Made of Stone

Made of Stone
Emvis and Johnny

I met Emvis for the first time in 2006.

He came to Greece from Albania at the age of 16, in 1994. Alone, without parents or friends. He crossed the country almost on foot to reach Marmari, perhaps the most remote and less inhabited village of Mesa Mani, in South Peloponnese. There he met Papa-Mitsos, an elderly builder and stone craftsman, who took the boy under his protection. Next to him, Emvis learned the traditional art of stone building.

Today, Emvis, married with a son, has his own crew of traditional Mani stone building, and undertakes both house renovations and new constructions. Starting spring of 2011 and every summer until 2015, I followed the crew photographing them at work.

These are some of the last few remaining traditional stone builders in Mesa Mani, whose relationship with the stone and the building process is almost sensual.

Emvis at work
Johnny, George and Emvis on a break
Johnny and George
Emvis and Sotiris
Working late