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IDYSSEY

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    The stages of the iDyssey.
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    (Troy) - Behramkale Turkey, March 2012 - Athena Temple in Assos, today Behramkale, lies in front of Lesbos island. Until a few years ago it was a privileged stop for the immigrants that tried to reach the Greek island a few miles from the coast. Greek authorities have since closed the reception center on the island and migration flows consequently moved north towards Evros river and Alexandroupolis.
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    (Troy) - Canakkale Turkey, March 2012 - This strange wooden monument rises on the Canakkale seaside. It is often assaulted by groups of tourists that like to be photographed with the horse in the background. The statue was a gift from the movie production of Troy (filmed in Morocco, Mexico, Malta and England) and is becoming a true symbol of mythology.
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    (Troy) - Behramkale Turkey, March 2012 - A farmer close to Assos Temple in Behramkale (a city located in front of Lesbos island). Until a few years ago it was a privileged stop for the immigrants that tried to reach the Greek island a few miles from the coast. Greek authorities have since closed the reception center on the island and migration flows consequently moved north towards Evros River and Alexandroupolis.
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    (Troy) - Dalyan Turkey, March 2012 - Near the embarkation point for Bozcaada Island (previously named Tenedos) rises Dalyan, a small city where many divers fish despite strict environmental regulations. Fishing is a strong source of income in the area.
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    (Troy) - Behramkale Turkey March 2012 - While waiting for the beginning of the summer season, waiters play backgammon in one of the taverns in Behramkale (opposite of Lesbos Island). Until a few years ago it was a privileged stop for the immigrants that tried to reach the Greek island a few miles from the coast. Greek authorities have since closed the reception center on the island and migration flows consequently moved north towards Evros River and Alexandroupolis.
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    (Kikonians) - Alexandroupolis Greece, March 2012 - A ship coming from Samotraki reaches Alexandroupolis' harbor. The island is well known for the Victory Statue (Nike) found by the french archeologist and vice consul Charles Champoiseau. It is located on the way that connects Troy to Ismaros, it seems Odysseus stopped here to sack towns allied with Troy during the war.
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    (Kikonians) - Alexandroupolis Greece, March 2012 - The Greek economic situation is still teetering on the brink. Political elections on the 6th of May haven't settled anything in stone. The election campaign has been lively, although people are afraid of making any drastic decisions due to the increasing pauperization of the middle class. Furthermore, extreme right nationalists seem to be seeking more support. I've personally seen many closed shops in the center of Alexandroupolis, still full of items that revealed the type of commerce. In the picture, a militant belonging to the Greek Communist Party EEK (Ergatiko Epanastatiko Komma) is speaking propaganda through a megaphone near the harbor market in Alexadroupolis.
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    (Kikonians) - Alexandroupolis Greece, March 2012 - Alexandroupolis station is the only way that Salonicco connects the northern part of the country to Athens and it seems to be the only functioning railway line. This is likely why so many immigrants come here without a visa after crossing Evros River. The crossing point is now a debate between the various local and national political actors. Some want it electrified, some want to build a wall, some claim to have found a gold mine and want to excavate the area. Every day, young people of about 20-years-old cross the river reaching Alexandroupolis station and take a train towards Athens or Europe in search of a job. It is funny how some are very positive about the opportunities of finding work in Europe or even in Greece. The opposite can be perceived when talking to Greek citizens who feel entirely hopeless.
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    (Kikonians) - Alexandroupolis Greece, March 2012 - Alexandroupolis seaside on a day of heavy seas. During spring the Aegean Sea can surprise sailors with rough waters. During winter, winds can also be very strong. In June, for about 20 days, the northeastern wind Meltemi dominates the sea. The weather is good and the sky is clear but the sea can be quite rough.
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    (Kikonians) - Samothrace Greece, March 2012 - In the last room of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods Museum, a copy of the Nike of Samothrace appears like a vision. The original one was discovered and brought to the Louvre Museum by the french consul and archaeologist Charles Champoiseau in 1863. This simple museum is the contemporary testimony of the theft of historical and cultural works that end up in museums in Europe and Asia. However, we still must recognize the importance of the work carried out by Deville and Coquart in 1866 in discovering most of the archeological site which is one of the best in Greece.
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    Tunis Tunisia, April 2012 - Carthage National Museum. A great contrast between past and present which still speak to each other (at least in this small peaceful country). A woman in chador close to the enormous head of a roman princess, presumably Marco Aurelio's spouse Faustina or his daughter Lucilla.
