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    Arpagi (Photobook) ↓

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In recent years, there has been a phenomenon of uprooting ancient and century-old olive trees for the purpose of later selling them for decorative use. Maria Drakaki has documented this entire process through her photography, starting with the violent removal of these ancient trees from the land they have been rooted in for centuries. She then captures their devaluation as they are transformed into packaged goods, culminating in the emotional impact of witnessing broken dry stones and vast pits with cut roots.

«ΑΡΠΑΓΗ» is the result of her work, a photographic journey aimed at raising awareness about the collective impact of this destructive practice and advocating for the preservation of perennial olive trees as an essential part of natural and cultural heritage, Mediterranean history, and the ecosystem.

«ΑΡΠΑΓΗ» means the forcible removal of the olive tree from the organic whole to which it belongs. It means breaking up and deconstructing the natural landscape, cultural continuity and historical memory. By breaking the unity of the letters and deconstructing the syllabification in the whole of the word «Α–ΡΠ–Α–ΓΗ», the «ΓH», which means earth in Greek, is left alone and distant, referring to murderous eradication. In the same way, by deconstructing the continuity of the words within each subtitle of the work and dismantling the conceptual unity of the phrase, the concept of «Α–ΡΠ–Α–ΓΗ» is visualized typographically.

Regarding the narrative flow of the photographs, in the early pages only full-frame images of ancient olive trees are used, untouched in their natural environment. The complete coverage of the space by the photograph of a tree (or some details of it) evokes the sense of wholeness that an ancient olive tree exudes. Then, as the flow evolves, the thematic changes (selecting relevant photographic subjects, e.g., digging machines, tied olives ready to be transported and sold to new owners, etc.) and the photographs gradually decrease in size, signifying the violent intervention of modern humans and the beginning of the uprooting process. Οn the final pages, the photos take on a minimal size, allowing the empty space to dramatically visualize the concept of «Α–ΡΠ–Α–ΓΗ».

Arpagi (Photobook)


Client: Maria Drakaki
Year: 2023
Agency / Studio: mb―design
Project Type: Commission
Project Status: Ongoing


Creative Fields:
Editorial Design,
Visual Identity,
Conceptual Design,
Graphic Design


Tools: Ai, Ps, Id

on-line portfolio
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Credits

Creative Direction, Graphic design: Christos Vassilakis

Photography: Maria Drakaki

Text Editing: Chrysanthi Deligianni


Available for new freelance projects and collaborations (creative direction, graphic and web design, concept development and implementation). Let’s work side by side to trigger your brand’s public image.