Maritime Trades of the Cyclades

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Digital Map

Browse the Maritime Trades of Cyclades digital map:

The Cyclades, an island group in the Aegean sea, are home to a host of maritime crafts and professions which have existed varyingly in Greece throughout ancient and contemporary historical periods. This project traces the imprint of three interlinked traditional practices – wooden boatbuilding, coastal fishing, and seafaring – on the islands of Amorgos, Koufonisia, Paros, Santorini and Syros.

Through the on-site digitizing of archival collections, as well as production of extensive audiovisual documentation, Maritime Trades of the Cyclades provides a digital record attesting to the technical and experiential knowledge of these communities, as well as related cultural practices and beliefs. Over twelve months, this project has produced thousands of documentary photographs arranged into 43 discrete collections; dozens of hours of field recordings and digitized sound recordings; 3D models of selected woodworking tools; over 500 digitized photographs and rare archival documents, presented in 19 archival collections; and a 12 part docu-series.

This material, deployed online and subsequently in a series of public programs on the five islands involved in this project, seeks to celebrate these practices, highlighting the vibrant and crucial role they play in today’s island communities throughout the Cyclades, while advocating for the role they stand to play in the region’s future social, cultural and economic development.

The project’s interactive map presents a selection of this media, including archival collections, photographic documentation, and a series of video portraits created with boatbuilders, fishers and captains on each of the islands. These collections, supplemented on a regular basis, are made available under a Creative Commons open access license, with the aim of facilitating their circulation and re-use.