Minos Athanasios Karyotakis, writer in eMMeis, the electronic magazine of the Department of Media and Journalism in AUTH, sits down for an interview with Antonia Aristodimou and Tina Moschovi.
Saita Publications is a voluntary, no profit publishing house which “spread its wings” two years ago in July 2012. One of the aims of this operation is promoting the love for books and giving, mostly, to young people the chance or first step to see their written work “fly”. Within this time frame, the creation of Iraklis Lampadariou has managed to publish over 100 books with the help of a capable team, who give their upmost, so now the books can be translated, and distributed in the English language.
One fine morning, I had the desire to meet with the people behind Saita Publications. I wanted to find out why they decided to actively work on such an innovative scheme. I found myself talking with Antonia Aristodimou, Head of the Department of Editing, and Tina Moschovi, Head of the Translation Department.
How did you find out about Saita Publications?
T.M : It was by coincidence. A friend of mine saw the advertisement on the Internet and told me about the publishing house. Then I contacted Iraklis Lampdariou, the creator of Saita Publications, and our collaboration began almost immediately.
A.A: I saw an advertisement on the Internet which said that Saita Publications was looking for editors and translators, and after that I visited their website, got impressed by it, and then I contacted the person in charge.
Why did you decide to participate in this effort?
T.M: From the beginning I liked the idea of the free book for all. I am also interested in translations and saw it as a good opportunity to combine the two things I love: books and translating. Also, I liked the work which was being done, and wanted to become a part of it.
A.A: The thought that there is still creation and collaboration even in these strange circumstances we are living, with the financial crisis, is really touching. That was what led me to offer my time and help to this operation. It is a creative, dynamic and close knit group, who work with the guidance from our restless publisher, Iraklis Lampadariou, the person I admire and respect, for his dedication and talent.
What does a book mean to you?
T.M: A book to me is something very important. A good book can offer knowledge, experiences, and even invoke emotions. The work is really beautiful and it is worth our time, as it gives and teaches us so much.
A.A: A book is something magical. It has the power to take the reader on a journey to any time, even to imaginary worlds, and at the same time it provides knowledge and an alternative view point of the world.
Do you believe the Internet gives the necessary tools to Greeks, so they can read more?
T.M: The Internet has become a vital part to our everyday life and the possibilities are endless. So why shouldn’t we use it to our benefit? It is an excellent way to get us in contact with books and their authors via Internet, which may not have happened any other way, especially in these times we are living in. Such is the effort of Saita Publications, to give us access to books and their authors in a much easier way. Therefore, that may prove to be a good motivation to read more.
A.A: I wish our educational system improves in such a way that the child can approach the book, in any form it might be in, with love, and without using the Internet as an ignition. The Internet offers limitless possibilities, however the user should be in a position to use it in a more productive manner.
Which was the most touching moment for you that you can recall when you embarked on the project?
T.M: There are many moments that have “touched” me, moments such as the positive feedback from the authors themselves, and our work in translating the books into the English language. Equally important is the response from our readers when they visit the site of “saita”. It is important for us to know that our efforts are welcomed, from our readers in Greece but also from abroad. However, if I had to choose, the most touching moment for me, was when I finished a children’s project and I watched it take shape, and turn into a book ready to “fly” to each and every reader.
A.A: There are many moments. The response from our readers who love the stories and illustrations, and they express it with the sweetest messages, the people that get in contact with us and offer to help in any way they can, the authors that trust us and express their gratitude, and of course I am “touched” by my colleagues in the Departments of Evaluation, Editing, Translation, Illustration and Page Layout, who provide professional, voluntary work and continue to do so even when there are other things to be done. That proves that there is hope, even in the darkest of days.
You then smile awkwardly, as you know it is time to say goodbye and the interview is over, even though you still have so many questions. You wave and they wave back, giving you their warmest and brightest smile. That is enough to start off your day in a positive light.
Antonia Aristodimou was born and raised in Thessaloniki. She has studied History and Ethnicology at the Democritus University of Thrace. She then continued her studies in the field of professional translation and subtitling. She works as a teacher of the English Language, and occupies herself with the translation and editing of texts and children’s fairytales, and subtitling. She also attends the postgraduate program of E.A.P (Ε.Α.Π), “Studies in Education”. She loves to watch the movie Polar Express with her young students.
Tina Moschovi was born and raised in Heraklion, Crete. She has studied English Language and Literature at the Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki, with specialization in subtitling and translations. She is always with a book in her hands, and like all great loves, hers evolved into a love for translations when she was still a student. However, she has not set aside her teaching of the English language, and she tries to combine the two as she stays up to date with seminars and educational programs.
Aside from speaking English, she speaks German very well, and has attended computer classes. Finishing her studies, she began her work with young students in Foreign Language Schools. She has been considering the possibility of an occupation in translation, as she believes all people, young and old, have a right to texts that are not written in their native tongue.
(The full interview can be found here)
Translation: Metaxia Tzimouli
Editing: Tina Moschovi