The local festival of Kampos: a fictional narrative of place, space and interiority.

The local festival of Kampos: a fictional narrative of place, space and interiority.

The local festival of Kampos: a fictional narrative of place, space and interiority

The fictional narrative that follows concerns the interiority of village life in Kampos, a farming village on the Greek Cycladic island of Tinos, on the day the village celebrates the Holy Trinity, its patron saint. The village area on this festive day is depicted in the movement of the families from their houses to the church, the procession from the patron saint’s church to a smaller church through the main village street, and, finally, in the movement of the villagers back to specific houses, which are “open” on this day. They are the houses that offer a traditional festive meal to their guests and visitors and are given a public role within the context of the village and its spatial structure. 

The narrative will explore and present interiority through village life, the villagers’ relations and movement within the topography of the village during this very special day. Everyday life in Kampos could be a response to some of the prejudices and difficulties that affect many other cultures in our globalized world. This village, just like other villages on Tinos, allows us to observe different ways of living that reveal a different perception of interiority and a spatial perception through architecture and the use of narratives of its inhabitants. Through fiction and the use of phenomenology and hermeneutics, I intend to reveal another architectural dialogue based on language, words and narratives as a new “space of experience”, as stated by Pérez-Gómez.

On this special day in the village of Kampos, the boundaries of private and public life merge and become flexible, in the sense that many houses renounce their privacy to honour the occasion. There villagers' their stories develop in the “interior” space of the village and in the daily lives of the village people, with conflicts and agreements.  The meaning of cleanliness in the village -which also reveals interiority and a shared perception among the villagers- reveals a different sense of ownership. Then, through a number of spatial and social layers, we reach the meaning of the communal table, where food is shared. In the interior of the house, around the table, an important number of social and ethical boundaries are revealed, combined and merged. A series of negotiations create a different space, where the public, private and communal blend revealing different layers of “interiority” through which this community is bounded and connected.

While conducting this research, I soon realized that in the narrative created out of the villagers’ life, space and landscape consists of a series of metaphors about what dwelling is in this part of the world and in this specific landscape, which is an instance of a contemporary way of living that remains connected with tradition in which the past is a mimetic action within the present. Acting mimetically myself, I created these fictional narratives based on a metaphor of the villagers’ own metaphors of their ownreality. I joined them through my personal experience of the village as a variation of truth. I kept in mind the revelation and discovery of truth through fiction, story or myth, as argued by the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur. This made me understand, along the lines of Ricoeur, the “mediating role” of fiction as a weaving procedure of different things that make up life. This complexity of life is what narrative tries to imitate.


Fictional narrative: The local festival of Kampos

It was only 8 o’clock on Sunday morning and already there was movement in the narrow village streets formed by the walls of the street-level  storage spaces and the stair thresholds leading to the front courtyards of the houses. On the main street, in front of Nikiforos’ courtyard wall, where the big walnut tree leaned against Kyra Eleni’s wall, Eleni was already busy sweeping leaves on the street in front of her house. The concrete street was framed by a white painted line of lime, an indication that it had been spruced up for the festivities. In front of a long empty wall that was part of Kyra Eleni’s basement and the storage area of the house, her husband, Mathios, had fastened a rope on two metal rings which supported long bunches of sparta, bushes with little yellow flowers at the edges of the roads all over Tinos. Farther down the street, Nikiforos was also decorating his wall with sparta while talking to Simo. Most of the male villagers were doing the same that morning.

At around 9 o’clock, the streets became busier as the priests and the parishioners walked towards the village church, where the patron saint of the village would be celebrated on the day. At the same time, the bells of Holy Trinity Church started ringing to remind the villagers that mass would start in about an hour. The church was sparkling. Everything had been cleaned and polished, including the chandeliers. Every piece of copper or silver and every surface of white marble or wood was clean and shiny. The big vases located at the bottom and at the top of the altar were filled with long-stemmed daffodils. It seemed as if they were an extension of the altar, reaching towards the ceiling of the church. The ceiling of the church was particularly beautiful, painted in a light blue color with delicate golden stars.

