Kehajas, A Man of the Land

Since ancient times, Lemnos, the most low-lying of the Aegean islands, has been characterized by intense livestock and agricultural activity. But the Lemnian farmer, the “kehajas”, held a special position that has been largely misunderstood. George Komakis’s ethnographic documentary “Kehajas-Man of the Land” hopes to fill the existing void of official memory and local history. The film takes a largely evolutionary approach, using retold memories as well as erasures and silences to help illuminate the rural, economic and social history of the island. Komakis’s efforts to give voice to those who previously had no place in the official or written history or the institutional memory of Lemnos is particularly meaningful for Foça, which became the home of nearly all of the Muslim population forced to leave the island during the population exchange of the 1920s.