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Washington, March 18: A Tribute to Epirus

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From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <dist@hri.org>

Originally From: "Cultural Counselor, Embassy of Greece USA" <zkosmidou at greekculture.us>

The Embassy of Greece and the Paneperotic Federation Of America

Present The Exhibition:

“Daily Bread, Photographs of Epirotic Life”

by Photographer

Beatrice Hamblett

A Tribute to the historical Epirus Region with music, dances and authentic food (pittes) from Epirus.

Special feature: The Return to Origins dance troupe.

March 18, 2010 at 6:30pm-8:30pm

Embassy of Greece
2217 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20817
Rsvp (acceptances only): rsvpculture at greekembassy.org or at: 202-939-1353

Artist Beatrice Hamblett presents another series of photographs from less known, remote, but with unique history and beauty areas of Greece, the Mastorohoria Villages in the Epirus region. Pyrsogianni, Oxia, and Kefalahori are some of the villages where she captured the local culture and the sheer romance of an ancient way of life. Her photographs depict not only the pastoral life and how it connects to the old and modern way of living, but also, they transcend the celebratory spirit of “panygiria” the feasts dedicated to ceremonial and religious processes.

The Mastorohoria villages' historic beginnings go back to the 16th century at a period when pluralist movements were taking place. Within sustainable agriculture and livestock rearing practices, they developed important technical specialization. The stonemasons were experts in wood sculpting and iconography. They contributed to the development of a special local culture. For over three centuries the artisans have traveled in every corner of Greece's territory and the entire Balkan Peninsula. From the end of the 19th century, they boldly traveled abroad to countries including Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Congo, Tanzania, Persia, Minor Asia, Russia, France, and the United States. The artisans were organized in hierarchical teams with strict unwritten rules as they traveled to different areas constructing a variety of buildings including bridges, schools, churches, caravan tents, mosques, Turkish baths, mansions, lighthouses, windmills, and olive oil factories.

Their routes have a special significance because they left an impression on the local artisans they came in contact with. They were similarly influenced by the foreign places they visited. While founding a native original architecture, they built with ethos, pride, and knowledge. In the end, they became legends passed forth in folkloric songs.

Beatrice Hamblett's photographs extend to the villages of Zagoria which are uniquely endowed with extraordinary natural beauty, a vast temperate forest ecosystem, distinctive architecture and cultural wealth. Beatrice Hamblett adheres to the ideals of black-and-white art photography and prints each of her photographs by hand. Her images are imbued with an extraordinary “noirish” sense of drama, reconciling old world work methods with new world life. “Daily Bread, Photographs of Epirotic Life,” her most recent work, shows rural workers continuing to live and work traditionally while slowly embracing the 21st century.

For the past 10 years, Ms. Hamblett has exhibited her photographs extensively both nationally and internationally, and has traveled repeatedly through remote areas of Greece digging deep to unearth the authenticity of her subjects. She loves to roam the villages of rural Greece where she has found friendship and kindred spirits.

Ms. Hamblett has a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from Columbia University in New York. She exhibits in Washington, DC and in Greece.

*This exhibition is made possible in part by a grant from DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

**“Daily Bread, Photographs of Epirotic Life” will travel to Aristi Mountain Resort Exhibition Center, Ioannina, Greece where it will be exhibited May 9-24, 2010.


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