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Food Shoppers 'Elsewhere', a project by Alexis Ftakas

27 August, 2016
Elsewhere ©Alexis Ftakas

Photo Alexis Ftakas

How have your Greek origins influenced your work?
My research into cultural identities is strongly influenced by my personal experience. In Italy, I have always been considered, largely in an affectionate manner, as Greek. Whenever I introduce myself, people ask me where I come from and, on hearing my answer "I'm Italian, but of Greek origin", they all go on to say "oh, so you were born in Greece?" I have always leveraged this factor to my own advantage and it has never been a burden to me, on the contrary, I have always been proud of it. In Greece, however, the opposite is true. Here I am the Italian cousin, the Italian nephew with a Greek father. I am in the middle and this existence in the middle has developed my curiosity towards what it means to "belong" to a culture. And, since photography is my research tool, this is evidently reflected in my work.

On the subject of your personal relationship with food, what is the earliest flavor you remember and why?
As a child, I was lucky enough to travel a lot and so I associate my childhood with granny's tagliatelle and meat sauce, as well as curried rice, Greek baklava and the typical piadina of Romagna. Well, let's say it is a fusion of the cuisine of Emilia Romagna (I was born and raised in Bologna) and Eastern fare!

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