The Faces of PhlamoudhiThe_Faces_of_Phlamoudhi.html

The story of Phlamoudhi

 


In 1972, while serving as the official photographer to the Columbia University (New York) archaeological expedition to Cyprus, Ian J. Cohn began a personal photographic study, simply by taking a walk through the small village of Phlamoudhi, camera in hand.

In these pictures, we see in great detail what life was like in this remote section of northern Cyprus – and though the date stamp may read twentieth century, our eyes tell us that it was anything but “modern.” Less than two years later, Phlamoudhi was forever changed with the invasion of Turkish forces - the village abandoned, its Greek Cypriot population scattered near and far.

This photographic essay tells the story of Phlamoudhi before the diaspora of 1974, a place known otherwise largely through memory. And, just like those memories, the images captured on film were in danger of being “lost.” Stored in a box for almost 35 years, they were brought back to light following a casual conversation between Mr. Cohn and Pavlos Flourentzos, then director of the Cyprus Museum, following his lecture in New York in 2005 about recent archaeological discoveries in Cyprus.

That fortuitous encounter led to an invitation to exhibit these photographs at the Cyprus Museum.  What followed was over three years of correspondence between the author/photographer and former residents of the village, in particular Savvas Georgiou. Slowly, the identities of the people and locations pictured were restored, and the historical record properly completed. But these photographs revealed much more – the special bond that existed between all members of the community, and their shared love of the land, the place they called home.

From the archaeologists, we learn that 35 centuries ago, the people who lived near Phlamoudhi were suddenly displaced, leaving an enigma buried in the soil. Looking at these pictures, we can understand why people returned, and can presume that others will want to continue to inhabit this beautiful place long into the future. 

All text trilingual - English, Greek, and Turkish

ISBN: 978-0-615-28948-9

© 2009 Ian J. Cohn

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