Images of Home: Mavri Xenitia


Effy Alexakis & Leonard Janiszewski

From trips around Australia, to the Greek mainland and to some of the islands of Greece, Alexakis and Janiszewski have started to piece together a giant jigsaw puzzle. Items left in homes abandoned in Greece provide small clues about the lives within those homes and villages. For generations now Greeks have left their country to come to Australia. Janiszewski has elicited warm, honest and sometimes very emotional responses.

For many, the decision of where to live, Australia or Greece, became one of questioning of identity, of belonging. Unable to make up their minds, or by choice, some people move regularly between two countries. To others, however, Australia was ‘mavri xenitia’, literally black foreign land, whereas others more easily made their home here.

270 x 210mm, soft cover, 160 pages
Hale & Iremonger, Sydney, 1995

Currently out of print

Out of stock

Category: Tags: ,


Images of Home: Mavri Xenitia

What they say about the book and the café exhibition

“The photographs and interviews form a poignant account of the effect of return migration on cultural identity.”

Wayne TunnicliffeAustralian Centre for Photography

“I cried. What has been expressed in words by these people is exactly what I feel from within. Absolutely wonderful to see it all captured so brilliantly in pictures and words.”

Anastasia Potiris

“With tear-filled eyes I went from photo to photo, story to story and I relived the migration.”

Helen Galanis

“For the historian or social theorist, Images of Home is simultaneously: an archive; a way of visualising history, particularly migration history; an exercise in oral history; and an exploration of some troublesome concepts – identity for example – in social and political thought… Identity – that contemporary yearning to be both the specific and the same – is a treacherous and elusive thing, as this beautiful photographic essay adequately demonstrates... In the full scope of this book, ‘home’ is the metaphor used by the authors to refer to… a Greek-Australian identity that is unresolved and unresolvable, that slips and slides across the emotional and the geographic and across circumstance and history and imagining.”

Jeannie MartinCultural and social sciences academic