For over over six years now, Greece has labored through a depressing series of cuts, austerity measures, bailouts and protests. For all of the sound and the fury this has generated, it seems to have signified little in the way of positive changes. The unemployment rate is still untenably high, the debt load is unsustainably heavy and the endless rounds of negotiations have only led to brinksmanship and an exhausting line-up of last chances.

And yet, life has gone on.

In this time of great uncertainty and conflicting media attention, the editorial team at LensCulture would like to present a dozen different views on Greece (with series that touch on the rest of the embattled Mediterranean as well).

These stories range from grim reports made during the heart of the unrest in Athens in 2012 and 2013, to an exploration of Mount Athos, an isolated, all-male monastic community that has maintained an unbroken, unchanging way of life for over a millenium. The projects also include portraits of the care-free insouciance of youth to the hard-scrabble existence of countless child immigrants who have ended up in the country. In short, these twelve series speak to the amazingly wide variety of experiences that can co-exist on a small patch of land in the corner of Europe.

Amidst the endless, blaring headlines and trumped up, constantly updating anxiety, we hope this array of photo series gives you a more measured and longer-term view on the crisis that Greece is undergoing. So, close Twitter, turn off that live blog and spend some time with these images.


Click on the name of each series below to see a full feature article (& artist’s statement):

Yannis Karpouzis, The Parallel Crisis
The only time that the camera can reproduce is time that has already been spent—a sad but beautiful fact that makes it the perfect canvas to convey the frozen, immobilized population of crisis-stricken Greece.

Carlos Spottorno, The PIGS
An award-winning photobook, The Pigs echoes the design and form of The Economist to deliver photoessays of real situations in four countries suffering in economic crisis in the EU: Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain—referred to by the financial press with the disparaging acronym PIGS.

Pavlos Fysakis, Land Ends: The Four Extremes of Europe
Can Europe hold together? Drawn from the four farthest points of the continent, these beautiful landscapes and portraits meditate on the meaning of borders and limits, on what the world looks like where the land ends…

Eirini Vourloumis, In Waiting
The economic crisis in Greece has forced the country’s people to re-consider the most basic elements of Greek identity—this series explores the interiors of public institutions as a microcosm of this national soul-searching.

Lily Zoumpouli, Discolouration
Personal, intimate, sexy and provocative photography from Greece and England—extending a lineage from Nan Goldin and Jacob Aue Sobol to a new generation.

Alessandro Penso, Youth Denied
More than one million immigrants (many adolescents or barely over 18) are scrambling to stay alive in Greece—kids who have not been able to experience their youth.

Depression Era Project, Greece Today, the World of Tomorrow?
A fascinating collective exhibition from Greece offers a re-definition of the wordcrisis and a compelling, even hopeful, look at the state of things to come.

Stratos Kalafatis, Athos: Colors of Faith
80 remarkable photos documenting this 1,000 year-old male-only religious community in Greece.

Dimitris Michalakis, Burnout
A grim, penetrating look into daily life in Greece from the past four years. The conditions border on war. Tear gas scents the air, there is still no end in sight.

Nick Hannes, The Mediterranean and the Continuity of Man
History and crisis, beauty and desperation: from mass migrations to toppled governments, failed revolutions and endless beaches, this 5-year long photo series showcases the ever-changing faces of an unchanging constant: the Mediterranean.

Christos Kapatos, Vaggelis Tatsis, The Greek Oikonomy: Two Views
The headlines surrounding the Greek economic crisis focus on debt ratios and EU bank policies—but these two series explore the crisis from the perspective of the oikos, the home.

Enri Canaj, Syrian Refugees in Greece
As the civil war in Syria drags on, inhabitants continue to flee the country in all directions—these photos tell the harrowing story of an inflatable raft filled with 49 refugees that ended up in on an uninhabited Greek island.

—The Editors of LensCulture