Nestled in the Pindus mountains at an altitude of 1000 meters, Vovousa was a traditional logger's village, quiet and sleepy -up until 2013! Named after the roar of the Aoös river, which splits the village right down the middle, Vovousa rose up in arms when a proposed dam threatened to destroy a way of life that has been passed down through generations, violating national park territory in the process. The protest was peaceful and it took the form of a festival, which has been injecting the area with a condensed dose of culture once a year.
At first, the magnitude of the festival extended to a weekend gathering of regular Vovousa visitors, local folk and people from nearby villages to watch films, enjoy a brief photo show and attend a music performance. Four years down the line, things have gotten serious! The latest edition turned into a full week of film screenings, workshops, lectures, children’s activities, music performances, photography exhibitions and more, establishing the Vovousa Festival as a newfound tradition.
Artistic director Kamilo Nollas, whose author dad Dimitris Nollas has deep roots in the region, has made it his goal to draw people away from the siren call of the Greek islands and get them interested in the mountains instead. “We want to jumpstart tourism" says Nollas, "bring culture to an otherwise isolated location and educate people on sustainability and the environmental treasures of our national parks.” And what better way to celebrate his cause than a small yet eclectic festival by the people who love Vovousa the most? “We want to put a definitive stop to the Aöos dam, so our children can inherit this land unspoiled, like we did.” You might think this is personal -no argument there! But don't you think it's time we all took the Greek mountains personally?
You might think this is personal -no argument there! But don’t you think it’s time we all took the Greek mountains personally?