“Corfu – Then & Now” is Michalis Kokkali’s latest work.
Some sample pages:
Introduction to the book, by George Zoumbos, PhD:
“Corfu in the 21st century is very different to that of the 20th century as far as landscape and townscape are concerned. This difference is the consequence of not only economic but also social changes of recent decades.
Michalis Kokkalis displays contemporary Corfu next to the old; his photographs depicting the transition of the island to the era of the tourist industry expansion. This image confrontation denotes the minor or major detrimental changes the landscape has undergone and prompts feelings of nostalgia.
Having personally experienced the changes, which have occurred over the last seventy years, the photographer wished to record them thus providing us with an extremely interesting body of work.
The photographic material presented is in regard to the whole island. That which concerns the town, extends from the end of the 19th century to present day. The reader views the island of Corfu in an era during which there was pronounced commercial trade, factory development and cottage industries. One of the most distinctive sets of photographs depicts the area of the Old Port (Spillia). The reader passes from the suffocating prewar townscape with Markas, the TTT (Postal, Telegram and Telecommunications) building, church, port authorities, customs, offices and many storerooms, to the present day clean-cut layout with the Unknown Soldier Memorial, the fountain and various tourist facilities.
Second World War bombing raids were the principal factor for the forming of the present day appearance of the town when a large part was destroyed; historical buildings were burnt down and art treasures were lost. The 13th September 1943 is considered a landmark due to the extensive damage the German air force caused with the use of incendiary bombs.
The economic development and the consequent changes to the island are vividly delineated in the photographs of the outskirts of the town and countryside.
Reaching the end of the book the older reader will recall the Corfu of his youth while the younger will encounter the Corfu of previous generations.”
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