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29 November 2008

Φωκαία and Félix Sartiaux

Book presentation at the IFA

Picking up on my cultural program after a long time, I went to the Institut Français d'Athènes (the IFA) to see a presentation of the book "Phocée 1913-1920 – le témoignage de Félix Sartiaux". I didn't really know what to expect, except that the book is about this town Φωκαία (Fokaia) near to Smyrna and containing old photos. I arrived there to find a lot of old people, which turned out to be the members of the "association" (σωματείο) of the people descending from that town.

There were three people speaking, the interest factor of their speeches rising on a logarithmic scale - starting with the president of the Rizario foundation starting with something very close to sub-zero freezing point of boredom. The mayor of today's Φωκαία on Attika had already a more interesting talk, giving some good background on the history of the town, from the ancient times, through the "catastrophy of asia minor" to the refugee's rebuilding at the current town.

At last Haris Yakoumis, photo-historian and author of the book spoke. He presented the background story of the pictures - a suitcase full of glass plates turning up through a Turkish dealer. How he searched on the background of the pictures and discovered the story of Félix Sartiaux, French archeologist and photographer who witnessed the refugee drama of 1914 in Fokaia. I was moved, both by the story and the pictures. All the while he "slideshowed" through the pictures, was able to give little stories and information on each picture, unraveling the story along.

Posted by betabug at 11:19 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
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