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    (Lotus Eaters) - Tunisia, April 2012 - Ibn Said, 60-yearsold, separates lentils by hand with an ancient technique. Djerba, the homeland of the Lotus Eaters, has been identified by various Hellenists as the place where Odysseus landed after being shipwrecked for 9 days. Various signs in town allude to this mythology even though only a few of the inhabitants actually know about Odysseus. There is a radio in town "Ulysse FM" that transmits in French and Arabic.
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    (Lotus Eaters) - Djerba Tunisia, April 2012- A cow's head hanging outside of a butcher shop in one of the small internal roads of Djerba island. Tourism, usually confined to hotels and villages on the coast, does not reach this area which is still characterized by an unchanged rhythm of life and secular traditions. A discrete presence of the Berber community and a rich Jewish community gives the island an authentic feeling that gets lost once one approaches the coast. The tourist sector in Djerba is suffering deeply, a consequence of both the general economic crisis as well as the Arab Spring which has led many hotels to close down in the last 15 months. The city hopes to have a better 2012. Female sexual tourism is largely diffused; women come to the island to escape the worries and pains of their countries of origin.
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    (Lotus Eaters) - Djerba Tunisia, April 2012 - Two horses rest before a riding demonstration during a wedding celebration in Djerba. They wait by the seaside near the hotel area.
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    (Lotus Eaters) - Djerba Tunisia, April 2012 - Young Berber girls in traditional costume walk across the streets of Guelalla, the center of the Berber community. According to the “free men”- or “imazighen” (as Berber men like to call themselves) the Arab Spring and its success has been an occasion to reflect on their destiny. Berbers feel marginalized from the dominating culture of the Arab world in which they live. In Tunisia, under Ben Ali's regime, Berbers, and their culture, have been reduced to mere curiosity exploited by tourists searching for "the exotic." They have been deprived of any representation that could have broken the regime's monopoly on political life. The dictator's escape to Saudi Arabia has favored associative freedom and Berbers have taken advantage by organizing themselves. In April 2011, they've had their first congress in history, creating the Tunisian Amazigh Culture Association which later achieved recognition. In order to sustain Tunisian Berber claims, one of the branches of the Amazigh World Congress has organized its 6th meeting in Djerba with delegates from other Berber communities from September 29 to October 2, 2011.
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    (Lotus Eaters) - Djerba Tunisia, April 2012 - The most ancient African synagogue can be found in Djerba. This temple represents one of the most important points of reference for the Jewish religion due to its historical and geographical location. The Jewish community of the island comprises about 600 people. The synagogue is named El Griba, which means "foreign" in Arabic. It has been renovated a few times and rises where one of Jerusalem's temple rocks has been placed during a sacred rite. On April 15, 2002 there was a violent attack (still considered as an accident by the Tunisian government), causing the death of 17 people.
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    Djerba Houmt Souk, Tunisia April 2012 - A detail of an attraction in the capital's amusement park.
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    (Circe) - Italy, April 2012 -A modern representation of Circe's head, on the road that goes to the ancient town of S. Felice Circeo, at the bottom of Mount Circeo. Odysseus was killed by his son Telegonus who did not recognize him and thought he was an enemy. Before dying, Odysseus remembers when the oracle told him to watch out and be careful of his son's hand.
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    Sperlonga Italy, April 2012 - A series of monuments representing Polifemo being blinded by Odysseus. The tension and force of the spear pushed against the cyclops are of extraordinary realism. In the foreground lies the gigantic monolithic fragment of Polifemo's leg. This group of statues is kept in Sperlonga's Archeological Museum, close to Emperor Tiberio's cave. These and other sculptures cited in the Odyssey decorated the cave where parties organized by the emperor took place. The cave itself has been abandoned after a partial collapse due to an earthquake in which Tiberio was almost killed. This small museum on the side of a busy street doesn't receive much support (like it often happens in Italy) but it is a real gem in the desert.
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    (Circe) - S. Felice Circeo Italy, April 2012 - Circeo area, previously a popular tourist destination for people coming from the center-north of the peninsula and Naples, is now suffering the consequences of the economic crisis. Many hotels are being forced to close down, this one by the seaside seems to be abandoned.
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    (Circe) - S. Felice Circeo Italy, April 2012 -Paola Tower is a coast tower on Cape Circeo, right at the border with the long Sabaudia beach. It was constructed in 1563 by Pope Pius IV. In the photograph, a fisherman walks in the rain on a cold spring day.
