Interview with Birgitta Lindros Wohl, daughter of archeologist/photographer John Lindros, in the summer of 2017 at the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm.
Birgitta, what is your connection to the Swedish Cyprus Expedition?
It’s both professional, as an archeologist, and very personal because my father John Lindros was the architect and photographer of the Swedish Cyprus Expedition. Naturally I have, since I was a child, heard a lot about the experiences and seen pictures of it. It was, no doubt, this experience that made me decide to become an archeologist.
Did you meet the other members of the expedition?
I had the privilege to meet all the members of the expedition [Einar Gjerstad, Alfred Westholm, Erik Sjöqvist] and also one important unofficial member, Toulis Souidos, a Cypriot Greek who served the expedition very well on Cyprus and then came to Sweden and settled here. He was the man who taught me how to repair pottery, in a course that he gave when I was a young student here in Stockholm.
Can you describe your father’s photographs?
The pictures are landscapes, villages, houses, interiors – incredible interiors – people, tools… It’s like stepping back in time I guess you could say, to rescue a world that has in a sense disappeared.
And you’re writing a book on his photographs?
Yes, I’m working on a book which will incorporate my father’s nonarcheological photographs from Cyprus. And through that, try to recreate a picture—save a picture, as it were—of the Cyprus that was.
Why write the book now?
The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities in Stockholm is this year, 2017, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the expedition. It’s exactly 90 years since these four Swedes set out on their really groundbreaking work. And another reason, due to rapid modernization, remembering the Cyprus that was has become a central issue on the island itself.
I want to say one last thing; there is currently a photography exhibition of the work of the Swedes during this period at the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm. It’s very much worth a visit!