Walking piece details
|performing memory in familiar places|
Everytime I visit Prespes and just before reaching the lakes, I stop at my grand-parents’ villages at Pisoderi and Antartiko. Since my childhood I have visited Prespes several times with my parents and my grandparents for various reasons that included elections, visiting family and day-trips from Florina.
Visiting the area of Prespes always brings up several questions around the history of my family, the migration of my grandfather’s family to Canada and other stories that are impregnated with the historical trauma of forced migrations and displacements that followed the Greek civil war and resulted along with other reasons, to the desolation of the area.
Walking on these territories again and again through time, I reflect back on the fragmented memories of my family’s archive and new input adds up every time I go back. My own memories and those recounted from my father are blended with new information like for example the communal patriarchal social structure of the zantrougka, a word that I heard for the first time in the village of Agios Germanos while reading a cultural sign placed in front of a traditional house.
Through these trajectories and returns, I contemplate how history mingles with fiction and memory becomes a reconstructed site where we constantly revisit through numerous hypothesis. This audio paper proposes to look at walking as a mnemotechnical technique that allows remembering traces of my genealogical archive pieced together from my continuous returns to Prespes.
Performing memory through walking is to understand that memory is mediated by spatiality but also produced from the space we experience it from. (Plate & Smelik,2013).
This audio paper aims to re-discover, through walking and narration, the landscape itself not only as a stimulus to unearth family stories, but as a vehicle of remembering and an archive of memory itself.
Bass Clarinet: Thanos Sideris
Narration: Maria Sideri