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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 23 July 2016
14 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 23 JULY 2016 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Nikitas Malamatenios in Naoussa. Filippas Tsantanis Panayiotis Visadakis in Naoussa. A photobook dedicated to the history, the stories and the faces of the G ince 2010, Vienna-based photographer Christian Stemper has documented a total of 99 boats and 31 fishermen on film, depicting the unsure future of the last 'Wolves of the Sea' in Paros island, Greece. "I was always fascinated by the old, S Greek, traditional wooden fishing boats and wanted to photograph them from a different angle of view," he says. "As side shots I took some portraits of the associated fisherman. In 2013 I went to Paros again and realised that half of the boats that I had already photographed in 2010 did not exist anymore – destroyed, abandoned or sold to tourists. And the ones left will soon be gone – not only on Paros, but on all the Greek islands. No one of the young generation will become a fisherman anymore. The traditional fishing craft is dying, and therefore a millennia-old tradition." That was the moment of realisation that led Stemper to make a photobook. In October 2014 he travelled to Paros with a camera crew. They captured the work and life of the fishermen and the only remaining boat builder on the island. "The photobook is the essence of thousands of photos I took, hours of interviews, and spending time with the old fishermen on Paros, listening to their stories, that hopefully will not be lost," he reflects. "I hope that LUPIMARIS will create a lasting memory of the last wolves of the sea and their boats." Stemper's book is also a muchneeded historical account. On one hand, it is presented as a journalistic illuminated history of the individual, authentic characters. On the other, as an aesthetic image, the handmade fishing boats, which are represented in their uniqueness and variety of details. Thanasis Tantanis, for example, a 75 year-old fisherman from Nàoussa, at the north of Paros, says: "I learned from my grandfather and my father. This knowledge will be lost as there is no one to follow the tradition. When we're gone, it's over." Many children born on the island left for the mainland to pursue further education. "At the age of 18, I became a sailor and travelled the world as a radio operator," adds Petros Delentas, born in 1942. "Not because of romantic reasons, but at that time there was nothing to do LUPIM Malamatenios’ boat, Panagia. Tsantanis’ boat, Ilias Maria. Visadakis’ boat, Ypapanti.
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