Wednesday 20 July 2022

Micro-interview with Ioanna Papadopoulou

We had a chat with Ioanna Papadopoulou, author of “We Were Ghostless before Her” in The Future Fire #62, who kindly answers a few questions for us here.

Illustration ©2022 Sarah Salcedo

TFF: What does “We Were Ghostless before Her” mean to you?

Ioanna Papadopoulou: It is one of the most precious pieces I have written. It is a mixture of my family history (my paternal grandmother's parents were part of the people forced away from their homes in Pontus) but also my own personal history and experience as an immigrant.

TFF: If you were a ghost, what place or person would you like to haunt or visit?

IP: I think I would like to be a ghost in an art Gallery. I love art and would ideally like to work in museums and art galleries again, so I also love the idea of being a ghost curator as well.

TFF: Who is your favourite mythological heroine?

IP: Growing up it was Artemis but as an adult it is Demeter, because I see her as a female deity that is independent in a way no other one in the dodecatheon was. Neither married and tied to one man nor a virgin, who doesn't have a sexuality, and this allows her to be dangerous.

TFF: What are you working on next?

IP: I am currently working on a fairy story, inspired by Greek Folklore from Thrace. It’s about a young girl finding an ill fairy, who is slowly turning into a leech because of nitrogen pollution and how the two of them save the fairies from extinction.


We told ourselves we were going home. The home of many, many generations ago. Our forever home. Nobody told us that the ones who never left would see us as foreigners, ostracising us from their communities. Nobody thought this land of never-ending sun, which burnt our flesh as we worked its fields, was also the ancestral home of another people, and when they left, their ghosts stayed here and hated us for coming to replace them. And we were defenceless as our own ghosts stayed in our old homeland, near the Black Sea. Maybe our ghosts, those poor lost souls without family and culture, tormented the ones who went there to replace us as theirs did to us.

Reminder: you can comment on any of the stories or illustrations in TFF issue #62 over at this post.

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