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    (Entry of Hades) - Solfatara Volcano Italy, April 2012 - According to Homer, Cimmerians were the inhabitants of a dark and foggy mythical land on the other side of the Ocean. Based on Circe's advice, Odysseus and his companions comes here for the nékyia: the evocation of the dead. After reaching this dark and gloomy land and celebrating a sacrifice in their honor, Odysseus encounters the soul of the dead. This area can be located between Lake Averno and Solfatara Volcano, the latter creating this deadly atmosphere due to its vaporous exhalations. The volcano is part of Campi Flegrei, a vast volcanic area situated northwest of Naples. The word "flegrei" comes from the greek flègo which means "burn." Twenty-four craters can be seen, some having continuous gaseous leaks.
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    (Cyclops) - Naples Italy, April 2012 - A strange statue is situated on Bagnoli's northern pier, similar to the character of Polyphemus which Victor Berard locates in Nisida's cave. It used to be a deposit of rusty raw materials of the steel industry and, at the same time, a place where boats were anchored. Nowadays it is now one of the nicest walks (850 meters long) in the middle of the sea for both tourists and local inhabitants. Straight ahead of the pier Capo Miseno can be distinguished from Ischia — Pozzuoli can be seen on the right whereas on the left, there's Nisida island.
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    (Sirens) - Palinuro Italy, April 2012 - View of a small promontory not far from Cape Palinuro where the siren's episode is located. Their destiny was written: if they weren't able to seduce Odysseus and his companions, they would have been thrown in the water and transformed in rocks. This is how siren Parthenope fell down exactly where Naples was born, siren Leucosia, now called Licosa point and siren Molpe close to Palinuro, now called Molpe.
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    (Sirens) - Palinuro Italy, April 2012 - View of "Cala delle Ossa" or the Bones Beach, from a natural cave. This is where Hellenist Victor Berard locates the siren's episode. The name comes from the fossilized bones of the shipwrecked sailors found in the rocks that surround the bay. Cape Palinuro was in fact known in Hellenist times for the danger of its water currents.
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    (Sirens) - Palinuro Italy, April 2012 - The 12th century medieval village of S. Severino rises a few kilometers from Cape Palinuro. It dominates the so-called Devil's Throat which gave access to the sea.
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    (Sun Island) - Sicily Italy, April 2012 - View of the sea in front of Tramontana wall in Trapani, Western Sicily. Sicily is identified by Hellenist Victor Berard as the place where the episode of the Sun Island took place.
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    (Sun Island) - Sicily Italy, April 2012 - During Easter, the largest Sicilian religious festivity takes place in Trapani, Sicily. Given the size of the event, a few years ago the church began prohibiting the use of hoods that covered the face of the various confraternities parading during the Mystery procession. The various congregations would parade for day and night in the streets, carrying sculptured blocks representing various moments of the passion of Christ. Sicily, with the episode of the Sun island, is one of the places identified by Hellenist Victor Berard.
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    (Sun Island) - Sicily Italy, April 2012 - View of Trapani and Mount Erice. Sicily, with the episode of the Sun island, is one of the places identified by Hellenist Victor Berard.
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    (Sun Island) - Sicily Italy, April 2012 - During Easter, the largest Sicilian religious festivity takes place in Trapani, Sicily. Given the size of the event, a few years ago the church began prohibiting the use of hoods that covered the face of the various confraternities parading during the Mystery procession. The various congregations would parade for day and night in the streets, carrying sculptured blocks representing various moments of the passion of Christ. Sicily, with the episode of the Sun island, is one of the places identified by Hellenist Victor Berard.
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    (Sun Island) - Sicily Italy, April 2012 - During Easter, the largest Sicilian religious festivity takes place in Trapani, Sicily. Given the size of the event, a few years ago the church began prohibiting the use of hoods that covered the face of the various confraternities parading during the Mystery procession. The various congregations would parade for day and night in the streets, carrying sculptured blocks representing various moments of the passion of Christ. Sicily, with the episode of the Sun island, is one of the places identified by Hellenist Victor Berard.
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    (Sun Island) - Italy, April 2012 - An image of the Gypsy Reserve, a protected natural haven in western Sicily, a few kilometers from Trapani. Sicily, in the episode of the Sun Island, is one of the places identified by Hellenist Victor Berard.
