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  The Book Market
in Greece 2011


The Islands

The Islands

photographer: Kostas Mpalafas
author: Kostas Mpalafas

Benaki Museum
211 p.
ISBN 960-8350-56-5, ISBN-13 978-960-8350-56-4, [In Print]
Price € 55,52

Costas Balafas presents quintessential images of the Greek islands and their inhabitants in The Islands. He depicts the quiet nobility of the islanders as they go about their everyday pursuits and observe age-old customs and ceremonies. Scenes of fishermen mending their nets, barefoot women carrying water on their heads, shepherds and monks may have become over-familiar through picture postcards, but Balafas makes us look at them again in black and white photographs that transcend the merely picturesque. No matter how mundane the task, his weather-beaten islanders stand tall, radiating a calm assurance. The barefoot women of Lefkas carrying several kilos of salt on their heads in tin containers have all the gravitas of a classical chorus. Among his most striking images are the women of Olympia in Karpathos in elaborate traditional attire and in absolute harmony in their timeless setting of whitewashed villages and churches overlooking the sea.

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