Have you ever seen your ancestors from the 1920s in motion? If they had a camera, if they had taken video, your answer would be yes maybe. There are a lot of photos in 2mi3museum family archive but unfortunately very less videos. The oldest videos in our archive are from 80s and we can't see our family elders in these videos as they were not alive at that time. But now we have a chance...
In 2021, online genealogy platform MyHeritage released a blazing app named Deep Nostalgia. This app is an AI-powered service that allows users to create lifelike animations of faces in still photos. Briefly, with this app you can animate your old photos -not all of them but the suitable ones for the application - and receive a smile and a deep look directly in to your eyes from your ancestor you've never met. Sounds emotional, magical and spooky...
When we first tried Deep Nostalgia, it reminded us a classical scene from horror movies: Moving portraits... Not only in horror movies, we saw those in popular movie series Harry Potter. In the rest of our article, we would like to share with you 100 years of smiles from the past and moving portraits of 2mi3museum. Let's start with Liborio Sanzoni and continue with other ancestors.
Liborio Sanzoni, 1910s:
Liborio Sanzoni was born in 1881 in Karaağaç, Edirne. His father was Giovanni Marco Sanzoni, who migrated from Palermo to Karaagac in 1870s and his mother was Anna Catharina Zundo. All his life has been passed in Edirne. Here he worked in Karaagac Train Station, married with Aspasia Stamatyadis and after his retirement he opened a grocery store and worked until the end of his life. This smile of Liborio from 1910s, has been animated from his wedding photo with the help of Deep Nostalgia. For more info about Liborio Sanzoni you can check the articles, The Sanzoni: From Palermo to Karaagac and Handwritings: Content & Translations.
Kiryaki Akasi, 1920s:
Kiryaki Akasi was born in 1880s in Chios. Her mothers name was Loxandra, but unfortunately we don’t know her fathers name. Kiryaki has been migrated to Istanbul in 1880s, together with her family. Maybe this migration has been done after the earthquake in Chios. In Istanbul, Kiryaki started to live in Bahceköy and here she married with Nicholas Çakıroğlu. They had a daughter named Sofia. Kiryaki lived in Bahceköy, Sarıyer until the end of her life and died here in 1950s. Here you can see her in motion, which has been animated from a family photo taken in 1920s.
Sofia Çakıroğlu, 1920s:
Sofia Çakıroğlu was born in 1922 in Bahçeköy, Sarıyer. Her mother was Kiryaki Akasi and her father was Nicholas Çakıroğlu, as just mentioned above. Sofia Çakıroğlu is one of the important members in our family as she helped to raise many children in family and baptised some of them. Sofia went to Italian School in Büyükdere. This photo has been animated from one of her school photos in uniform. Sofia grew up and married in Sarıyer. She died in 2012 in Istanbul. You can find more information about her in our article, Sofia Çakıroğlu: Never Forget.
Loxandra Akasi, 1920s:
Loxandra Akasi is one of the oldest ancestors we know and have a photo. She was born in Chios in the 1850s. We don't know her husbands name but we know their children: Kiryaki, Fotini, Theodoros, Gianni, Yorgo and Anasto. After her migration from Chios to Istanbul, she lived together with Kiryaki Akasi. When her daughter Fotini Akasi had to go to Salamina, Loxandra raised her descendant Theodora. The cousins, Theodora Akasi and Sofia Çakıroğlu, grew up together as siblings with Loxandra and Kiryaki. This moving portrait of Loxandra has been animated from her only photo from 1920s in our archive.
Fotini Akasi, 1940s:
Fotini Akasi was born in 1880s in Chios, as one of the daughters of Loxandra whose photo and brief story has been shared above. She was the mother of Theodora Akasi, grandmother of Koskeri siblings and great grandmother of Koulurgioti siblings. Fotini Akasi, was living together with her family in Istanbul but -not known why- one day Fotini had to leave Istanbul and went Salamina Island under difficult conditions. Her mother Loxandra told her to leave her daughter Theodora in Istanbul, to raise her in better conditions. As we also know Fotini Akasi had to survive under the occupation of Nazis during WWII, while she was living in Salamina. This is the only photo of Fotini Akasi in our archive, and luckily we could animate it with Deep Nostalgia.
