Islands off the beaten track. An archaeological journey to the Greek islands of Kastellorizo, Symi, Halki, Tilos, and Nisyros
The first exhibition started out in the remotest eastern corner of Greek territory, the islands of Kastellorizo and Rho, and proceeded from there to the sea between Rhodes and Kos, which embraces Symi, Halki, Tilos and Nisyros, islands whose myth and history go back to very ancient times and are largely unknown.
The exhibition begun with a presentation of the islands’geographical, geological, geophysical and other features (size, shape, mountains, harbours, bays, etc.) and proceeded to describe their mythology and history through a multitude of architectural and other artefacts (statues, reliefs, vases, weapons, tools, jewellery etc.) that highlight their human presence: human society, occupations, interests, allegiances, beliefs, customs and manners.
In this way their richness and periods of prosperity are illustrated, as is their decline, and their intense presence or silence at specific periods of history. In addition to the ancient artefacts, wall panels and captions, there are also maps, pictures, photographs and brief videos about each region, as well as time charts showing every island’s main period of development.
The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue in Greek and in English. Throughout the exhibition, a related microsite (www.agoni-grammi.gr) provided information about the exhibition and opportunities to comment (blog).
THE COMMUNITY OF THE ISLANDS TODAY
In addition to the scholarly study and presentation of the archaeological finds from these Aegean outposts, the exhibition also provideδ short videos documenting the daily problems faced by the inhabitants of these islands, such as the lack of water, medications, regular transport service, etc. Here, the aim of the Museum is to sensitise public opinion by presenting recent videos in which the inhabitants play the leading roles in their own account of everyday life.
Islands off the beaten track is the name of a series of archaeological exhibitions organised by and held at the Museum of Cycladic Art, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (22nd EPCA, 4th EBA).
The exhibitions will focus on the mostremote, inaccessible, small and medium-sized islands of the Aegean archipelago. They will include some of the farthest removed and least known regions of Greece with rich culture from prehistoric to post-Byzantine period.
These exhibitions will be presented every two or three years in groups of one, two or more islands or regions, grouped according to their similarity or geographic proximity and to the breadth of their archaeological wealth.
Educational programmes and activities are likewise being designed for the schools on these distant routes, as are visits to the exhibition by schools in and around Athens.
Through the exhibition’s especially designed microsite, children from different regions have an opportunity to chat and discuss among themselves, to post their creative works on the site (videos, pictures, texts), to comment and exchange ideas and experiences.
Professor N. Chr. Stampolidis
Director of the Museum of Cycladic Art
Curator of the Museum of Cycladic Art