeholders, the program is targeting the people of Aristi: those who permanently reside in the village, as well as those who originate from Aristi but live in different places around Greece and abroad. Also, to those who live or have a direct connection to the broader area of Zagori. Priority to attend the workshop will be given to all the above, with the most important criterion being the connection to Aristi, without excluding the possibility for participants who do not meet the above criteria.

With the title “Reappearances” we express our work as a team with a focus on local participants, making aspects of the Aristi cultural heritage reappear in the surface of a, now, touristified and redefined place.

Workshop

The duration of the workshop is three (3) weeks. Applicants may apply for one, two or three weeks. More specifically:

1st week: 24 - 30/08  |  2nd week: 31/08 - 06/09  |  3rd week: 07 - 13/09

 

The work will be taking place every day, Monday to Friday, strictly from 8:00 to 16:00, with one large coffee/snack break, while attending the weekend events is optional

The call targets a maximum number of ten (10) participants per week. Therefore, for the whole duration of the workshop the maximum participants number is thirty (30) and the minimum ten (10). As mentioned previously, priority will be given to those who originate from (or reside in) Aristi. The invitation is open to everyone interested in learning about traditional stone-masonry, with no previous experience required. There are no participation fees. Tuition, accommodation (private camping, with provided tent, sleeping gear, WC, Showers and Wi-Fi), a snack during the field work and a full meal per day, workshop materials and tools, emergency health insurance are offered to each participant.

 

The workshop is monitored and taught by three (3) tutor-craftsmen supported by a team of three (3) apprentices. Two of them come from the team of the nine (9) apprentices, which were trained during the educational program Kalderimi X2[1]. One place is announced for the third apprentice mason, a permanent resident of Zagori.

To the apprentices we offer accommodation in Aristi, half-board (snack and one warm meal), as well as a compensation of 35 euros/ day (total of 700 euros net for 20 days of apprenticeship, 17 August 2020 - 13 September 2020).

Selection criteria for the apprentice mason:

· LOCALITY. The call is for masons who reside permanently within the Zagori Municipality, and priority will be given to candidates from Aristi.

· LEVEL OF ENGAGEMENT &  MOTIVATION FOR PARTICIPATION. The apprenticeship is targeting professional craftsmen/-women who are already involved in the construction field.

· EXPERIENCE. The working experience in stone structures, previous experience with traditional building techniques and participation in other workshops and similar activities will be taken into consideration.

· AGE. The call is for candidates under the age of 45 years.

[1] The educational program Kalderimi X2 took place between September - October 2019 in Plaka, Tzoumerka, and received the aegis of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports. 

Aristi Zagori, view of the preserved authentic cobbled pathway where the workshop 'Reappearences' will take place

Collaborations

Boulouki and the Aristi Youth Foundations have esteemed collaborators in this project: the University of Sheffield; the Department of Architectural Engineering of the University of Ioannina and the Metsovion Interdisciplinary Research Centre of NTUA. Students from the three institutions will undertake research projects related to:

1) Heritage management and ethnography.

2) Documentation, mapping and spatial analysis of the settlement’s pathway network.

3) Mapping and survey of local quarries, with the aim to propose a model for their sustainable reuse.

 

Parallel Activities

During the weekends of the workshop parallel activities will take place which are open to the public:

 

29-30 /09 | Hiking from the Aristi bridge to the bridge of Kleidonia.We will pass by the Upper Palaeolithic rockshelter of Klithi and the monastery of Ayioi Anargyroi. Screening of Zagori-related documentaries - free entrance.

05-06 /09 | One day symposium on the cultural landscape of Zagori.a) Morning session: presentations of the progress of the research conducted by the collaborating students. b) Afternoon roundtable on the legal framework regarding interventions within the public space of traditional settlements, focusing on the cobbled pathways. The event is open to the public with free entrance. 

 

12-13 /09 | Cultural walk at the historic place where the Grambala Battle took place, celebrating the 80 year anniversary (1940). We will be visiting the 40s pillboxes, the monument of the deceased Italian soldiers and the sacred forest of Ayia Paraskevi.

