FROM TOBACCO FARMERS...
... TO SKYSCRAPERS
I am Georgia Mavragani, movie director. I
I am Ioannis Anastasiadis, tobacco trader.
come from a family of tobacco growers.
The necessity to commercialize and export
They inspired my theater play First Hand. I
the fine product gave birth to the tobacco
let them speak*: "Tobacco is an annual
factory. In 1874 I built the first tobacco
plant. It rots and molds easily. The farmer
factory in Drama. I have spent a
house is busy 8 months a year: seedbed,
considerable sum to develop a building fit
field, drying, and storage.
for the processing of the leaves.
Tobacco leaves do not grow at
It is a 10 m. high and 250 m2
the same pace and we need to
large two-storey stone house
harvest several times. We start
with a tiled roof. It lies at the
at 3 o'clock in the morning for
springs of Aghia Varvara. The
if the sun rises, we cannot
springs are the ideal location for
work. We spend all day
tobacco processing because
bending over the plants. We
humidity is necessary for the
return home to string the
leaves. Each April, I transport
harvested leaves. To process
the merchandise directly from
tobacco we need a large family and special
my factory to the ports of Kavala and Porto
places for stringing, drying, wrapping
Lagos. I live next to the factory in a marble
baling. We keep the dried bales in the
mansion. I need to show to the clients that
storage room until they are delivered to the
my business grows.
buyer. Growing tobacco is like growing
children. Only we steal the care from our
children to give it to tobacco:"
*Georgia Mavragani First Hand, 2014.