Intelligent, chic, and visually compelling with a unique layout and elegant matte cover design, Portes Magazine is a high-quality publication addressing a creative and intellectual audience that appreciates a colorful yet sophisticated approach to storytelling. This magazine-book hybrid is a fresh and authentic reflection of Greece published quarterly by a group of young award-winning writers, editors, photographers, and designers who carefully select and craft content around interesting people, places, things, and ideas they come across during their travels to Greece. As the only digital and print global quarterly celebrating the new face of classic Greece, Portes Magazine takes you on journey to the most beautiful place on earth. Take a piece of Greece with you wherever you go with a collectable copy of Portes Magazine!
1. Why Portes? What does it mean and what do doors open to?
Doors represent many things to us…an unlocking of the past, a walk into the present, or a look into the future…a portal to new and exciting opportunities. Greece is also home to some of the most colorful and most beautiful doors in the world. We feature a selection of traditional doors we photograph during our various travels around Greece on every cover of Portes Magazine.
2. When and why did you launch Portes?
We initially launched Portes as a biannual print publication in 2012 and this year we’ve taken the magazine quarterly and have also made available an e-magazine which is essentially a digital version of the print magazine.
As Greeks born and raised abroad, our idea was to create a very special publication that would bring diaspora communities an authentic piece of Greece no matter where they live. Today, our mission has expanded to include an array of English speakers on a global scale. Portes is the only publication of its type and focus in existence, so there was definitely a space to be filled and we are glad that after years of thought, we decided to go forward and do this for the Greece we love.
We believe Greece has received enough negative attention internationally, and it’s time to set things straight. Our positive content is going against mainstream and outdated media with a goal to continue sharing a fresh image of Greece with the world.
4. What are the criteria for selecting the features in Portes?
Our story and photo features are a mix inspired by unique and interesting places we explore, things we discover, and amazing people we meet during our travels around Greece. Our selection may seem spontaneous and random, but at the same time it’s very specific. Our stories are a selection of things we hope others will enjoy and be inspired by.
5. What do each of you do for the magazine?
As publishers and editors, we both do a little bit of everything! We oversee the magazine’s content, design, and management.
6. Have you ever faced closed doors?
We’ve learned that some of the most interesting stories lie behind doors that seem closed but are left unlocked. If you knock, you may be surprised to find something welcoming on the other side. Greece is full of so many noteworthy things that we personally cannot be bothered with doors that are deliberately kept shut. Our mission is to open doors revealing great things and to share those things with the world.
7. Where do you see Portes in the future?
With our “Chic. Greek. Unique.” identity in mind, Portes to us is an intellectual and artistic expression. It’s that book our readers simply love to show off on their coffee tables…it’s even become a fashion statement. We’ve heard so many stories of Portes accompanying travellers on flights, keeping others company in their offices, personal space, and favorite room in their homes. This excites us. We’re definitely looking forward to a bright and creative future, putting a great image of Greece on the map on an international scale.
8. Do you have time for your personal life? Or is this project fulfilling enough so that you are not bothered by the lack of personal time?
Portes is in a way a very personal project since we feature original work. The magazine has become part of our lives now and it’s difficult to distinguish between personal life per se, and the creation of Portes. The magazine is with us during our first morning coffee, throughout our daily meetings, and stays up with us well into the night when we’re writing and planning until the early morning hours. It’s sometimes a love hate relationship, but like Greece, Portes is part of our lives!
9. What does launching your own publication at a young age feel like?
It feels amazing. It’s a highly demanding project that entails so many elements and comes with many responsibilities. We don’t sleep much, but the experiences we gain and share with others are well worth it. And our group of passionate writers, designers, and photographers get to do what they love best with their inspiration being none other that the most beautiful place on the planet. At the end of the day, presenting the world with a rich collection of authentic Greek stories is both humbling and highly fulfilling. We love what we do, and we invite others who share our passion to join us on this journey.
10. What do you think the diaspora and visitors want from Greece? Are they looking for the typical sea, sun and summer fun or are they keen on learning more about contemporary Greece?
Diaspora Greeks around the world are people who left their country for a better life. They have established themselves and raised families abroad, but many of them still love Greece very much, as do millions of non-Greeks who have fallen in love with Greece.These individuals long to keep a piece of Greece in various forms and this is part of what Portes is. It’s a collection of “Made in Greece” stories and a reflection of the country’s exciting moments as we capture them through our travels, interviews, and lenses. New design, innovative ideas, and things are being born here every day and this is something we know diaspora Greeks and fans of Greece would appreciate.
11. Do you think Greece is only for summer vacation or is it a country that is worth fighting for to live in? And if it's worth fighting for, what is the reason why?
We love Greece. We want to see great things continue to happen here and we applaud everyone who is doing something good for Greece, whether it be in the country or from abroad.Is this place worth fighting for? This land conjures dreams, invokes intense feelings and exudes magic. There’s a saying that when God created the earth, he allocated land to the various races of the world. The Greeks were last on the waiting list but God had already assigned all his land, except one piece which he kept for his retirement. So he gave that place to the Greeks.
Daily life at times makes it difficult to appreciate the true beauty of something. It’s time Greeks realize they live on the most beautiful place on earth and start treating Greece as just that…God’s chosen retirement spot.
As for putting up a fight considering today’s perceived hardships, we believe in the saying “if opportunity does not knock, build a door.” Our official motto is actually “Open Doors,” as we encourage everyone to take that step. Introduce yourself to someone new. Get to know their story. Learn. Grow. Build a door and be an opener of doors. So with much love from Portes, we invite you to go forth and Open Doors!
About the editors:
Anthe Mitrakos is a U.S. and Greece-based journalist. Her work has appeared in Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, CBS Network News, FOX Chicago News, and the National Herald, among other media outlets. She enjoys meeting interesting people and visiting unique places that inspire her writing and creative work.
Vasiliki Mitrakos holds a degree in political science from Northwestern University and has completed several research projects pertaining to contemporary issues in Greece. A Fulbright scholar, Vasiliki enjoys collecting books, traveling, and discovering the various treasures of Greece.