 

Dialogue

In March 2018, the Aristi Youth Foundation invited Boulouki with the support of the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities [2], in an effort to interpret and document the pathway network of the settlement. Since then, Boulouki returned in August 2019 and January 2020 [3] on the occasion of presentations and open discussions with the local community of Aristi, to cultivate an environment of collaboration and trust, necessary for the proposed initiative. During those first two gatherings we informed the community about the progress of our research and we discussed the idea for such a workshop. More importantly, the locals were given the opportunity to express their own thoughts and opinions, in front of representatives of the local authorities and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.

 

Furthermore, our initiative ties with the preparations of the nomination file for Zagori to become the first Greek  cultural landscape inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. These circumstances are a great opportunity for administrative bodies to meet with the communities on a bottom up perspective. The presentation of our project on January 2020 at the Aristi Mountain Resort, presents one such case.

[2]More in the 2018/2019 annual report pp. 39-40

[3] Video from the presentation-discussion of 'Reappearances' in Artista on 12-01-2020

Artsista (former name of Aristi)

Aristi offers a fertile ground for discussions related to the whole of Zagori because:

The landscape of Aristi, along with a number of other traditional settlements in Epirus, is in a state of parallel protection and threat due to the pressures related to the touristic growth. The gradual degradation of the cultural landscape, apparent on the traditional infrastructures [e.g. cobbled pathways, dry-stone walls and terraces or the buildings and the architectural morphologies] is occurring simultaneously to the developing demand for its protection and its promotion as one of the main “products” for touristic development. This sharp contrast is identifiable in most of the traditional settlements.

Additionally, the lack of knowledge concerning specific characteristics of traditional building, the absence of legislative measures tailored for each place, and the almost complete extinction of traditional craftsmanship, exist in parallel with the idealisation of tradition, the promotion of the discussion about local identities and the idealization of the old craftsmen.  Aristi comprises an exemplary illustration of this contradiction, which pretty much characterises the broader region of Zagori, Epirus, and Greece.

The complete abandonment of the rural settlements, as it occurred during the 20th century,  the gradual withdrawal of the remaining community and the absence of active civic involvement in the stewardship of public space and cultural heritage, occurs simultaneously with the promotion of these places as retreats.

Aristi Zagori, view of the path where the workshop 'Reappearences' will take place

However, we should acknowledge that reappearances occur periodically, during Christmas, Easter and every summer. They reveal the potential of the place to accommodate various generations of people. In other words, behind these “reappearances” one can detect a different but persisting interest for the places of origins. Since we have come across such an observation, how can we develop it so that more labor can accumulate again in the rural settlements, even for a couple of weeks?

The educational program “Reappearances: A new Kalderimi in Artsista Zagori”, which is co-organised by Boulouki and the Aristi Youth Foundation, is inviting locals to escape a nostalgic narrative of their homeland, as a place belonging only to the past, reflected today only in terms of holidays, to dynamic action. It is an effort to deepen our understanding about the prospect of engaging with participatory models of heritage management. An investigation of new “reappearances”, periodical but persistent, in order to argue for an active engagement with our places of origins.

In Short:

Co-organizers: Boulouki, Aristi Youth Foundation

Aegis: Region of Epirus

Support: Municipality of Zagori

Collaboration: University of Sheffield, University of Ioannina, Metsovion Interdisciplinary Research Center

Coordination: Faidon Moudopoulos - Athanasiou

 

Workshop: 24 August -13 September 2020

- Criteria: locality (priority to those who originate from (or reside in) Aristi)

- Free Participation

- Accommodation (private camping) and half-board (snack and one main meal) are offered

- Site Work: Monday - Friday, 08.00 - 16.00

- Parallel cultural activities: Saturday and Sunday

- Apply for (1) to (3) weeks until 30th June 2020

Apprenticeship: 17 August – 13 September 2020

- Criteria: locality (resident citizen of Zagori), motivation for participation, experience, age (under 45 years old)

- Compensation: 35 euros/day of work

- Accommodation and half-board (snack and one main meal) are offered

- Site Work: Monday - Friday, 08.00 - 16.00

- Parallel cultural activities: Saturday and Sunday

- Apply until 30th June 2020