Socrates Socratous

WOOD-FIRED OVEN CONSTRUCTION WORKSHOP USING NATURAL MATERIALS

How did your interest and involvement in the practices of natural building come about?

My interest arose from seeing a photograph of a house built with natural building materials. It was so captivating that I set out to create something similar. Of course, I’ve always had a tendency to build things with my hands. My preoccupation with “natural” materials and keeping my flame alive is based on the principle of gentle intervention in what surrounds us, on my closeness with the important and creative things in life, on the feeling of moral satisfaction that it gives man to take responsibility for his actions, on my thirst for realism and autonomy, and on my aversion of the modern way of life, which has taken man away from nature.

How did your interest and involvement in the practices of natural building come about?

My interest arose from seeing a photograph of a house built with natural building materials. It was so captivating that I set out to create something similar. Of course, I’ve always had a tendency to build things with my hands. My preoccupation with “natural” materials is based on the gentle intervention of what surrounds us, my closeness with the important and creative things in life, the feeling of moral satisfaction that it gives man to take responsibility for his actions, my thirst for realism and autonomy, and finally my aversion to the modern way of life, which has taken man away from nature.

How far do you think the average Cypriot has moved away from his basic livelihood practice, i.e. dealing with the land and its derivatives?

The people of Cyprus live far from nature; they are not in touch with the source of life. Many of the older generation suffered the harsh conditions of land work of the past and so they have turned their backs on this work, due to trauma. The younger generation, on the other hand, have neither the inspiration nor the need to work on the land. The programming of the screen directs interest and ‘substance’ elsewhere. I believe that only the realization of the necessity of transition combined with the passage of time can change the flow of things.

What is the aim of the workshop you are proposing at this year’s Xarkis Festival?

The natural building workshop aims to introduce people to soil as a building material and to showcase some of its potential. I feel that soil and its potential is underestimated in Cyprus, so I would like to showcase its advantages. We will also have the opportunity to discuss other natural building materials, as well as life in nature in general.