For centuries craftsmanship, the predecessor of industry, has shaped culture and everyday life. Crafted products show region-specific, social, political and economic conditions as well as cultural and religious characteristics. During several trips cultural worker and artist curator Laura Bernhardt, and photographer Benjamin Tafel have undertaken a search for traces of the still active craft workshops in Greece. In dialogue with a selection of protagonists the project examines their situation, their emotional relationship with their profession and their prospects. The result is a series of portraits that show the artisan in relation to his or her profession and the current situation of upheaval. How important is the traditional value that is passed on from generation to generation, from hand to hand? How is the artisan connected to his or her profession in these times of crisis?
The authors are less interested in a nostalgic view but rather focus on the rediscovery of crafted products, their appreciation and the artisans’ emotional relationship to their profession. What is the meaning of low-tech in times of economic crisis and how can small businesses survive with few orders? The different views of the artisans’ stories created a portrait of an era that can point to the past as well as to the future.
Laura Bernhardt works in the field of art, culture and design. She conceptualises and organises exhibition projects, workshops and events. She has been awarded several times and has received scholarships, most recently a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2015.
Benjamin Tafel, based in Berlin, works for various magazines, press and documentary projects as a Photographer and Art Director. An emphasis on Visual Storytelling is part of his work that has been awarded several times.
We would like to thank all participants and those who supported us with their knowledge and network during our research. We also want to thank everyone else who cannot be mentioned by name.
Agoritsa Bakodimou, Benaki Museum with Xenia Politou and Vlizos Stavros, Cultural Foundation of Piraeus Bank Group – PIOP, Harris Davas, Gerlinde Falk, Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Efrosini Karabinis, Marco Kostic, Renate Kostic, Dimitrios Machairidis, Captain Manolis Pantelis, Eva Papadopoulou, Yannos Paramythiotis, Noniki Perdikas, Spyros Pilos, Pottery Museum with Nikos Liaros, Presidential Guard Workshops with Lt. Michael Maravgakis, Katerina Rapti, Natasa Remoundou, Vasiliki Rokou, Nickos Sariyannis, Natalia Satori, Alexander Schwarz, Traditional Boat Association of Greece with Annika Barbarigos and Captain Emmanouel Vernicos, Marianna Tsoumani, Stathis Veltsos, VG-Bild Kunst e.V., Theo Votsos, Melpo Zapanti, Yannis Zapanti, Gudrun Zorbas.
The project was supported by grant funding
from The Stiftung Kulturwerk cultural foundation.