Numerous footsteps could be heard echoing under the vaulted archways over the streets of the village. Murmurs and laughter crowded the spaces under the village’s vaults and the streets. With uncharacteristic punctuality, everyone from the village, including guests and visitors, were at the church at 10 o’clock. One by one, they started to sit on the church benches, as chanting and the smell of incense filled the space. The church became so crowded that people poured out onto the pebbled courtyard. Most of those outside chatted and gossiped, despite the admonishments by an old lady inside the church who hissed, “Shush!”

“Did you see how clean and shiny everything was in the church this morning, Mathios? It’s worth the money that each family paid over the last four months for the cleaning ladies from Smardakito, since “our own” said that they wouldn’t be able to clean the church”, Eleni whispered in Mathios’ ear. There was silence.Then, with slightly more tension in her voice, she began complaining about the commissioners and her co-villagers .

“Last year, when the new commissioners were in charge of cleaning the church, nothing had been cleaned. The courtyard had not been weeded. Not even the street passing in front of the nearby houses was clean” .

“Yes but this is not public in the same way that the street of the church is public”,  Manthos replied.

Just like at my grandmother’s house that has two trees extending from Simo’s courtyard: one day she sweeps one tree, the other day sweeps the other”, Eleni couldn’t helpsnapping back. 

Sofia, standing next to them, interrupted their hushed exchange: “May your grace forgive me, but she does not sweep there. She sweeps in front of Simo’s house. From that point on, there is a courtyard with a walnut tree. This walnut tree loses its leaves every September or October. Well, Aniez sweeps only in front of her house. She doesn’t sweep the leaves of the courtyard. My mother-in-law does that. For the branches that extend to my mother’s side, for example, Simos gives her a bowl of walnuts.” 

Mathios and Eleni remained silent.

“Anyway, did you hear the sound of the new bell?” Mathios whispered back to Sofia.

“On this festive day, I usually like to chant when I am in church,” said Sofia. “All the hubbub from the men talking outside prevents me from concentrating.” It was now clear to Eleni that Sofia didn’t want to continue the conversation.

Mass was glorious, as expected on this festive day.Before the mass ended, the priests lined up in the central aisle of the church. Then, their assistants picked up the chandeliers that they would carry on their procession through the village to Saint Ioannis church. They started moving slowly down the aisle and out towards the church courtyard , chanting loudly into a hand-held microphone as the new bell rang above. They made their way through the crowd, who were starting to jostle each other on both sides of the courtyard to allow the group accompanying the priest to pass and then follow the procession.  

At the head of the procession the priests were protected by a moving tent of shiny golden weaved fabric, held by four villagers with wooden posts forming a square shaded area underneath. Behind them, were village representatives, the mayor and his staff then the villagers and their guests. The procession widened and narrowed, much as liquid would, following the boundaries formed by the narrow streets, walls, pots, plants and steps of each house. 

The lanterns and the golden tent, had to be lowered every time the procession passed under a vaulted archway. When the procession reached the other side of the village, it stopped. The doors of Saint Ioannis church were wide open to welcome the blessing of the priests. 

The crowd squeezed close to the walls at the edge of the streets so as to allow the procession to pass through. Some stayed in the courtyard the church of the Holy Trinity and waited for the procession to return. Others had started to disperse even before the crowd had returned to the church of the Holy Trinity. There were small groups of people chatting with each other. People were hugging and kissing and wishing each other well. When the procession finally reached the church of the Holy Trinity, within a few minutes mass had officially finished. The crowd stood in the courtyard of the church, making quite a commotion. But even so, the sound of murmurs and chatter was drowned out by the loud ringing of the new bell. From this sacred and central place in the village, where all had gathered in a spirit of solidarity, the villagers and their guests began moving in different directions through the small, narrow streets and the large alleyways of the village core. Opposite the new village square, where the street widened and the wall of the old ruined house by the corner casts a shadow on the street and the square, Manolis and Mathios met each other and stood by the wall to exchange wishes.

Kai tou chronou, Manolis. Are you going to Manthos’ house?”, Mathios said. “That’s where we meet nearly every year, don’t we? I think the only time that you weren’t there was last year.”

