The inner world of Mastic villages

Mastihohoria (Mastic Villages) is a series of photographs by Stratis Vogiatzis dedicated to the villages of the Greek island of Chios.

The Inner World concerns inner spaces which Stratis photographed for almost three years. Stratis with this project has recorded and revealed the unaffected and transparent treasures of a genuine people’s culture which lost the battle of time and hide away from fear. He doesn’t enter the place for self- pleasure, neither does he have an ulterior motive. He goes in like a pilgrim entering a righteous and holy place of worship in order to be able to understand and feel. He strips himself of everything and puts himself into the other person’s place in order to see what the others would never see by themselves. In this way he leads us into the inner world of the homes whose decoration reflects the pain and loss as well as the inspiration of life.

Thus he leads us, in a selective and mystical way, inside the houses whose decoration reflects the souls of the people who live or used to live in them. There where the rooms and their ornamentation are not a showy deception or a deliberate covering up of the truth, but a humble staging of the need for moderation, of the burden of deprivation, as well as the playful enthusiasm for life which, together with faith and hope, have nurtured the people’s culture for whole centuries. The simple and essential things of this culture, those which we would probably come across in the findings of an ancient settlement. There where we recognize our true identity with a sense of awe and enthusiasm.

— Dimos Avdeliodis, Director