My research in Therasia is part of a Thales project co-ordinated by the Universities of Crete and Thessaloniki
and concerns archaeology, local notions of history and the past, landscape practices and tourism. Therasia is an islet off the coast of Santorini inhabited by approximately 270 people. Many of
them are pensioners (former seamen or industrial workers) who reside in the island during particular periods of the year. Locals often discuss the island in connection to its putative decline
reflected in abandoned settlements and mining facilities. Therasia has not been included in a tourist schema of “attractive underdevelopment” and mostly receives daily visitors from Santorini
(Thera) during specific months. Therasia’s proximity to Santorini (a single island before the eruption of the volcano in prehistoric times), the site of exportable Greek
tourism complicates questions of (tourist) development for Therasiotes. In fact, the term “development” entails complex and divergent meanings and potentials for people on the island. The
presence of university students surveying the environment and using the municipal facilities for their work prompts new local engagements about the value of their island. The ethnographic
research is jointly carried out by Dr. Alexandra Bakalaki (University of Thessaloniki) and me.