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Xenitia by Etienne Audrey Bruce

Xenitia by Etienne Audrey Bruce


Xenitia is an archive, centered on displacement to Greece; it combines the photographs Etienne made whilst living in Greece in 2016, with poetry written by the friends she made in refugee camps, extracts from conversations as well as passages of traditional songs from the region of Epirus. The book also includes an essay by migration expert Sophia Sheera which comments on the images whilst offering critical and compassionate reflections on the current status of refugees in Greece. 

Shot across Greece the images in the book produce a complex mosaic of movement and feeling within Greece. In 1923, a treaty was drawn up between the governments of Greece and Turkey which forcibly displaced millions of people from their homes. Recent economic hardship in Greece has produced a fresh wave of emigration. At the same time, hundreds of people fleeing war and persecution at home arrive on Greek shores every day. Xenitia elicits comparison between the local and the universal, conjuring similarities amongst diverse experiences.

By working in a variety of locations (Thessaloniki, Pogo, Souroti & Volos), and documenting multiple different migrations and migratory paths, Etienne was able to look at migration from the perspective of both arrival and departure. This duel lens is at the core of the book and helps gives the images their compassionate and optimistic undertone.  

The book is consequently framed by two motifs: nostos (Classical Greek; to return home, homecoming) and algos (Classical Greek; pain, grief). Together, these affect-laden words form the root of nostalgia. Xenitia itself is a Greek term that encompasses the state of being a foreigner, otherness, estrangement, loss, distance, and a profound yearning for home soil.

Xenitia has been exhibited at The Bottle Factory, London, 2022 as well as TAF, Athens, 2023.

160 pages 
gatefold cover with embossed text and logo
Litho printed by Gomer Press 

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