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Dimitris Michalakis November 7, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Greece.
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Gypsy Settlement from the project “Nato Avenue”. Athens, Greece 2008

Dimitris Michalakis (b. 1977, Greece) studied photography at the Focus School of Photography in Athens. Since 2004 he has been a regular contributor to K Magazine, (Kathimerini Sunday edition). His photographs have been published in Spiegel, Die Zeit and  Rolling Stones Magazine. Dimitris has traveled on journalistic missions to more than 30 countries, mainly in the former Soviet Union. His work has been exhibited at the Coalmine Gallery, Zurich, the LUMIX Festival for Young Photojournalism in Hanover, Germany and the Bursa Photography Festival in Turkey. He is currently based in Athens.

About the Photograph:

“Nato Avenue, in the western suburbs of Αthens, crosses the most degraded part of the city. The area is a puzzle of urban sprawl; factories, refineries, shipyards a military airport and the largest rubbish dump in the country. Right below this dump, gypsy immigrants from North Albania have come and settled. They have built a settlement that grew bigger as more Albanian gypsies kept coming. They make their living in the rubbish dump. The work is divided; men collect recyclable material, paper, plastic and steel, while women gather clothes, carpets or anything thrown away by super markets and food companies. It is fenced and guarded. Police have destroyed the settlement every now and then and are on constant patrol making access to the dump almost impossible.”

“Vassilis, the first immigrant to arrive in this land, is my narrator. Vassilis came here all alone. His children and grand children followed. They all live together in an abandoned barn surrounded the shanty town built around it. The structure of his family, like every other family of this community, is patriarchal. As the oldest man of the family, has the first and the last word. He sells his daily merchandise to the recycling companies of the area, while women collect, wash and sell clothes in flea markets in Greece and Albania. Vassilis an informal leader. They call him detector, not only because he finds good merchandise, but also because he is found this location in 1991. He guided me through this settlement and I’m indebted to him for all his help on my Nato Avenue project.”

John Minchillo November 2, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Greece.
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Sudanese Refugees, Patras Greece 2010

John Minchillo (b. 1985, United States) received his bachelors degrees in English Literature and Philosophy, Politics, and Law from Binghamton University. A lifelong passion for storytelling led him to print journalism with local newspapers. Shortly afterwards he began photographing his stories and found his voice in imagery. He has attended the Eddie Adams Workshop Barnstorm 24, and is regularly published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, TIME Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, USA Today, Newsweek, and many others. He lives in New York City freelances with the Associated Press.

About the Photograph:

“I wanted to tell the story of refugees in the EU when my colleague suggested Patras, a port city in Greece known for harboring massive shipping vessels. Greece is the middle man for dealing with refugees in the EU. Official protocol states all illegal immigrants found in the EU must be deported to the original country of entry. Greece, with its land border with Turkey, is the main thoroughfare. With nowhere to go, and Greece’s economy in free fall, these refugees found themselves living in abandoned rail yards.”

“I tried to make a photo that shows these men, stuck in circumstances wildly beyond their control, as more than some forgotten, cursed people. They want to be better men and husbands, live better, and achieve. Many speak several languages. Some are teachers, others mechanics, many businessmen. Their families are far away. They left home in search of opportunity to be caught in a socio-political nightmare with no escape, to home or anywhere else. They try for years to covertly board massive shipping vessels behind barbed wire and fences, often risking their lives by climbing up hundred-foot high docking cables, in hopes of making it to the Netherlands for a chance at a new life. And in the process they are caught by authorities, beaten, jailed, and released into the cycle again. No matter the crushing poverty, disdain from locals, and the inability to work legally, they maintain a place to wash, eat, sleep, and take time for a simple things, like a haircut. They maintain powerful but quiet dignity. I believe in my heart that they are no different from me, and despite living in a vermin infested rail yard, with comfortable looking homes overlooking their difficult state of affairs, they keep hope alive.”

Myrto Papadopoulos September 13, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Greece.
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“Kalé”, Muslim wedding. Didimoticho, Greece 2009

Myrto Papadopoulos (b. 1978, Athens) finished her studies in 2003 after completing a five-year Fine Arts degree in painting and photography. In 2006, she applied for a photojournalism degree at  ICP where she was granted a scholarship. She has won various awards and nominations and has taken part in several exhibitions including the Mois off de la photo 08 in Paris, the N.Y photo festival 09, the Photoquai 2em biennal du monde 09 At the Museé Quai Branly in Paris, the Look Between photo festival 2010 and more. Her clients include GEO, Corriere della sera (Io Donna), EL Mundo (Yo Dona), La Stampa, Diario magazine, National Geographic Magazine (Greece), K magazine (Kathimerini) among others. She is represented by POSSE photo agency in Milan, Italy.

About the Photograph:

“The personal project “Kalé”, exemplifies my continual effort to tell the story of a particular group of people in Thrace, on the northeast border of Greece and Turkey. I approached this subject in 2006, by exploring and photographing a very particular microcosm composed of just a few families, those of Muslim background. A large number of these Greek Muslims live in racially segregated ghettos which stand in severe contrast to the surrounding area because of the never ending disparity that is constantly growing. Today, I am continuing to photograph their multifaceted cultural identity and witnessing their transformation on the moving border between the western and the eastern world. This picture was taken at a Muslim wedding, on one of my trips to Didimoticho.”

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Travis Dove July 2, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Greece.
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Mount Athos, Greece

Travis Dove (b. 1981, USA) received his BA from Wake Forest University in 2004 where he studied communication and studio art.  He later interned on the photo staffs of several American newspapers including The Boston Globe and The Charlotte Observer. While working toward a master’s degree in photography at Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication he was named the 2007 College Photographer of the Year by the Missouri School of Journalism.  In recent years his work has been awarded by World Press Photo, POYi, PDN, the NPPA, and the WHNPA, among others. In the fall of 2008 he completed a prestigious photo internship at National Geographic Magazine. His work has appeared in large and small publications across the globe. Recent clients include National Geographic, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

About the Photograph:

“This image was taken on my second trip to Mount Athos, the spiritual center of the Eastern Orthodox Church. I was there on assignment for National Geographic. Athos is a monastic state within northern Greece that was established more than 1,000 years ago. Just after midnight on Easter Sunday this group of monks gathered outside of a ninth century church and began chanting, ‘Christos anesti—Christ has risen.’ The litanies around Easter transform the generally quiet peninsula and the mood turns celebratory.  The monks of Mount Athos often pray all the way through the night during special celebrations, as they did on this occasion before breaking seven weeks of fast.”

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