Yannis Saralis was born in 1906 in Aristi (then Artsista) of Zagori. He completed his secondary education at the Rizarios School and then studied at the Faculty of Philosophy of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He taught in secondary schools (Xanthi – Ioannina – Athens) and served as Director and General Inspector of Education.
Yannis Saralis authored books of poetry and prose. Apart from collaborations with literary journals under the pseudonyms Linos Agrambelis and G. Aristinos, he published the poetry collection Rosettes (Athens, 1947) and the prose travelogue Zagori (Athens, 1956). Finally, he wrote a one-act play In the Root of Ftelia (Athens, 1962), inspired by the Greek-Italian war and the battle of Grambala.
As an amateur scholar of Zagori culture and history, Yannis Saralis wrote essays on the folklore of Zagori, which were published in Epirotiki Estia in 1974-76.
In addition, together with his fellow compatriot archaeologist Fotio Petsas, he compiled the book Aristi and West Zagori (Athens, 1982), which contains a wealth of historical, archaeological and folklore data about their homeland, demonstrating the author’s interest in the past and future of Zagori.
The works of Yannis Saralis can be found digitised on this website.
Even before the natural environment was threatened with irreparable damage, Yannis Saralis argued in his book Zagori, an unusual world, that “love for the environment is the only hope of bringing Zagori back to life”.
The members of the Board of Directors of the Foundation believe that love in general, and especially love for the natural environment and cultural heritage, can be taught. Thus, all our activities aim to make people aware of the love for all the elements that make up Zagori, so that it can “come alive again”.