Hello Anatolia: Interview with Filmmaker Valantis Stamelos

Smyrna c.1900 (Lazaretto - LOC)
After centuries of living side by side with other communities in the Ottoman Empire, most of the Greeks and Orthodox Christians of Anatolia were exiled to Greece and elsewhere in the aftermath of World War I, the Greek occupation of Western Anatolia, the Turkish War of Independence, and the population exchanges that followed. Since then, reconciliation between Greece and Turkey has been hampered not only by an unwillingness of many to come to terms with this past but also an inability to imagine a different future. In this episode, we talk with Valantis Stamelos, a Greek-American filmmaker whose documentary entitled "Hello Anatolia" tells the story of his journey of return to establish new roots in Izmir, Turkey as well as get in touch with the old roots of the city's Greek community. 

Valantis Stamelos is a filmmaker based in Izmir, Turkey (see Crescent Street Films website)
Chris Gratien is a PhD candidate studying the history of the modern Middle East at Georgetown University (see academia.edu)

Check out the trailer for "Hello Anatolia":


Episode music from Hello Anatolia soundtrack by Yannis Saoulis


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