Documentary film (32 min.) Ioannis Apostolos Fokas (c.1532-c.1602) -known in historical sources as Juan Griego or Juan de Fuca- was a navigator of Greek origin, left out by history despite the relevance of his actions, who, for more than forty years, served the Spanish Empire as master, pilot and explorer in the ships of Charles V and Philip II.
His most determined endeavor was to seek a legendary passage, called the Strait of Anian, which, at the time of the discovery of America, was believed to allow the circumnavigation of the New World by the North.
This daring purpose – which could have made his deed the other side of Magellan’s and Elcano’s discovery –, however, failed; but, still, it turned him into the Westerner who arrived further north on the unknown shores of the Pacific and into the discoverer of Canada by the West.
The strait between Vancouver Island and the State of Washington bears his name today, but, despite everything, his figure continues to be unknown and controversial for History.
As part of the celebrations of the V Centenary of the first travel around the world, the Embassy of Spain in Greece – in collaboration with the Cervantes Institute, Casa Mediterráneo, the Region of Ionian Islands, the World Federation and the Hellenic American National Council – takes the initiative to create an audiovisual material aiming to restore and make known the historical importance of this Greek-Spanish navigator in the context of discoveries in the New World.
In this work, Evrydiki Livada, researcher and biographer of Juan de Fuca, and Pedro Olalla, Hellenist, writer and filmmaker, highlight the efforts of historical research in order to recover the memory of personages and facts lost in time, and narrate from Cephalonia – birthplace of Juan de Fuca – all that is known so far about this controversial and determined Greek-Spanish navigator.
source – FB post of Pedro Olalla