The island of Rhodes has been important since ancient times. Famed worldwide for the Colossus, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, its history has been one of occupation under many different rulers including the Romans, the Knights Hospitaller, the Ottoman Empire, Italy and most recently, during the Second World War, the German Army. Finally in 1947 after a short period of British control it again became a part of Greece. Today it is a popular holiday destination: every visitor has their own photographs and their own stories to tell.
Through marriage John Comino-James has direct personal links to the island, and in The Rhodes Project he revisits photographs preserved in old family albums and sets them against his own recent images. In his text he explores the presence of the Knights Hospitaller, their defeat at the hands of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and the arrival of the Italians as victors of the Italo-Turkish War. He also reflects on Operation Anglo and The Guns of Navarone, the former a reality of war, the latter a fiction filmed in Rhodes.
Comino-James reflects on the island’s importance in the complex ethnic and cultural heritage of his children and grandchildren and the way in which the spirits of our forebears inform our lives, and how the histories that shaped them shape us too. The Rhodes Project is a walk in the shadow of ghosts.
If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors… that you are the continuation of each of these people. (Thich Nhat Hanh).
Born in Somerset, John Comino-James lives near Thame in Oxfordshire. He has published eight previous books of photographs and has exhibited his work in the UK and in Cuba.
160 pages, 240mm x 195mm
30 archive photographs 78 colour photographs