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cultural heritage experimental photography fine art Greece Lia Mageira street performance theatre

A BATTLE RE-ENACTED

LIA MAGEIRA

// Lia is a self-taught Greek photographer, based in Athens, with a background in art. As a physiotherapist, she is always interested in humans and emotions. Lia shared with us photo series about an annual re-enactment battle spectacle in the Greek Spetses Island.


“We may stumble and fall but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle.”

Mahatma Gandhi


What draws you to the arts?

“Αrt for me is a raft on which I can dream. I especially love the theater, classical dance and museum visits. I believe that art is the escape of mind and soul.”

What do you like best about this photographic project?

“Some fireworks over the sea fill me with antibodies against the pathogenic reality. Bound to the sail of the ship to not follow their glow, to not run to join them in my own fire. The fire that burns inside my brain, like a supernova ready to explode, to break me into a thousand pieces lost in Space.”

Spetses (Ancient Greek: Πιτυούσσα “Pityussa”) is an island in Attica, Greece. The name is derived from the Italian spezie “spices”, because in the 15th century the Venetians, who had ruled the island since 1220, named it for its position on a major spice trade route. The island fell under Ottoman rule in the 18th century, and had a conflictive history. From 1821, the island played an important role in the Greek War of Independence.

The Armáta Festival takes place each year on the second weekend of September, to commemorate and celebrate the events of the battle of 8 September 1822, in combination with the feast of the chapel of Panagiá Armáta (the Madonna-in-arms). The Festival´s culmination is a fictionalized re-enactment of the battle, which includes the torching of the Turkish flagship in the harbour, although this incident is actually not mentioned in historical descriptions of the battle. The re-enactment of the Battle of Spetses Island, which took place in September 1822, attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually. It is a cultural and religious celebration with the participation of hundreds of inhabitants.

Lia says that “the highlight of the celebrations is the burning of an effigy of the Turkish flagship, amidst a fireworks and sparklers display. The festival is also dedicated to those foreigners who turned their pen, their soul and their sword in favour of the struggle for the freedom of the Greeks.”

We are featuring Lia´s work for the second time, in a previous article we featured her series about the Archaeological Museum of Athens, which you can read up on here.


Some images may be cropped for layout. Click on the photos to see a larger version.

ALL PHOTOS © LIA MAGEIRA

You could also visit Lia´s Instagram page and her website for more of her work.

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