Outcast Europe

Memories of Displacement and Movement

Outcast Europe

Boarding pass

In 1988, I managed to escape to Canada. My parents did not live anymore and I was the last one from the wider family who was still here. An escape was an opportunity for me to live close to my brothers. I was granted a permit to
travel as a tourist to Austria and once there, I applied for political asylum. It took over a year until Canada agreed to transfer me from Austria. During this time, I stayed in refugee camp in Treiskirchen.” Jiří Navrátil

Silver snuff box

Silver plate snuff box (belonged to Dimitrios Dadiotis), Ayvalik, late 19th early 20th century. The Dadioti family belonged to the bourgeoisie of Kydonies (present day Ayvalik) in Asia Minor. In 1915, during the first persecution that the Greeks of Asia Minor were subjected to, the father of the family, Dimitris, was sent to the forced labor
camps in Beli-keser, where he died of hardships a few months later. The mother, Anastasia, with the three children, Katina, Dimitra and Vaggelis, abandoned their home and moved temporarily to Istanbul. They came back from there  in 1919 when the political circumstances seemed more favorable for the Greeks. The family left again, with the persecution of 1922, first for Lesvos and then for Athens.

Carpet

According to mr. Kyriakos Batsaras, president of the Greek Community of Assyrians, the route of the carpet starts from the village Tal, in Mosul, in present-day Iraq, in the early 1910s, when the persecutions by the Young Turks army begun. The Assyrian population moved to Russia through Iran by land. Russia granted asylum to Assyrian populations, mainly due to the common religion. After the start of the October Revolution, the Assyrian population decided to leave, due to fear of the effect the revolution would have on potential persecutions of Christians. In 1922, they started with the boat from Novorosinski in Northern Russia, and they went down to Bosphorus in search of asylum. In the Narrows of Dardanelles, they asked for asylum in Turkey, that rejected them. They ended up in the quarantine station of Makronisos. From there, after being subjected to medical examinations, they are transferred to Agios Georgios -a small island between Perama and Salamina. From there, they are taken to Aegina, to Poros, to Pireaus, and to Kalamata, and from there to Larissa Station, then to Moschato and finally to Egaleo, where the largest part of the Assyrian population still lives today. Mr. Batsaras mentions: “In comparison with Greek refugees, the difficulties we were facing were enormous, doubled-up that the other refugees. Because you couldn’t speak, you didn’t have a point of reference”.

Frame and photograph

Framed photograph of Dimitrios and Anastasia Dadioti, Ayvalik, c.1900.

The Dadioti family belonged to the bourgeoisie of Kydonies (present day Ayvalik) in Asia Minor. In 1915, during the first persecution that the Greeks of Asia Minor were subjected to, the father of the family, Dimitris, was sent to the forced labor camps in Beli-keser, where he died of hardships a few months later. The mother, Anastasia, with the three children, Katina, Dimitra and Vaggelis, abandoned their home and moved temporarily to Istanbul. They came back from there in 1919 when the political circumstances seemed more favorable for the Greeks. The family left again, with the persecution of 1922,  first for Lesvos and then for Athens.

Pendant

Silver framed pendant of a byzantine coin of Jesus and Cross c.969-1188 AD that belonged to the Dadioti family.

The Dadioti family belonged to the bourgeoisie of Kydonies (present day Ayvalik) in Asia Minor. In 1915, during the first persecution that the Greeks of Asia Minor were subjected to, the father of the family, Dimitris, was sent to the forced labor camps in Beli-keser, where he died of hardships a few months later. The mother, Anastasia, with the three children, Katina, Dimitra and Vaggelis, abandoned their home and moved temporarily to Istanbul. They came back from there in 1919 when the political circumstances seemed more favorable for the Greeks. The family left again, with the persecution of 1922, first for Lesvos and then for Athens.

Handiwork – Colourful patches

“The handiwork of my grandmother, Varvara Ioannidou-Peniadoy from Zoguldak (Nea Heraclia) kept inside it, tightly guarded, the small refugee fortune of the family that had arrived from Istanbul to Thessaloniki in 1924.
Stored deep in the basement of aunt Eleftheria’s house, the handiwork never saw daylight until my grandma, my aunt and Froso (my mother) died and the basement had to be emptied for rent. They did not manage to grasp again the thread of their microhistory, digging deep inside the painful memory. With reverence, I dedicate this to them and reconnect the thread of history that was cut.

I carved a linoleum uterus based on a photo of my daughter Lianka Pandolfini from the theatre play “The Way Home” that she directed and acted in, in 2013 The play focused on the condition of being a refugee. I printed them in the centre of the fabric and in that way four generations of women carrying the same memory unite in a colourful handiwork.” Dimitra Siaterli

Pink dress

“This handmade child’s dress was donated to the museum of Asia Minor Culture of Egaleo by Mrs Maria Sofianou who has been the president of the Pergamos Association. In a journey to Pergamos by the end of the 2000s, together with a team of descendants of the Pergamos refugees, they were walking around the city. They stood in front of a house and started talking. The owner heard them and asked them if they were Greek. When they responded affirmatively, he asked them to wait and reentered the house. He returned with this pink dress he found in the attic of the house when he bought it decades earlier. Take it, he said, it belongs to you”. Dina Kalliotzi

Donated by Maria Sofianou to the Museum of Asia Minor Culture of Egaleo and lended to Outcast Europe.