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Greg Haji Joannides

2019/20 Nisyros

Greg Haji Joannides (b. 1980) is a visual artist that lives (with his two dogs) and works in Nisyros, Greece. He studied BA and MA in London and Athens. Initially a self-taught photographer, he developed his artistic voice through the guidance of photographer Panos Kokkinias. He is the founder and artistic director of Sterna Art Project (est. 2014), an art residency and exhibition program running in the volcanic island of Nisyros. His personal artwork has been presented to solo and group shows in Greece and abroad. 

He is very much interested in changing social problems into social benefits through communal work. His NISYRIO project is a platform to keep waste within the island and make it sustainable through cultural activities, including workshops, visual and applied arts, new architectural material, design, printing, etc. In 2019 Greg joined the START program as a way of developing his ability to bring together and motivate the entire Nisyros society to create a new living environment through waste recycling and upcycling. 

Project Progress Phase II Phase I

Phase II

Project implementation in Greece

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Dec - May

Project Title


NISYRIO is an activism platform aiming to create a new living environment within Nisyros island by recycling plastic waste and reuse it through sociocultural activities. The problem derives from the lack of water on the island. All residents and guests are consuming bottled water while it is hard to handle the plastic waste. NISYRIO aims in changing this problem into a new lifestyle by raising awareness and create a sustainable way to live with the waste instead of burning it. Τhe goal is to bring the entire society together to develop a common way of thinking and create a clean living environment through sustainable cultural practices. Κeep the plastic waste and bring experts together to work on the rural commons of Nisyros, educate youth, develop and support innovative projects, and raise public awareness while empower communities to develop their own practices and take over the recycling/upcycling way of living.

Phase I

Capacity building in Germany

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Sep - Nov

Project Title


NISYRIO is an interdisciplinary project of an activist environmental profile aiming to foster contemporary visual art at the same time. The goal is to engage the entire small society of Nisyros island in Greece (900 inhabitants) to collect the wasted plastic bottles throughout the year at a processing hub of three Precious Plastic machines. The idea is to create a signature design item, the ancient Nisyrian coin, out of this plastic that will take several forms. Engaging students of all ages first, an incentive scheme/game would be developed to force them collect and deliver as much plastic bottles possible in an exchange of a bit coin, the ancient Nisyrian coin. Practically, to start right away to inform, educate and “invest” in the future of the island about recycling and how "playful" it could be to save the small environment they live, the environment of Nisyros.

Host Institution

ALTE MU Impuls-Werk e.V.

ALTE MU Impuls-Werk is a creative center in the heart of Schleswig-Holstein's state capital Kiel. Located in the abandoned building of the former Muthesius Art Acadamy, ALTE MU is a bottom-up, self-governed space for collaborative work and creative production, broadly focussing on sufficiency and sustainability. About 180 members and 40 projects are part of the ALTE MU, organising themselves in the biweekly plenum.

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