Romani’s cultural diversity as a wonderful observational model is one of the themes of Vassilis Zaverdas's photography: adults and, especially, children are photographed in their natural and domestic environment and in all the dimensions of its visual otherness. The little girl is standing in front of a geometric composition of materials on a background that by no means would have been chosen by a travelling photographer in order to capture the portrait of the person concerned. The symbol of speed and modernization together with the 'Sunday' dress recede triumphantly in front of the makeshift home construction with the colorful bedding. The wheels disappear and are reborn in a shape of a toy, as the girl’s feet, free and naked are those to work, to play, to get tired and to take a rest.
The recording of a child’s bricolage and of the cultural hybridization of the modern era through a black and white look is quite reminiscent of a cinema of observation’s lost frame. Through the expected stranglehold nature of the frame, Zaverdas leverages its cultural polysemy; he touches the otherness in the manner of a good observer, who from the visual chaos, he selects the imprint of a world ready to be devoured by the frozen metal, the functional clothing and rationalism.
Ursula-Helen Kassaveti (photo by Vivi Kaparou)was born in Athens in 1980. She holds a B.A. in Literature (University of Athens, Athens School of Philosophy), a M.A. in Cultural Studies (University of Athens, Department of Communication and Mass Media) and a Ph.D. in Film, Genre Theory and Sociology at the same department. Her research interests revolve around Popular Culture (film/music), Visual Ethnography, and Cultural Studies. She has been a post-doc researcher at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where she co-taught the undergraduate module “Social History of Mass Media” (2015) and is now a research fellow at University of Patras. She has made various announcements in international and Greek conferences and has published articles and a monography on film and media. She teaches “Discourse and Visual Analysis” and “Greek Film & Culture” at “Kostis Palamas” Longlife Education Program at the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens.