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I have brought a photograph of my grandmother, who came from Asia Minor, and who is no longer alive. I brought this because we look a lot alike and she was a bit like a second mum to me. She would always indulge me, even though she was strict. She was born in Giresun, but she met her husband in Trabzon, they fell in love and so on.

Sophie tells us that she was born in Athens, but her father was born in Trabzon, which he left with his family when she was only four years old.

They were very rich because my grandfather – my grandmother’s husband – was a ‘’mukhtar’’, president of the community, and they had Turkish friends who had been told “a great evil is coming, leave”. So they brought all their possessions with them, meaning they were financially sound.

I didn’t know all this at first, I only knew my grandmother who was from Gelibolu, and she would do me all sorts of favours. My sister looked into these things earlier than I did. I was not indifferent exactly, but I took them for granted. I was born in Athens, I went to school in Athens, I used to see her, but I didn’t know she had come from Trabzon.

I remember that she would make me read a story by Xenopoulos about Thanasos and every time she would cry and I would ask her why she was crying. She had never said anything bad to me: I don’t think they suffered. Of course, she was unlucky afterwards, as she lost her husband to a doctor’s mistake.

I have no desire to go [to Tabzon]. First of all, the house will not exist, but even if I see it, what will happen? I know that I have her in me, through my parents.

She died when I was in England. I left for studies in July ’76 and wanted to stay in England, but things didn’t go the way I wanted. But I did get the degree, training afterwards, and then I worked there. I graduated in English and Greek Philology. I feel like, not exactly an Asia Minor Greek, but like I’m more like that side of the family.


Creator of object:
Place / Country of creation:
Asia Minor (Trabzon)
Year / Era of creation:
Before 1922
Sofi Kiousi
Type / Description of object:
Photograph of Sofi’s grandmother
Object route:
Asia Minor (Trabzon) – Greece (Piraeus)
Year / Era of movement:
Reason of movement:
Minor Asia Catastrophe
License of digital image:

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