Hariklia and Elena the combination of younger people that are coming NOWADAYS, together with the local people, they can MAKE IT - "lose money but gain your soUL"

Stella: “Elena and Hariklia are examples of people that appreciate their life here. If you don’t appreciate your life here, you think you are blocked somewhere and you suffer because you need the job. This is not the way to be in a small place. Because in this case, you became anxious and mean with everybody, and if you are in a bad mood in a small place, you don’t have the luxury to go out and see or call your friends, go for a drink and forget about it, like in a big city. Here, you have to deal with whatever comes up from your suitcases. So, if you’re OK with yourself, you can deal with it. If you are not, it’s very easy to get bored, tired or exhausted, and you leave. Some people came, five or six young couples, but they left ten years after.”

Stella: "I just hope that people like Elena and Hariklia – who are educated and know how to cope with the system that needs internet, organisation and all that – if they sit together with the local people that have the fields and the knowledge of farming, they can make a nice combination. Because 30 years ago, if you just told the farmers that they can combine their produce together and form a nice product cooperative, they wouldn’t believe you. But maybe the combination of younger people that are coming nowadays, together with the local people, they can get there. And I don’t want to forget the role of the Albanian families, because they are farmers as well. And they know a lot about farming. I mean, I know some local people, they have taken their seeds from the Albanian farmers, because they are bringing clean seeds from the villages. And the local ones have lost them. So, it’s a good connection …”

"We do several things when we can … If we have enough time and money, we still go for a conference or something like that. We still do some academic work as theoretical linguists. If you are in academia, you need to be totally devoted, and now, over the years, we grew apart. We do not like the system there. We always had to run for something, for papers, publications, and actually there was no more space for us in academia, because of the crisis."

Popular tango evenings in Volissos also attracts people from Italy and elsewhere.

We live here, in the village of Volissos, ever since we came on the island.

Here, we started planting crops, make our own oil. We also had many different jobs, Greek lessons, cooking, cleaning rooms ... Whatever comes by. Now we even sell our olive oil, we grow herbs, make healing oils and soaps. We want to have our permanent place to sell products from this land, starting with an online shop. Our vision is to make use of the local products to make people know that you can live here from the products that the land offers. Another idea is to make a multi-functional place, so people could come and see what we do. An open space by the sea, where people can see and learn that one can live here. Children living here are actually not connected to the land, but to money and technology. For now, we learn from the land, we do everything on a small scale. Everything has its own time and season. Every season has different jobs. We do not sell the plants that we grow, but we also try to do products for sale. To complete the whole circle by ourselves. Autonomous sustainable lifestyle, to learn from the old ones how to cultivate land, and also bring new, modern or more environmental friendly ideas.

If you do not like to live in the city there is a way..here you do not need so much money..

Quality of life in terms of time, more time do your own things, no need to do everything here and now! And more genuine relations ... And sea, sun, less pollution ...

... lose money but gain your sole.

Volissos at siesta time.

Development can be achieved under one condition: respect! Respect for the environment, for others, for the animals. As for development, if I had to choose only one thing, it would actually be to develop respect on all levels! You do not have to force people and environment into doing things. Next step: There is space for collective work on the basis of respect-agreement-trust. There is no fixed recipe. We like to do exchange and get goods in exchange for our work. An exchange network would be great.

Released by MED Land project / photography, audio conversations, editing: BB / cover photo: self-portrait by Hariklia and Elena / transcription: BB / text editing/ proof reading: Tadej Turnšek, godfather of the stroy Violeta Bulc

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