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    (Aeolus) - Stromboli Italy, April 2012 - The island of Stromboli, or "floating island" as described by Homer, has always been a natural lighthouse for sailors of the southern Mediterranean due to its continuous visible eruptions. The inhabitants of the island call the volcano "Iddu" or "him" and are all accustomed to these eruptions. In 2006, during one of the strongest eruptions recently, the volcano expelled a lava rock that hit the roof of a house, luckily without hurting anyone. According to Hellenist Victor Berard, this is where Aeolus, god of the winds, gave Odysseus a leather bag containing all the winds that would help him on his way home. Recently, this is where director Roberto Rossellini and actress Ingrid Bergman filmed the neorealist movie "Stromboli."
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    (Aeolus) - Stromboli Italy, April 2012 - The island of Stromboli, or "floating island" as described by Homer, has always been a natural lighthouse for sailors of the southern Mediterranean due to its continuous visible eruptions. The inhabitants of the island call the volcano "Iddu" or "him" and are all accustomed to these eruptions. In 2006, during one of the strongest eruptions recently, the volcano expelled a lava rock that hit the roof of a house, luckily without hurting anyone. According to Hellenist Victor Berard, this is where Aeolus, god of the winds, gave Odysseus a leather bag containing all the winds that would help him on his way home. Recently, this is where director Roberto Rossellini and actress Ingrid Bergman filmed the neorealist movie "Stromboli."
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    (Aeolus) - Stromboli Italy, April 2012 - The island of Stromboli, or "floating island" as described by Homer, has always been a natural lighthouse for sailors of the southern Mediterranean due to its continuous visible eruptions. The inhabitants of the island call the volcano "Iddu" or "him" and are all accustomed to these eruptions. In 2006, during one of the strongest eruptions recently, the volcano expelled a lava rock that hit the roof of a house, luckily without hurting anyone. According to Hellenist Victor Berard, this is where Aeolus, god of the winds, gave Odysseus a leather bag containing all the winds that would help him on his way home. Recently, this is where director Roberto Rossellini and actress Ingrid Bergman filmed the neorealist movie "Stromboli."
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    (Aeolus) - Stromboli Italy, April 2012 - The island of Stromboli, or "floating island" as described by Homer, has always been a natural lighthouse for sailors of the southern Mediterranean due to its continuous visible eruptions. The inhabitants of the island call the volcano "Iddu" or "him" and are all accustomed to these eruptions. In 2006, during one of the strongest eruptions recently, the volcano expelled a lava rock that hit the roof of a house, luckily without hurting anyone. According to Hellenist Victor Berard, this is where Aeolus, god of the winds, gave Odysseus a leather bag containing all the winds that would help him on his way home. Recently, this is where director Roberto Rossellini and actress Ingrid Bergman filmed the neorealist movie "Stromboli."
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    Sicily Italy, April 2012 - Navigating from Stromboli towards Milazzo Seaport. A man looks inside the ship.
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    (Scylla and Charybdis) - Reggio Calabria Italy, April 2012 - Two cliffs between the Italian Peninsula and Sicily, facing the strait of Messina. They were known in ancient times for their danger during navigation and for the presence of two monsters. Scylla, on the cliff close to Reggio Calabria, had twelve feet and six long necks with three lines of teeth for each mouth. It barked like a dog. Charybdis, on the Sicilian coast, would wait under a fig tree and swallow water of the strait three times a day, later vomiting it back. The photograph shows a view of the waters seen from Scylla Castle.
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    (Scylla and Charybdis) - Milazzo Italy, April 2012 - Strait of Messina, the place where the Scylla and Charybdis episode took place.
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    (Scylla and Charybdis) - Messina Italy, April 2012 - An enormous cruise ship in Messina's harbor. The strait is where the Scylla and Charybdis episode took place.
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    (Phaeacians Island) - Corfu Greece, May 2012 - St. George church in the ancient Venetian fortress in Corfu. According to Hellenist Victor Berard this is where the episode of Odysseus and the Phaeacians took place.
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    (Phaeacians Island) - Corfu Greece, May 2012 - The landscape of Kassiopi area in Corfu. According to Hellenist Victor Berard, this is where the episode of Odysseus and the Phaeacians took place.
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    (Phaeacians Island) - Corfu Greece, May 2012 - A detail of a sculpture in the archeological museum of Kerkyra, Corfu's capital. According to Hellenist Victor Berard, this is where the episode of Odysseus and the Phaeacians took place.
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    (Phaeacians Island) - Corfu Greece, May 2012 - The photograph depicts a man during a vacation in Corfu. According to Hellenist Victor Berard, this is where the episode of Odysseus and the Phaeacians took place.
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    (Ithaca) - Greece, May 2012 - A view of Ithaca and Molos Bay from Khataron monastery, one of the highest points on the island.
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    (Ithaca) - Greece, May 2012 - A view of Molos Bay from the ground.
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    (Ithaca) - Vathi Greece, May 2012 - Odysseus' statue in Vathi harbor, capital of the island, waits for the various boats that reach during spring and summer.
iDyssey

