Partisan Nitsa, or Electra Papayannakis

Silent procession, Saturday, September 12, 2015, starting at 17.30 from Kallikratis village in Sfakia.

Eleni, Nitsa or Electra joined the Democratic Army (DSE) of Crete, at the mountains, when she was 17 years old.

She was “pampered” at the mountain, as a companion of her told us, because she was used to living in the city. Nevertheless she quickly adapted to life there. “We were together in the mountain” said Argiro. She was proud, beautiful, tough and brave. She was killed in a conflict while she was fighting along with other rebels in Kallikrati village in Sfakia, in April 1949. Her head, according to testimonies, was taken to the city of Chania. The local newspapers dealt extensively with the incident and called her “gang member” who fought heroically. Her relatives did not mourn for her because they were afraid. Her body was transferred by her companion to Chania much later.

I went to the location Sideroporti near the mountain village of Kallikratis, a shepherds’ village, to spend the summer, on June 19, 2015 seeking for her traces. Proud mountains touching the sky.

I wanted to make the story of Nitsa or Electra public, as a story that does not only belong to family memories, as she was my mother’s sister, and I have her name, but also belongs to the collective memory and is part of history, of that weak revolution with great social dynamics, so it is very important to go back and keep that in mind especially during the current crisis and state of exception.

The female fighters of DSE conquered equality and freedom, although a large part of society condemned them and it was considered inappropriate for a woman to be in the mountains and live alongside men. “Women today owe their position to the fights of those women,” said Argiro.

I invite you to a silent procession on Saturday, September 12, at the site she was killed where you can give away something to rebel Nitsa or Electra.

For additional information on how to get to Kallikratis from Chania contact me at