Beauty will save the world – Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Caravan Project emerged from a need to respond to the call of our times and to engage into cultural action of educational nature that would be based on the richness of human experience through the diffusion of human stories. We envisaged a study on the nature and diversity of the human constitution, which would touch every one of us on the base of our human feelings, thus transferring us to the core of human expression.
Since 2011, we have been travelling around Greece, through the hardest milestone in the country’s modern history, documenting stories of extraordinary people and communicating them to the public. Our goal is to transfer the stories of simple, everyday people, since it’s these stories that form and define the course of each era. We gave the floor to people who otherwise wouldn’t be heard, shedding light on diversity and giving prominence to pluralism.
Throughout our journey, we produced twelve documentaries, we photographed remote places of Greece, we filmed narratives and short stories of people we met on our journey and we wrote texts and articles about the course and the experience of our trek. At the same time, we presented our work in schools, universities, cultural spaces and museums, in squares and villages, in penitentiary institutions and vulnerable social groups, in domestic or international festivals and international forums, transferring the fiery energy of personal stories and actualizing the Caravan Project’s vision for participation and interaction.
In more detail, during our first journey, we created and effectuated the following:
In the twelve short and full-length documentaries, we imprinted hidden human stories that overturn stereotypes and entrenched ideas, shake the established, mechanistic way of looking the world and enrich our lives with alternative dynamics and meaning. Contrary to the standards that are systematically encouraged in the last few years by a society which has deified glow and success, the Caravan Project underlines the magnificence hiding in the small things and in anonymous people, thus highlighting various sides of human constitution. We turned our attention toward different people who are not in the forefront nor are they defined by any kind of lifestyle, but who stand secluded from the spotlight and fight their own battle with dignity. We brought to light women activists, Roma people, homeless, people with disabilities, curers, artists, farmers, children, instructors, entrepreneurs, collectors, passionate people who dream of another world and have the power to inspire us, to transfer us their thirst for life.
We travelled with our motor vehicle all through the Greek hinterland, taking photographs and collecting narratives. These forgotten corners of Greece still hide elements of a frugal culture, more current than ever before. A nonprofit yet prolific line characterized by the particularity of a way of life, which, although isolated, throbs with stories, meaning and symbols, maintaining its own special truth.
During our journey to the Greek nonprofit line, we encountered rare and unnoticed people who dissipated the lines to our contours and accompanied us on productive inner confrontations, unraveling secret and diverse folds in the landscape of reality. This transcendental experience is exactly what we wanted to share, documenting these people’s stories, hoping that they will form a creative sac of all that shines inside of us that we may not know.
With the stimulus “Tell me a story”, we filmed and documented short stories of people we would meet on our journey, thus creating a mosaic of stories, an encyclopedia of narratives that color the human soul their own way. We collected twenty multimedia stories in total, inaugurating the first active digital story bank in Greece (caravanproject.org). We will continue to collect stories, inviting those who want to share, document and preserve special human stories from their land to deposit them to the story bank.
The Caravan Project album entitled “Another World Is Here”, concentrates, through a series of photographs and texts, our trek through Greece and the human stories we’ve documented. The album is available in digital format.
Presentations & Screenings
Story-telling, as a familiar and innate method of understanding the self and the world around us comprises a primordial educational dimension which is deeply rooted in our collective soul. Stories have the power to eliminate distance, resulting to the participation of all of us as equal leads in another person’s story. We identify and sympathize with them, as common powers mould our lives, so they allow the communication between different souls, they overcome cultural origins and they connect people with their deepest feelings, therefore removing discriminations.
Whilst documenting stories, we toured the Caravan Project around Greece like a mobile ark of culture and like modern story-tellers of our times, through presentations and screenings, we communicated the stories we produce to the public, inaugurating at the same time a new kind of dialogue on the meaning and the dynamics that these stories release. In a society with a broken social tissue and stricken by poverty, unemployment and disappointment, we set out from our stories to discuss with people and to share experiences and feelings and we managed to jointly reach inspiration and creative resistance within ourselves.