Afroditi Maragkou (University of Thessaly)
Rurality, Ruins and Archives.
Mapping the Architectural History of the Greek Countryside
What remains unexamined and undervalued in the Greek landscape, are the extreme and abandoned limits of the small non-metropolitan regional areas. In these limits of Greek cities we can identify a great dispersion, a marginal instability, states of transition and deposition. The architectural and planning policies of the Greek state, through the modernistic period, have set a significant number of traces on the rural part of the country. These traces on the countryside, can only be recorded and historically analyzed through systematic approach and subjective mapping, such as the methodology of oral history promotes. The landscape of the lowlands of Thessaly is selected as a paradigm of a changing reality, where one can see and recognize a number of exemplary transformations and specificities. The resettlement phenomenon of the mountain populations in Karditsa region, which was affected by the reclamation infrastructure of the 1960s (construction of Megdova dam), is the springboard for a dispersion of new residential settlements in the lowlands. This relocation process had a significant impact on the transformation of the rural landscape of Thessaly, as well as on the social life of the countryside.
The architectural and historical research is motivated from the current ruin condition of these promising residential settlements on the countryside of Thessaly and systematically examines the policies that lead from the construction of Megdova dam to these abandoned traces on the landscape. The methodology of this research is based on an ongoing interdisciplinary archive, including oral testimonies, historical sources, state documents, blueprints and other official recordings, which are able to compose and interpret the architectural, topological and social history of these modernistic interventions on the countryside of Thessaly.