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Lesvos: More Than Just Another Greek Island
Recommended Reading

A Girl’s Guide to Lesbos

A Girl'd Guide to LesvosA traveller’s guide about the island of Lesvos with an LGBT orientation; research, texts and photographs by Tzeli Hadjidimitriou. (English language). Paper back edition, 240 pages. Price 15 euro

A Girl’s Guide to Lesvos is the first ever attempt to present the island of Lesbos in a guidebook format in a way that connects it with the “L wor(l)d”. Tzeli Hadjidimitriou, who was born and grew up on the island, guides you through Lesbos with a women’s perspective, but over all, with the perspective of a local who knows and loves every aspect of the island! She is one of Greece’s most successful photo-journalists and has published ten books and countless travelogues in Greek newspapers and magazines. In this guide, in addition to the beautiful photos, the artistic design, the extensive information about the place and its inhabitants, nature, culture and traditions, women will find the links between the present and historical memory.

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39 Coffee Houses and a Barber’s Shop

39 Coffee Houses BookPhotographic album. Texts: A. Fasianos, F. Frangouli, G Chronas, E. Papataxiarchis, G. Nikolakakis, Th. Paraskevaidis. Paper back edition, 144 pages. 1st edition 1997 by Crete University Press. price 25 euro

“In the pictures of Lesvos’s coffee-houses, Tzeli strikes the right balance between light and color. Allthough the pictures are filled with details, none of them jump out to distract one’s gaze but instead are orchestrated to create an atmosphere both soothing and highly vivid. Tzeli is indeed deft at turning the seemingly banal into stories about the passage of time and the endurance of human values. So while coffee-houses are a subject largely exhausted by a folkloric, pseudo-sentimental aesthetic, Tzeli puts them back into the right perspective. Despite her emotional ties with the island-she was born there-she does not retreat into nostalgia. Instead, she offers a vision that is tender, meditative and thoroughly dignified. What motivates her is a desire to give visual expression to moods and to evoke fading habits and lifestyles. ”

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In Communion With Stone, The Rural Architecture of Lesvos

Architecture Book on LesvosPhotographic album. Texts: N.Sifounakis, N.Stefanou, Ch.Hatzilias, Tzeli Hadjidimitriou. Paper back edition, 300 pages. Price 35 euro

A photographic essay on the rural architecture of Lesvos, the different ways of building with stones depending on the first material of each place, the connection of the structured environment  with the surrounding nature. The value of a work lies in the expression of the creator’s struggle over the matter endeavoring to accomplish an intention, a plan: a struggle with matter of an exclusive utterance and performance sheltering its own  “demons”. Thales declared that all matter is alive with gods and demons.

The handiwork of a folk artisan confined within narrow financial limits is an expression of such struggle with the available materials and space as well as with the physical landscape which can accept only that amount of forms.

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Sacred Water, The Mineral Springs of Lesvos

Sacred Water of LesvosPhotographic album. Texts: G. Maniotis, G. Doukakis, Tz. Hadjidimitriou. Hard cover, 144 pages. 1st edition 1996. Price 25 euro

A book with poetic images from the old “Baths” of Lesvos that hosted generations of the local community, the old Turkish hamam of the town of Mytilene before it’s renovation and Sarlitza, the old, glorious hotel of the beginning of last century before it got destroyed by time.

Light within old buildings slips in waves through small windows, and sprawls upon eroded walls, is born again by them, murking the eyes of uninvited guests. For years, light was the sole observer of all that went on behind fractured shutters. Guard and lover of the unique beauty, which dripped slowly, like the drops on greening walls. In these closed bath chambers breath merged with vapour. And thought would be lost, would spread, as the light did on perspiring bodies. Without knowing what awaited me, one morning, out of curiosity I asked to see the «baths». Many years have passed since that first time, when the wet scent of water enveloped  me, together with the light that came in generously through small windows by the sea. I followed the ritual. Washed in the niche from which the water rushed, and sank into the green, warm, indistinct liquid, cupped in the stine basin. Words often times are insufficient in expressing sensations. Thereafter, I sought all hidden springs abundant on the island, and again and again I abandoned myself to that sensation of deliverance within their waters, under the slight light, which slipped through the apertures in the dome, or at times gushed in catalytically through the windows of the sea.

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Heliotopos Hotel, Lesvos

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