On Thursday, April 6 2023, MedINA participated in the “Photography and Environment” speech event, which main topic was the elements of the Greek landscape.
The event took place in the context of the 8th Thessaloniki Biennale and the photography exhibition of the Greek-Canadian photographer Christos Dikeakos, “The World as an Open Studio”, which deals with the relationship between the anthropogenic and the natural landscape, agricultural production and practices, as well as the urban landscape. The event was held by the HEINRICH-BÖLL-STIFTUNG Foundation in collaboration with MOMus – Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, where the exhibition of Christos Dikeakos’ photography is also being hosted.
In his speech “On the traces of rural landscape’s history: Changes of land uses and perceptions”, Thymio Dimopoulos, Head of Landscape Programmes at MedINA, conveyed rural landscape’s history through the experience of MedINA’s projects, implemented in the regions of Western Messinia, Pindos, Lemnos and Prespa.
“Landscape is never one and only – there are as many landscapes as the eyes staring at them, as the perception of the observer plays a key role to their definition. Landscapes are mental and emotional constructs and all changes that occur within them mean changes in our perceptions of them,” he stressed during his presentation.
With regards to this statement, he first referred to the region of Western Messinia, a rural landscape characterized by olive cultivation, which however is engraved in the memories of the locals as a place of cultivation of the Corinthian raisin.
A similar opinion was expressed for Vovousa in Pindos, where different perspectives on the landscape prevail among residents and visitors, with the former focusing on the livestock farming abandonment and the visitors enjoying the forests that have shaped a natural landscape over the years.
Additional reference was also made to the landscape of Lemnos, which seems abandoned -through the eyes of the locals- due to the change in the way the traditional “mandras” have evolved and operate.
Finally, he discussed how the ecologists and environmentalists’ statements have reshaped the way visitors perceive the landscape of Prespa and how its geographical location at the borders has influenced the common perception of the region’s landscape over time.
The event was also attended by the activist Ioannis Koutsoglou and the photographer Dimitris Tosidis, while the discussion was moderated by the Director of MOMus, Iro Katsaridou.