Oikeiôlogy: Practices on Natural Mythologies

Oikeiôlogy: Practices on Natural Mythologies
Juan Chacón | TiriLab
Raising awareness of endangered landscapes, re-establishing relations across human and non-human bodies, protecting and activating natural heritage.

Thesprotia, Greece
Team members
Juan Chacón
Christina Serifi
Field of work
Design, Ecology, Research
Project category
Rural spaces
Project submitted

TiriLab, is an initiative and an open platform which explores multi-cultural heritage related to local technologies, gastronomy and culture specifics from rural communities in northern western Greece. During the last years we have worked together with women cooperatives and associations in Thesprotia aiming to create an active knowledge network, in order to empower them, give them visibility and foster their multilayered identity. Tirilab is part of the Erasmus+ program “A school of commons”.

On May 5th 2020, in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis, the Greek government passed a new law titled: “Modernisation of Environmental Legislation” which eliminates the protection of Natura 2000 sites all over the country, and commodifies the landscape promoting mining, investment projects, the expansion of the industrial and new construction activities.

Thespotia region is facing a great challenge since it includes more than 40% of natural protected areas providing a landscape economy for the communities around them and a rich mythological cultural heritage. The population in these scattered communities have lessened almost a half in the last decade, resulting in abandoned schools, neglected public infrastructure and forgotten local technologies.

Through Oikeiôlogy, we integrate bounding and engaging methodologies, in order to create encounters and activities, re-appropriating the abandoned school buildings as community spaces. Together we create specific working groups, joining women initiatives, students, local community stakeholders and civic professionals.

The multilayered identity of rural communities in the inland is rooted in the territory: the valleys are shaped by the ingredients of traditional culinary techniques, defined by mythological topologies, and articulated through a cohesive network of women cooperatives.

We propose an ecosystemic approach where importance is given to human and non-human bodies. Our aim is to learn from lifelong relations between communities and natural bodies and co-create prototypes that can foster them. We have mapped and identified a variety of self-organised initiatives mostly by women that we recognise as rural commons. Oikeiôlogy aims to join these initiatives and the communities around them, establishing a system of overlapping networks that will reinforce new collaborations towards a more cohesive territory.

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