Gavdos: a critique - an anhropological documentary - Γαύδος

Uploaded by tz0rge on 25.01.2011

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome here.
I am an anthropologist and would like to talk to you about the Greek island of Gavdos
That is an island, which is south of Crete in the Libyan sea and is the southern most point of Europe.
Gavdos is quite a small island and only 30-35 people are living there permanently.
It has not undergone large scale development and
electricity is provided by engines adapted to be generators.
For what concerns water and food supply, Gavdos depends
on boat delivery from the nearby island of Crete.
These boats arrive everyday during the summer but in the winter they run only every few weeks depending on the conditions of the weather.
In the summer when it arrives the boat is full of tourists who come out and colonise the island swarming like ants.
Tourism represents the main income of residents and tourists are seen as walking bags of money.
Tourism is a family business each household runs a taverna and some rent rooms as well.
The main island attractions are wilderness and free camping.
After summer the tourists leave the island which returns to a state of desertedness as it is during the winter.
During my stay in the island of Gavdos I had the opportunity to witness the visit of the President of the Hellenic Democracy.
He came to speak to the residents and to the tourists and to inaugurate a tele-medical centre.
In the previous days I was able to observe the build up to the event.
The preparation included bulldozers clearing and enlarging the roads of the island and
on the very day in the morning I could see helicopters arriving and military personnel.
The taverna that was to host the event was decorated with Greek flags.
At the same time as lay people were gathered there so were the authorities including the clergy and the boat owner of the island.
Amateur and professional cameramen were ready to capture the event and the history taking place.
The history that was written in that very moment was one of politics rather than development.
And although the official purpose of the visit was to inaugurate the tele-medical centre,
a better look and a closer inspection could reveal that the generators needed to operate the centre
were brought only for this occasion and were taken away when the President left.
Therefore the visit of the President seems to be better interpreted as away of affirming Greek
authority over the island, an authority which was challenged by the Turkish government in 1996.
Politics seem to have priority over development after the facts of '96, as the government through
the prime minister offered 6 million pounds for development.
But so far there is no visible sign of any improvement in the structures of the island.
This leads us from National contestation to global economy.
As interests in the development of the island were shown by different private investors.
As for example Agnelli, the owner of FIAT who proposed to turn the island into a holiday resort for his employees.
Or Latsis the biggest of Greece's shipowners wanted to transform the nearby very small island of Gavdopoula
into a refuelling station for his fleet coming from Asia or Africa into Europe.
Fortunately these projects were not put into reality as land titles are non-existent.
and there cannot be claims of property on the island and therefore it's no possible to buy it.