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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

“Re-Imag(in)ing Arcadia: British Intervention in the Post-War Reconstruction of Greece, c. 1945-1946”

Moschovi, Alexandra (2010) “Re-Imag(in)ing Arcadia: British Intervention in the Post-War Reconstruction of Greece, c. 1945-1946”. In: Greece and Britain since 1945. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 61-97. ISBN 978-144-381-962-6

Item Type: Book Section


Based on largely unpublished archival material, this chapter critically investigates for the first time the ways that the British intervention in the post-war reconstruction of Greece was pictured by local photographers. It thus focuses on operations of relief and rehabilitation that took place in the months after the liberation and until the British authorities would hand over responsibilities to the American mission. This is pursued through the work of two photographers, Voula Papaioannou, who was formally employed by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, and Maria Chroussachi, who being a volunteer nurse embedded with the British Red Cross, recorded, as an amateur photographer, their health care operations in Northern Greece. Formulating and at the same time reflecting the formal picture of the reconstruction that was to be used towards political ends by different local and foreign governmental bodies, Papaioannou’s photographs appear now as the official historical documents of that era. In contrast, Chroussachi’s more informal approach offers an interpretation of the condition that is filtered through her personal engagement with the events, providing an insight into the common sentiment about foreign intervention. The chapter argues that Greece’s post-war cultural physiognomy, an ideological construct based on foreign organizations’ expectations, old fashioned Philhellenism, the colonial gaze and middle-class tourist imagination, would inform the local and exported ideologeme of Greekness for the decades to come. It also challenges the traditional preconceptions in and around the ideological and conceptual premises of post-war documentary photography.

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Additional Information: This chapter expands critical ideas around the status of post-war documentary and its place in the history of Greece and the history of Greek photography that were first presented in: i) Alexandra Moschovi introduction to I Ellada mesa apo ti Fotografia: 160 Chronia Optikes Martyries (Greece through Photographs: 160 Years of Visual Testimonies), eds A. Moschovi and A. Tsirgialou, Athens: Melissa Publishing (Greek edition 2007/English edition 2009), 340 pages. ii) Alexandra Moschovi, “The Pure and Unmediated Photography” in Dimitris Harissiadis, G. Imsiridou (ed.), 23-34, Athens: Benaki Museum, 2009, 176 pages.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Documentary photography, ethnography, photographic realism, colonialism, Greek history and politics, British post-war humanitarianism
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Depositing User: Alexandra Moschovi


Item ID: 2700
ISBN: 978-144-381-962-6
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Alexandra Moschovi: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2012 10:17
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:33