“Usually my wife’s sister welcomes visitors at her house on this day. Usually, we go to Manthos’ house and Foteini’s sister’s place, but last year we didn’t go anywhere, we were mourning. I didn’t see you, Mathios, in church this morning. Where were you?” 

“I was outside in the courtyard most of the time. I also rang the bell this year, since I wasn’t able last year because of my knee. Simos and Nikiforos rang the bell too. You should have seen how Simos kneeled down against the taut rope, holding on to it as tightly as he could, with both hands in front of his face.”

“Mathios, what happened between you and Panagiotis? Somebody said in the caffenio the other day that you had a big argument about a piece of land,” asked Manolis, lowering his voice.

“Eh, this is another reason why I didn’t want to go outside into the courtyard during mass today. Panagiotis was there.” There was silence for a couple of seconds and then Mathios and Panagiotis went on walking towards Manthos’ house, followed by their wives who were chatting about how glamorous mass was.

In the shade of the vaulted archways that covered and formed the village streets, and among the comings and goings of the villagers, Manthos' guests became more numerous as they moved towards his house.

“Who whitewashed the village this year for the festivity?” exclaimed Manolis as he walked. “Did they send anyone from the municipality?” he said as both continued to walk faster than the rest of Mathios’ group. They continued down the street that leads to the lower parts of the village.

“Baaaaa (No)Manolis, they stopped doing that two years ago. If it weren’t for the villagers, nothing would be done. We have to return to our good habits of cleaning, as we did before the municipality offered to do this instead. There is no use waiting for the municipality! Every villager whitewashed their own wall in front of their house,” was the response of Mathios.

As they were walking, Mathios went on, “I met Giorgis, the village representative, the other day and he was upset with dog owners in the village who do not pick up their dog’s excrements from the streets”

“Eh, the village must be clean”, Manolis said, almost irritated.

Manthos’ house was/is located next to the village ring road, which leads to the village well. The house was hidden behind a stone boundary wall and a garden blooming with roses that could be seen in all its beauty if somebody were to approach it from the higher-level street.

All the guests walked in twos through a narrow corridor bordered by stone slate that divided up the garden with the roses in two parts. At the end of the corridor, there was a shaded courtyard and Manthos waited at the doorstep. This house was newly built and designed to extend over the ground floor. As it was not part of the village core, the house had a garden.

Manthos greeted his guests. “Chronia polla and welcome.”

The door of the house was already wide open. The north wind blew through the house carrying scents of cooking meat and local delicacies. The guests entered the house and, after wishing the hosts well, they filled the living room area next to the entrance where a huge table was set especially for the day, covering the living room’s three walls . Apparently, other furniture had been removed and put elsewhere. The table was decorated with a white linen tablecloth, beautiful white plates with silver painted decorations and shiny cutlery. Small vases with flowers were placed every eighth plate and colorful delicacies. Slices of red meat, green salads and salads with a beautifully made yellow mayonnaise, slices of dark sausage, vegetable plates and many other delicacies were laid out in preparation for a rich and tasty banquet.

There are forty-five official guests for the meal,” explained Manthos. “Of course, there will be many more that will drop by to wish us well for this festive day since they know that every year we open up our home.”

The loud voices were abruptly cut short when the village priest entered the room. He stood in front of the festive table. Priest Giorgis greeted everyone, “Chronia polla to all of you. May God grant you happiness and good health. I came early,” Father Giorgis said apologetically. “I guess that I should wait until most of the guests sit at the table and then bless the meal.”

“Considering that the table is almost full, I think you can start. People are still standing around in the narrow corridor of the house’s garden. They will come in and take their seats soon.” Manthos whispered.

As the guests were taking their seats around the tables, Eleni, Manthos’ wife looked worried.As she pushed his hand gently, she whispered. “Mathie! Panagiotis just came in with Poppi. I am afraid. There are no more chairs and a place at the table left for Panagiotis and his wife. Two unexpected guests who came with the Russians and one extra Australian guest completely messed up the seating plan that I had in mind. I am terribly sorry, but would you mind if I put them here, next to you? These are the only two chairs left.”

