Author Alexandros Massavetas and journalist Margarita Pournara in conversation, as part of the series “Asia Minor, the Baton of Memory”
The second guest in the Hellenic American Union’s new series of events titled "Meetings with a View " is journalist and writer Alexandros Massavetas, a citizen of the world who lived for 13 years in Turkey, traveling from one end of the country to the other.
The evening’s conversation is a journey into history and what remains of it, not only in our minds and souls, but also in the very places that once played a dramatic role in the Eastern Mediterranean: from the concrete-covered modern-day Smyrna - which has delivered the last fragments of the past to the Greek-speaking Levantines and Jews - we arrive in the Athenian neighbourhood of Nicaea, looking for the traces of the Laskaridis, and from there, in Ayvalik, to the house of Elias Venezis’ family and old churches. The journey continues in Ionia to half-ruined monasteries and landscapes that have retained their natural beauty, to villages, cities, and ports shrouded in oblivion and often neglect.
Alexandros Massavetas is a modern-day traveler who made a grand tour in search of the spiritual and material ruins of the thousand-year-old empire, a journey that ultimately changed his life. The fruit of his wanderings were two books published by Patakis Publications, entitled Constantinople - The City of the Absent and Asia Minor - The Palimpsest of Memory.