Client: Elias Kulukundis
Date: January 2015 –
Our role: Website, PR & Media Communication
With the publication of “Bold Coasts—Life In a Greek Shipping Family” (Απρόσιτες Ακτές- Η ζωή σε μια ελληνική εφοπλιστική οικογένεια), Elias Kulukundis finally turns his attention to his shipping heritage in his cycle of autobiographies. In the 1970’s, he entered the business after a varied career as a writer, translator and teacher followed by a turbulent period as a political activist against the Greek junta of the 1960’s.
“You postponed going in as long as you could, “a shipping colleague remarked at the time.
Kulukundis responded by quoting André Malraux, who said, “A heritage cannot be acquired. It must be conquered”. But going into business was a challenge given his strong political activity in the years before. In this effort the major assistance came from Kulukundis’s wife Lucy Platt, a young Englishwoman from Chichester on the South Coast of England, who was a practicing accountant before when Elias met her. Lucy was the guiding light of Elias’s maturity, his becoming a father, and a shipping financier, all of which are recounted in Bold Coasts.
Elias Kulukundis started a cycle of memoirs when he was twenty-seven and, even though his books take his own life as a point of departure, they incorporate Greek historical events of the 20th century including the unification of the Dodecanese Islands with Greece in 1948 and the Greek dictatorship of the 1960’s.
In “The Feasts of Memory—A Journey to a Greek Island”, Elias discovered his Greek roots, calling his book “an autobiography of everything that did not happen to me”. Just before the book was published, in 1967, three colonels overthrew the Greek government and proclaimed a military dictatorship in the land of democracy’s birth. When Elias’s first father-in-law, George Mylonas, a minister in the liberal government that preceded the colonels, was arrested and exiled to the Aegean island of Amorgos, Elias organized a daring small boat raid to rescue him and spirit him off to Turkey. An account of the rescue, set against the background of Elias’ non-conformist youth in a shipping family in Westchester County, was the subject of his second memoir “The Amorgos Conspiracy”, published in Greek and English.
This story is also presented through the short documentary “The Amorgos Conspiracy: A true story of escape from the military junta”, directed by the video-journalist Nikolia Apostolou. The mini doc is written and produced by Elias Kulukundis.
Completing the cycle, the long-awaited Bold Coasts is written in a wryly humorous style that Basic Books describes as “the best of mid-century noir”. The book recounts Elias’s adventurous, passionate and sometimes heart-breaking life in a way that will affect every reader. At the same time, it opens a window into the closed world of Greek shipping and chronicles the fortunes of one of the oldest Greek shipping families through three generations.
Having created documentaries about politics and history, Elias is considered one of the cultural ambassadors of Greece among the other countries.