“Ohhh!!” Mathios let out a cry of dismay.He was in despair. All the chairs, food and wine on the table started to look like enemies that had trapped him in this position. He expected his wife’s support. He was speechless when his wife took a totally unexpected position

Panagiotis didn’t look very happy either when he realized that he had to sit next to his “enemy.” This situation wiped the smile off his face. But it was obvious that the table was so full that he didn’t have any other choice but leave and leaving was not an option, because this would be very rude towards the hosts. So, followed by his wife, he squeezed himself in the gap, between the wall and the other guests at the table, taking the only two places left. He let his wife pass first. He didn’t even turn his head to look at Mathios. He managed to conceal his embarrassment by greeting everybody. Both men seemed numb and it looked as if their wives had to play a more active social role at the table. Though unaware of the argument between them, the other guests could sense the coldness between them.

Just before starting with the appetizers, which were already on the table and carefully placed for decorative purposes, Father Giorgis stood up at the head of the table and blessed the food and the day. He blessed the feast in the name of the parish church and the community of the village, and the festive meal made from the orchards and animals of the family. Everyone stood up and bowed their heads respectfully, even those who had been unable to resist the appetizers and were caught with their mouths full.

The priest gave the blessing. The meal officially started. Plates, appetizers, wine, glasses, spoons and forks were busily moved across the table. Bottles of white and red wine were emptied, while filled glasses were clinking with wishes for many good years ahead. There was a joyful commotion by glasses and the clatter of cutlery against the white porcelain plates. 

Then Katerina, followed by her mother and her daughter, entered the sala coming from the kitchen in an almost ritualistic manner. Each of the three women was holding a huge plate of pilaf on one hand and tiny pieces of liver cooked in red sauce on the other. Katerina was also accompanied by her husband, Manthos, who hadn’t stopped serving his guests wine and helping all of them feel comfortable as they enjoyed the meal. The three women went each to a table and started to fill each plate with the first food of the festive menu. After the ritualistic procedure of serving the food, Katerina wished that this could be a good opportunity for Mathios and Panagiotis to get over their disagreement.

Mathios and Panagiotis clinked hesitantly their glasses alongside the many other glasses that clinked. Larger plates of rice and chopped pieces of liver in tomato sauce were passed around the table. These plates had to be passed to and from Mathios’ and Panagiotis’ hands so as to reach the other end of the table. Then the plates of beef were handed around and the plates of cooked artichokes. The different tastes intermingled with wine. The guests exclaimed with pleasure and enthusiasm. As everyone was having such a good time, the ice between the two men began to thaw. After everyone’s hunger had been satiated, the first discussions began around the busy table.

“Mathie, did you get your first cucumbers? Your plants looked so well the other day when I passed by your garden,” asked Nikiforos.

“Aaaa, kampiasane. Ta glossofagane,” said Mathios moving his head with complaint.

“My cow suffered from fever two weeks ago and it was because of “the fly.” Did you check if there was a fly under the cow’s skin?”, said Panagiotis.

“The fly? But isn’t it too early for “the fly”? Usually the flies appear in August!” This information delights Mathios who forgets that he is not on speaking terms with the person offering it.


It was early in the afternoon when other villagers, who weren’t able to join the meal because they were invited elsewhere, began arriving and greeting everyone. The new arrivals in the big sala made the heavy atmosphere lighter. Katerina changed the plates of the guests who left early for another house with clean plates for the guests who just arrived. Panagiotis and Mathios were still talking dispassionately about their cows and Manthos came in the sala to check again that everything was going all right and that food and wine were abundant on the table.

People were still coming and going as the number of rosy-cheeked men grew and the first songs were heard at one corner of the long table. The guests were having a good time. There was a lot of talking and mirth, around the table. 

The day went by and the early evening sunset light reached this part of the village. By this time, the guests and other friends and villagers in Manthos’ house were getting progressively more drunk and singing louder than before. Different sweets, cheeses, and other delicacies continued appearing in front of them. Panagiotis and Mathios had left Manthos’ house with their wives at their sides, still talking about all the illnesses and misfortunes that plague them, but which apparently bring the villagers closer at times like this. 


