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Laura Bernhardt & Benjamin Tafel – From Hand-to-Hand – Searching for Traces of the Still Active Craft Workshops in Greece
Focussing on the rediscovery of crafted products, their appreciation and the artisans’ emotional relationship to their profession
37D 15' 31.23", 23D 05' 45.80"

Their islands have been calling the Greeks to the sea for a long time. The caïques, Greek fishing boats, are the remains of a culture of boat building developed over centuries. The Story on Dinos Korakis, one of the last boat builders of the island of Spetses.

From Hand-to-Hand - Stories About Craftsmanship in Greece Today

For centuries craftsmanship, the predecessor of industry, has shaped culture and everyday life. Crafted products show region-specific, social, political and economic conditions as well as cultural and religious characteristics. During several trips cultural worker and artist curator Laura Bernhardt, and photographer Benjamin Tafel have undertaken a search for traces of the still active craft workshops in Greece. In dialogue with a selection of protagonists the project examines their situation, their emotional relationship with their profession and their prospects. The result is a series of portraits that show the artisan in relation to his or her profession and the current situation of upheaval. How important is the traditional value that is passed on from generation to generation, from hand to hand? How is the artisan connected to his or her profession in these times of crisis?

37D 15' 31.36", 23D 06' 48.83"

In merely 10 minutes by water taxi we reach Spetses from port of Kosta on the opposite side. There, we are meeting with Capitano Manolis.

37D 15' 31.36", 23D 06' 48.83"

Dinos Korakis’ workshop lies protected in a bay. Right on the waterfront boats are constructed in the open air. The wooden shack resembles a fishing hut more than a workshop.

Laura Bernhardt works as curator and cultural producer in the field of art, culture and design. She initiates, conceptualises and organises exhibition projects, workshops and events. She has been awarded several times and has received scholarships.  

Benjamin Tafel, based in Berlin, works for various magazines, press and documentary projects as a Photography and Art Director. An emphasis on Visual Storytelling is part of his work that has been awarded several times.

The authors are less interested in a nostalgic view but rather focus on the rediscovery of crafted products, their appreciation and the artisans’ emotional relationship to their profession. What is the meaning of low-tech in times of economic crisis and how can small businesses survive with few orders? The different views of the artisans’ stories created a portrait of an era that can point to the past as well as to the future.

37D 34' 23.35", 22D 47' 48.77"

The seaport Nafplio has played a strategic role for trade and politics over centuries due to its geographic location in the Argolian gulf. Byzantines, Venetians, Ottomans and lastly King Otto of Greece resided and reigned from this city. The idyllic old part of town is nowadays equally popular with Greeks and tourists. Rallou Gromitsari’s kombolói museum with shop and workshop is situated in one of the animated streets.

37D 34' 23.35", 22D 47' 48.77"

The Kombolói – from prayer chain to toy


Laura Bernhardt

Benjamin Tafel

From Hand-to-Hand
The project was supported by grant funding from The Stiftung Kulturwerk cultural foundation.

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