Author:Alexandra Bakalaki (Aristotle University, Thessaloniki)
Paper short abstract:
Mobility and remoteness in Therassia, Greece Based on fieldwork in Therassia, the paper argues that the boats sailing between this island and adjacent touristic and cosmopolitan Santorini magnify the contrast between the two islands and enhance Therarriotes’ sense that they live in an empty place.
Paper long abstract:
Mobility and remoteness in Therasia, Greece.
Given their proximity and geological continuity, the differences between the adjacent Cycladic islands of Therassia and Santorini are stark. Santorini is a major international tourist destination with a thriving economy, while Therassia is depopulated, small, undeveloped and dependent on the market and services of Santorini. The need to go "across" frequently to buy essential goods like food or gas, reinforces the Therassiotes' sense that they live in an empty place. Additionally, it generates bitterness over their treatment by the Santorini-based municipal authorities who decide the boat routes and schedules. The authorities, they say, see them as a taken for granted source of profit for Santorini entrepreneurs, and care little about making the Therassiotes' compulsory trips more convenient. Moreover, public transport is also inconvenient for tourists. According to Therassiotes this is because the authorities safeguard the interests of Santorini tourist entrepreneurs who organize short day excursions to a specific spot in Therassia. The ethnographic material I collected in Therassia suggests that the boats which connect the two islands, also work to enhance Therassia's remoteness. Their routes enable Therassiotes to conceptualize their island as belonging to a larger geographic, political and economic entity from which it is nevertheless, separated off by virtue of its emptiness.
Mobility, power and possibility: the search for liveable lives [ANTHROMOB]