Interpretation of the spaces, habits and traditions in the village of Kampos where the fictional narrative took place.


The street and the boundary of cleanliness

Besides the “open” houses on this festive day, all  ownersclean the street in front of their house. The street is thoroughly cleaned, whitewashed either by villagers who whitewash otherareas in the village or by the family. The streets are decorated by each family and their neighbors. As Hirschon claims, in social life the boundary between the “house” and the road, the inner and outer realms, is the area of orientation for interaction among women in the neighborhood. However, this spatial division also creates a mediating boundary between communal life in the village and the space of the family as kinship.

Cleanliness is an issue and there is significant preparation before the celebration of the festive day of the patron saint of the church. The church is also re-painted white along with the houses of the village and all streets and alleys, which are cleaned and white-washed. This symbolizes the purification of the village space before the festival, a day of high religious importance for the villagers. On the day of the celebration, everything is in order and in a state of pristine cleanliness. According to Douglas, cleanliness is the appropriate state of finding someone or something in its proper location, in which dirt is perceived as “matter out of place,” so the process of cleaning is actually a means of delimitation and the defence of boundaries. Water is for cleaning the streets and the courtyards after sweeping and before the whitewashing.


In the late 1960s, the local police ensured the cleanliness of the streets and the village, setting strict boundaries and penalties for any violation of the oral law of cleanliness. Nowadays, cleanliness establishes daily issues of negotiation, as is the case for the village’s festive day. Both men and women contribute to the “good image” of the house by dividing up their labour cleaning and decorating their house, maintaining at the same time the village’s good image. However, the cleanliness of the exterior space of the house defines the boundaries of the family property in relation to the other houses of the village community. Women sweep the streets, while men whitewashing them. Sometimes women whitewash, too. Women pour water to clean, while men do construction work and decorate with sparta. In addition to being an act of order and purification, according to Douglas the ritual of cleaning unifies the experience of the villages.It creates social relations and it allows this community to develop a sense of knowledge of its own structure.


The church and the village

The village consists of a spatial, social and religious structure. Its centre is the parish church, not in terms of topographical location, but rather as the place that provides a communal activity. Generally each village has a parish church, which is called enoria, en- oria (within a boundary), which also means a small territory where Christians live. It is a divine-human institution with Christ as the head of the church and its members. According to a theological interpretation, church, “ekklesia”, is not the building itself but the assembly of people. The definition of the word had a political meaning in the classical Greek world, since the basic institution of the polis was the ekklesia of demos, a political body of the polis.


In the village of Kampos, the parish church, which is dedicated to Holy Trinity, is situated at the eastern edge of the village at the end of the main street and close to the fields. In the past, the church was probably located in the village centre . As the village grew bigger, the church was moved from its initial position. The festival, celebrated around mid-June, also attracts inhabitants of the surrounding villages. The church, as inscribed in a marble inscription over its right front door, was built in 1623. However, the parish church in its present form was built in 1760. The church has had an intense religious history, also according to the stories told in the village itself.It was preserved by Jesuit priests and the nuns of St Angela, who moved to Kampos and other villages of the island after the fall of the Venetian castle. 

Holy Trinity, a three aisled basilica, has three front doors opening in a pebbled courtyard with a big belfry on the left. The main village church in a village on Tinos usually is a three-aisled basilica, spacious enough, as Foskolos writes, to receive not only the peasants of the village but also the other faithful who come to the annual festivities. As most of the churches on the island, it has a marble floor and inscribed plaques on the marble attesting the presence of tombs.

The church is the place where the village community comes together for a common purpose and a collective memory, further affirmed through the expression of religious practices. The courtyard of the church is a meeting place where political and social debates arise after the church service. Furthermore, announcements are made concerning the communal life of the villagers.

