with The Island Resignified Lefkada, Greece July 1-15, 2017
Tourism Saved my Life — Lefkada edition
The poster project
Each town a different scene, a different audience, a different interaction, a different reaction….
The Metaxication start-up company was hired to research development opportunities in Lefkada. We evaluated potential places representative of the 1st and 3rd sector economy. It seems evident that the last decades the 1st sector has retreated giving way to the tourism industry. Why are key places from 1st sector no longer vital elements for the local and international communities? Our company’s intention is to understand the reasons why this happened and investigate possible ways of reactivation. We assume that there is use value in the area that is latent and we want to bring it to the surface. To reach this goal, we employed a mixed methodology of meetings with the locals and tourists, exploratory and observative drives, and public space interventions. We met with permanent residents diverse in age, gender, ethnicity, income and profession, to collect data about the area’s past and see also what connotations people attribute to this place today. We triggered discussions around several thematics, such as value, ruins, capital, community building, documentation and memory. What economic conditions resulted in the ruinous state of the buildings. How a place is valorized in relation to memory. What is a monument. Is value as a symbol contradictory to value as an experience ? How can residents, temporary or permanent, can be manipulated for the sake of our objectives? How can collected documents become merits of Metaxication Inc.’s capital ?
These topics will be addressed in more detail in social interventions throughout the island focusing on the ruinous landscapes of capital, memory and monuments, value and valorization, and subsumed documents.
These are some of the responses we had to “The End of Tourism is Near” poster project.
English ex-pat resident in Nidri– “What will the locals do? I just came out for a sunset drink and now I’m frightened”– her husband “I’m frightened, too!”
Restaurant owner Agios Nikitas “There is a problem with that poster……. its too small! you should make it much bigger!”
Husband of woman from Lefkada who comes to island every year “It is because the Greek service is not good enough- if tourism ends it is because of us, we are unorganized.”
Owner of kafenio, mountain village of Kavalos, “If tourism ends I will be more wealthy, I have my goats. I will invest more time in the goats and in agriculture. I am not afraid.” — His sister ” If tourism ends I will die. There is no other way for me to live, its easy and quick.”
Former hotel manager assistant in Lefkada, “According to big hotel owners, bad tourists are those who do not spend money.”
Cleaner at guesthouse in Alexandros, “Tourism saved my life.”
Tourist in Lefkada, Professor of Physics “Tourism alienates, we should stop thinking about money.”
Another expected outcome will be either one or more proposals of future development scenarios in the form of a business plan or [and] a ‘revitalising’ happenings on other Greek islands.
Coming to a tourist destination near you!