Stamatia Koskeri, 1920s:
Stamatia Koskeri was born in 1890s in Istanbul. Unfortunately we have very less information about her, but we have one photo of her in our archives. She was the mother of Nicholas Koskeri, the grandfather of Koulurgioti siblings. All we know about Stamatia, she married with a Roum gentleman, the biological father of Nicholas, but this man had to go somewhere and when he called them after years, Stamatia couldn't go because many years passed and Stamatia was married with another man, Italian Vincenzo Koskeri.
Nicholas Koskeri, 1920s:
Nicholas Koskeri was born in 1922 in Rumeli Feneri, Istanbul. As mentioned above, he was the son of Stamatia Koskeri. The story of Nicholas is quite lost and we have only a few photographs of him. The original surname of Nicholas was Triandafilidis, but he never saw his biological father. Niko raised up in Sariyer by Vincenzo, he was a carpenter and also a fisherman in here. After years Niko will be married with Theodora Akasi and they will have three children: Maria-Antoinette, Alexandra and Lambrini.
Hurmuzios Vafiadis, 1930s:
Hurmuzios Vafiadis was born in 1896 in Aksaray, Istanbul, as a son of a Greek (Roum) family with eight other siblings. His father was Stavros Vafiadis from Chios, and his mother Efrosinni was from Trilye,Bursa. By his father, Stavros Vafiadis, he learnt carpentry and worked together in a small workshop at ‘Küçük Yeni Han’ Inn. Their profession was manufacturing hand-made wooden chairs. As a hardworking man, Hurmuzios succeed in his field, owned all inn from the small workshop by time and became one of the well-known men in Istanbul. He married with Armenian lady Ashen and had one son, Aleko Vafiadis. Hurmuzios died in 19 January 1960 in Istanbul. For more information about him you can check our articles, The Vafiadis: On The Trail of an Atelier, The Vafiadis: Gorillas & Ortaköy, The Vafiadis: We were Soldiers.
Efrosinni Vafiadis, 1920s:
Efrosinni Vafiadis was born in 1876 in Trilye, Bursa. Her father's name was Aristokli and mother's name was Mariorice. We mentioned her surname as Vafiadis but this is the surname after her marriage with Stavros Vafiadis, we are still searching for her real surname. Efrosinni is known as ‘Froso’ in the family. After her marriage with Stavros, they had nine children: Hurmuzios, Yorgos, Minas, Koco, Alexandra, Apostol and three other children who died when they were babies. This animated photo of Froso has been created by her only photo in our archives. As this photo is quite like a drawing, the animated version is different than others. Efrosinni Vafiadis died in 1953 in Istanbul.
Golfo Koulurgioti, 1970s:
Golfo Koulurgioti was born in 1900s in Imbros. Unfortunately we don't know her parents name, but we know that she married with Stephanos Koulurgioti and they had five children: Nicholas, Zaharo, Strato, Dimitri and Anna. According to told stories in family and by many other people, Golfo was the most beautiful girl in village with very long hair. And her husband Stephanos was a big-hearted, helpful man and because of that people in Imbros called him ‘Diamandara’ which means perfect as diamond. His nickname was very well-known and many people called his family members as ‘the son of Diamandara’, ‘the wife of Diamandara’...etc. Golfo died in 2006.
Thanks to Deep Nostalgia, now we have a chance to see our ancestors in motion. It's really a strange feeling to see their smile and their look directly to our eyes. As the name of the application says, it really gives us a deep nostalgia. In this article we shared with you moving portraits of 2mi3museum with their brief histories. We will share more animated portraits in this section as we create more.
Written by: 2mi3, April 2021