Written by Dana Papachristou and Yorgos Samantas-
“The Social life of Water” and “Facets of Resurrection” are two manifestations of the two-fold, mixed media project (sound-photography-text). The project was based on ethnographic research (fieldwork with participatory observation, interviews, archive research, etc.) in the village of Apoikia of Andros, lasting 3 months (with three visits, from Easter to September 2010).
The research was concerned, on the one hand, with the management of the water resources of the village historically, particularly with “Sariza” spring: the political and economic processes for the exploitation of water, and consequently the landscape, its (tourist) iconography, the gradually evolving notions of “property”, “common good” and “commodity”, its metaphorical connotations regarding gender, health, economy, the concepts of “tradition” and “authenticity”, were exemplified through a multimedia ethnographic narrative, enhanced with mapping, field recordings, original and found images, in the epistemological paradigm of anthropology “beyond text”.
On the other hand, almost contradictory, the second focal point of the research were the “maskoula”, namely the improvised explosive artifacts related to festive religious occasions (such as the Resurrection). The relationship between language and the soundscape, the sounding objects and locality, family genealogy and social affiliation, discipline and the construction of manhood, are all consolidated in the symbolically significant artifacts, in their sound and their biographies.
The research was carried out for the MA Visual Anthropology (/ Ethnographic Documentation with Sensory Media) studies program of the University of Manchester, in 2010, supervised by prof. Rupert Cox. Aspects of the work were presented in print (“Portfolio: Facets of Resurrection” and “Water’s past and present: flows of power, wealth and imagination in a greek island village”, 2010), and as an audiovisual installation (“The Social Life of Water” @The Hive , Manchester, UK, October 2010), while excerpts were presented in Greece (“Maskoula Oralscape”, Voices @ CAMP! 2014, “Soundscape in Counterpoint: water and maskoula”, 4th Conference for Acoustic Ecology: Sound – Noise – Environment ”, 2016).