Interweaving Narratives

Ethnological Museum of Alexandroupoli

Yota Tsotra, Vassia Vanezi, Deirdre O’Leary and Samuel Tschudin met in the beginning of October 2022 in Alexandroupoli to explore Thrace‘s vivid culture, history and abundant landscape. Accompanied by the Ethnological Museum of Thrace, the artists were introduced to the regions multifaceted cultural heritage. The visited locations had a special relevance to the local history and cultural development of the region: Almost untouched Byzantine churches, caves, natural reserves, riverbeds, sanctuaries (for both, humans and birds), thermal baths and handcraft workshops were visited. On the 13th of October 2022, the exhibition „Interweaving Narratives“ opened. The exhibition gave insight into the perception of landscape, the shared/collaborative process, dealt with oral history. Textile based works, sound pieces, paintings and objects not only activated the museum’s collection but put its exhibits in a new light. The exhibits dealt with the vitality of the matter, and the materialization of storytelling.
The region of Thrace, which stretches from what is now northeastern Greece through Bulgaria and into Turkey, has always been home to diverse ethnic groups and has been shaped by migration. Through these diverse influences and an open, intercultural
dialogue, a unique cosmos of crafts, customs and beliefs emerged in Thrace over the centuries. This was shaken to its foundations when, as a result of the wars of the first half of the twentieth century, the region was partitioned and parts of the population were forcibly resettled within the hard borders of the new national-states. Due to the borders drawn at that time, Thrace today marks the southeastern border of the European Union and thus becomes an area of tension between migration, the Frontex, and the American military. In the midst of these contrasting worlds, a large part of the former cosmos continues to exist to this day. One of the traditional crafts of the region is the making of textiles. Weaving is deeply rooted in the history of Thrace. Based on the idea that weaving connects cultures, knowledge, tradition and technology in an interdisciplinary way, the exhibition project “Interweaving Narratives” was created.

deirdre o’leary

Born in Fribourg Switzerland, living and working in Basel Switzerland.


Deirdre O’Leary, Studio
Klybeckstrasse 141
, 4057 Basel



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