On this day, the church reflects the village identity, power and authority. It also represents the village as a political body, since it defines its identity through its patron saint and the dates of local festivities and rituals. These religious festivals demarcate its territory in space as well as in time. The church of Holy Trinity creates an identity for the village community, especially on the day of the patron saint’s local festival; it represents the political body of the village society and also the Christian ‘body’, whose members relate to each other like brothers in the same family. The patron saint of the church establishes a territory, which defines the identity of the village not only as space and an area of daily action but also in relation to time: in the space of the church, the villagers identify themselves not only as members of the Christian community, but especially as members of the village community.


The local festivity and communal spaces

“The originally sacred character of all festivals obviously excludes the familiar distinction in time-experience between present, memory, and expectation. The time-experience of the festival is rather its celebration, a present time sui generis.” This quote from Gadamer reveals how the celebration of the feasts of the local calendar can lift people out of chronological time. It reflects how the sacred establishes its time, but also how time, festive or liturgical, is a chance for man to be homologized to unity and eternity becoming part of a historical event out of the established or objective notion of time.

The religious festivities connected with the celebration of the patron saint stimulate the drive for a dialogue between the house and the church, and create a transition between what is individual and what is communal. There is a big preparation before the celebration of the patron saint of the church.The festival of the patron saint is an event experienced in every house of the village. It is all about exchanging hospitality and sharing the meal that people offer one another in their houses. 

Public, communal, and private spaces reveal many more negotiable boundaries for the experience of the villagers and their guests. Boundaries intermingle because the houses are open and become communal, but also village visitors, guests and foreigners create a hierarchy within the hospitality of the house itself (guests, relatives, village friends, priests, foreigners and new friends). The acceptance of an invitation is always an honor for the host, the family, and the house: it is even more valuable when the guest is a foreigner and somebody new and important for the village life.


The open house - the role of women and men

The village house is a place for the family, intimately connected with the village environment and social life. In the everyday village life, the house creates a centre in the family life and its zones reflect different part of the village social life and the family’s dailies activities. The family centre is the kitchen and specifically the centre of womens’ work world, the family’s gathering place but also the place where close friends can come for coffee or raki. After the kitchen, the sala is used for formal occasions or formal gatherings. The sala opens up especially on the panigyri on saints’ namedays, but it is also open for all major life occasions such as funerals, weddings or baptisms.

Women are generally responsible for cleaning the interior and also the exterior of the house/ courtyard, as well as the public road that passes in front of their houses. Initially, women in the village appear to ''transform'' into the space of the home, having a more dominant role and being the ones that determine the procedure of maintaining food/seeds, fruit, vegetables and milk products that the man of the household brings home. Women clean and organize the house and make the house presentable, especially on the day of the village festival. 

Men are presented in the society of the village as the representatives of the family, as in the broader landscape of the village. This is demonstrated through their continuous presence and work in the fields. This is why on this festive day they stand at the threshold of the house, on the passage from the community’s world to their family’s world. Generally, it shows how the boundaries between men and women are mitigated through the need for an efficient management of the ‘household', the organization of their house and their survival. This survival extends beyond the courtyard and the threshold of their home and is based on collaboration. The preparation and completion of the festive meal is an ideal representation of the ideal nikokyrio/ household, which, as Salamone and Stanton explain, is a corporate, family-based enterprise reflecting the family’s self-sufficiency. Both men and women draw social prestige from the communal success of the nikokyrio. Moreover, the nikokyrio relies fundamentally on both public and private economic sectors; “as an ideal, it has historically taken precedence, whenever realizable, over other forms of rural Greek economic organisation”.


The festive meal 

The relationship of the church to every family unit of the village passes through the meal that is offered for this festival day. The guests must be invited in order to attend the meal, this is why when they respond to the invitation they do so with the awareness that they represent their family in the festive meal. If there is an invitation from another house, to the family members will split up so as to respond to both invitations.

The hearth, the meal, and the food are entry points into the domestic circle for those who are not members of the family, allowing in this way inclusion in the family community, as Vernant explains (Vernant, 1983).This also has a connotation that reflects L. Boyer’s thoughts about rediscovering the primitive supper in mass, in which the Eucharist should take on as far as possible the appearance of a meal taken commonly among friends (Boyer, 1963). If the priest is able to attend the festive meal, he will initiate the beginning of the meal with a prayer. In this way, the meal at the family house after mass at the church becomes a re-interpretation of the primitive supper. This also links the house with the church, not only topographically, but also as a mediator of the revival of a historical event revealing a hierarchy and order between the divine world of the church and the mundane world of the house. 

