This Is The Lake Of Our Feeling

I was having a conversation with Landscape Architect Apasia Kouzoupi in Athens with regards to a lake she is working in Greece, with with some students:

There was a lake in the mountains, that was two metres shallow in many parts, and every time it rained the boundaries of the lake would shift in and out of the landscape. The lake teemed with freshwater fish, and many years before the fishermen from the surrounding area moved onto the lake, building small floating platforms with conical dwelling structures on them.

The shallow lake also provided an ideal habitat for mosquitos, and because illness transmitted by the mosquito bites was rife in the area, the lake was eventually drained by the authorities to remove the problem. The entire unique socio-architectural tradition of lake dwelling was eradicated, and passed into the memories of the people who lived in the area.

Recently, due to infrastructural demands, a reservoir has been created in the area, and so the lake was replaced. Fish are being reintroduced, and rivers diverted to feed the water supply. The local people think of it as their lake returned, but the lake is now a reservoir, with a civic function. It's re-emergence is estranged from the original common ownership and use, the dwellings cannot return, and the dwellings have forgotten how to return, but the people still think of it as a lake replaced, even if it has become the image of a lake that holds them at the shore.

1 comment:

*A_space*ia said...

Well >>the lake of our feelings<< it is... I am amazed how socio/spatial details are in-printed in your memory of our conversation. Could I upload any images? Or maybe send them to you first?
I adore your phrase "the lake would shift in and out of the landscape", as each time the boundaries changed a new landscape was revealed...