Culture and Sports revives and strengthens Greek handicrafts

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The revival of Greek handicrafts and the support of the country’s craftsmen-artists aims to create a strategic program for the reconstitution, development and redefinition of Greek handicrafts, through a Program Agreement between the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the University of Thessaly, which is financed by the Recovery Fund with € 766.196, and has an implementation period of 18 months.

With the directions that will emerge from the above strategy, the mission of the Ministry of the Interior is directly and decisively supported regarding the rescue and promotion of the wealth of handicrafts that Greece has, not exclusively as an element of intangible cultural heritage, but as a dynamic sector that can be redefined with the help of entrepreneurship, networking and technology. An upgrade of the three branches will be achieved, the creation of a new path based on design and modern technologies and modern business models will be applied, in order to achieve a substantial cultural and economic revitalization of local societies, with the creation of new dynamic businesses that also involve jobs, utilizing sustainable way, local resources and materials and boosting exports.

Precious carpets – works of art, ceramic objects that beautify our everyday life and make it more functional, wood carvings that aesthetically decorate our spaces… These are just some of the types of handicrafts to which we often do not pay due attention

but behind them hide a huge effort but also a dimension in which we have not yet invested as a country.

“A sector that could give a boost to the economy and not only to culture has not really been exploited. And we see this with states that have much less resources than us. Handicraft produces objects with some techniques which are even protected by UNESCO as traditional and which we must preserve”, says the chairperson of the Handicraft Committee of the Ministry of Development, Aikaterini Polymerou Kamilakis, to

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Director of the Folklore Center of the Academy of Athens for twenty years, university professor in the field of Folklore, currently retired and member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ committee for intangible heritage, as well as of the “Greece 2021 Committee”, she has been studying folk culture for many years trying to contribute consulting for a renewal in this area. “We have to develop these techniques. Let’s enable young people to do new things by working with them”, he emphasizes.

He also raises another issue in the discussion

Today with climate change we must protect ourselves from the use of materials that are harmful to the environment. Therefore, handicrafts enable us to utilize materials that we have abandoned years ago, such as wool, flax, silk, clay, which today we import from abroad, when we could produce them ourselves as a country . Also, we could use other plants with fiber such as hemp or immortelle,” he points out.

It also gives another side to the craft

The occasion for her arrival in Thessaloniki is the handicraft exhibition presented at Pavilion 13 of the TIF, right next to the KTHBE exhibition space.

“The exhibition is not a rich place to display the objects. We avoided it because there is so much wealth produced by young people who attempt to connect the past with the future and thus we would be doing them an injustice. For this reason, we make a suggestion. Something that is being done for the first time between the Ministry of Development and the Ministry of Culture. Two high-level government agencies are working together to finally give the craft a face. Why should these people be educated? We are the only country in the Balkans that does not have education in the applied arts. There are some efforts that are either private or at the IEK level. If someone wants to study ceramics, for example,

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they have to go abroadSo we have to organize better.”

Now, the workshop that will be held today at 12pm at MOMus on the topic of “Craftsmanship and Development” will be the occasion to open such a discussion. “We want to highlight how yesterday’s craftsmanship can graft tomorrow’s economy,” says Ms. Kamilari. Thus, as part of the conference, artisans and their representatives will talk with the Minister of Development and Investments Adonis Georgiadis, the Deputy Minister of Contemporary Culture Nikolas Giatromanolakis, the president of MOMus Andreas Takis and others. “This is a discussion in which all problems will be raised. I believe that some initial conclusions will be drawn from an open exchange of views with the public who will be able to watch online as well”, concludes Ms. Kamilaki.

She talks in the video below about the usefulness of crafts in our lives