The communal meal on the occasion of Holy Trinity’s local festival becomes an agent for the village identity and a place, where boundaries dissolve. This does not only concern boundaries of privacy, but also social, emotional, and ethical boundaries, which intermingle while the family’s identity spreads out to/is diffused to the other village houses. The meal in Kampos reflects the relationship between the family and its land, since the meal produced from this land by the work of the family becomes a centre, a communal act for the family. This communal meal brings together many layers of village life and its social structure but also the sacred/ religious world.

According to Salamone and Stanton, public prestige, as realized through the ideal of the nikokyrio, is no longer applied exclusively to males. This fact affirms and reveals the real influence of women in village life. In this way, the small community recognizes that women too gain public prestige, which is often equal to and sometimes greater than that of their husbands (Salmon and Stanton, 1986). On this specific day when the house of the family, the nikokyrio, and the meal become agents of negotiation reflecting the village culture at so many different levels, the role of the woman as the noikokyra of the house exists between the public and private realm.

The actual procedure of sharing the food becomes an element of ethical, unspoken negotiation, a way of dealing with a past argument connected to a negotiation of land and property. On the other hand, in a transient and shifting situation as is the case with these two men, we can still think that the type of intelligence used by Katerina may be similar to this of Metis. Using the meal and the lack of chairs, resorting with subtlety to deception, and through a series of intelligent and cunning actions, Katerina reconnects the two men through the festive meal.





On the festive day of Saint Tirinity, boundaries among public, private and communal things, between the role of men and women, become porous and reveal a different sense of interiority in village life. The buildings, as well as the people that create the surrounding landscape through their activities in the village, as Malpas claims, are “embedded in the physical landscape is a landscape of personal and cultural history of social ordering and symbolism.” “The land carries on its face, in pathways, monuments and sites, a cultural memory and storehouse of ideas.”

I imitated the villagers’ story-telling, creating fictional narratives out of their stories, their spaces, the life they have together. However, I worked based on an imaginary plot. I followed Ricoeur’s argument about how words in a sentence can reveal a discourse in the world, giving language the function of making images. “Unless we go back to the world, space cannot be conceived,” as Heidegger states. The space and topography of Kampos is conceived in this text through the stories of the everyday interactions of the villagers, their connection with religion, their rites, their conflicts and agreements.

The fictional narrative that emerged was based on the imaginary plot of real and fictional stories that I initially became aware of as another architectural tool to better understand and explore the idea of a “meaningful regionalism” as described by Perez - Gomez in the sense of another dimension of dwelling inherent in the traces and habits created by language. Stories connect language with mimetic action, the habit, which in turn connects our bodily and mental experience with the environment, but also with place and space. According to Crossley “language affords us a grasp upon the world by condensing and mapping it,” while the stories of the villagers and the fictional story allow us to grasp and understand the space of Kampos and to perceive its realities. This knowledge from within ourselves also involves emotions which, through fiction, allow us to connect with space and the interiority of life in this space. The complexity of life is what narrative tries to imitate.  This is the very subtle interiority that connects and ties this society together.

 Architecture, the spatial nature of boundaries in fiction and interpretation, offer a deeper understanding of the different realities of the village structure and life, for instance the vagueness regarding the spatial, ethical, and social boundaries of the village. Language and narrative forms can become tools for understanding and revealing the interiority as a space from within, as truth in these societies in relation to architecture and the environment. Kampos, a community where family structures and community life reveal a different sense of interiority.











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Term [transliteration]

Original term [in Greek]


Chronia polla

Χρόνια πολλά

Many happy returns, Happy Birthday



they were badmouthing

kai tou chronou

και του χρόνου

wishes well for next year/many happy returns



they became infested with grubs



informal title of seniority for women in the village



bush, Spanish broom


σάλα (η)

living room, the room for receiving guests in village houses