A personal journey by Stefano De Luigi

I’ve always wanted to combine my love for photography and literature into one journey.

When I was a small boy, my mother read the ancient myths to me as bedtime stories. Opening the door to my imagination, these tales of passion, adventure, struggle, victory and the impact of vengeful, whimsical gods at odds with man’s destiny, fuelled my young mind. Once the lights were out I dreamed of Achilles, Athena, Paris, Hector, the Cyclops, Centaurs, The Great Wall of Troy and of course Ulysses, the most intriguing hero of them all from that vast pantheon of classical legends.

The Odyssey has been handed down in many ways, first orally then gaining a huge audience through the written word with Homer’s epic poem. The story has been filmed multiple times and under many guises and when I was a teenager I was yet again transfixed by a beautifully enacted and filmed TV version. I reconnected with the story at high school studying latin and literature when looking at the Classical statues in the museums of my hometown, Rome

The thread that ties me to this masterpiece is very long. As a tribute, and with thousands of images in my head, I took up the challenge of retelling the Odyssey, one of the most ancient examples of cultural heritage, through the most current of communication vehicles, the smartphone.

I photographed the project using the Hipstamatic app on two iPhones (hence the title iDyssey). I chose twelve sites crucial to the story and retraced the steps of my hero Ulysses.

This is a contemporary odyssey that also serves as an investigation into the Mediterranean identity. So many events are happening around this Sea’s coastlines from the Tunisian revolution and the Arab Spring to the battle between secularism and orthodoxy in Turkey and the migrant crisis and economic disaster in Greece that has cut the breath from all Europe

This is a contemporary odyssey discovering places hitherto stored in my imagination, in search of the voices of those ancient heroes, the sound of living statues, places filled with harmonious beauty but equally filled with absolute horror.

Princess Europa, daughter of King Agenor of Tyre and mother of Minos of Crete.

This is my journey. This is what the photos in this book are about: A trip through a wonderful childhood dream. Where I come from: Europa:Utopia.

Translation by Jocelyn Bain Hogg

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