Panayis Chrysovergis was born and raised in Greece. After spending 7 years running his own engineering business, he decided to pursue another passion—photography. He began by studying in Greece and then spent a year at the ICP in New York City. Since 2013, he has been a resident at the Ecole of Photographie in Arles, France.

Today, Chrysovergis splits time between Greece and France. Thus, the text below is presented in both French and English.


English

Has nobody ever told you about my country?

Do you not already know all about Greece? About its condition, its degradation, its agony?

The cradle of Western civilization, the cradle of democracy, the cradle of antiquity—how long have you been watching it suffocating?

The media have heaped on you so much: testimonials, figures of extremist threats, images of riots and protests. All those expert analyses told to us through a prism of information that we could comprehend. And all this was necessary, of course, to try to understand what was going on.

But does it all really convey the magnitude of the crisis? A crisis that criss-crosses the country from end to end, like a sword slashing at a body? Can this crisis be read through images?

Who, from the outside, can understand the pain of loss and abandonment? The feeling of leaving and abandoning everything we had built—all of us, each of us.

These abandoned places, the gutted houses, these unfinished hopes for a life. They litter Greece. They testify to a flourishing past, to a life once full of abundance, to expectations mown down in mid-flight.

I meant, by these images, to show that which we do not normally get to see. Misery like an implacable sentence. And here, the misery is so especially grim because it has become general. No one escaped its cleaver.

—Panayis Chrysovergis (translated by Alexander Strecker)


French

(original text)

N’a-t-on déjà pas tout dit de mon pays ?

Ne savez vous déjà pas tout de la Grèce, de son état, de sa déchéance assistée, de son agonie ?

Le berceau de la civilisation occidentale, le berceau de la démocratie, le berceau de l’antiquité, depuis combien de temps le regardez-vous suffoquer ?

Les médias vous ont abreuvé de témoignages, de chiffres, de menaces extrémistes, d’images de révoltes et de contestations. Et il fallut bien essayer de comprendre avec cela, par les analyses d’experts, par le prisme de l’information ce que nous pouvions traverser. Mais est-ce que l’ampleur d’une crise qui traverse un pays de part en part, comme une épée déchire un corps, peut se lire sur des images ? Qui peut comprendre que ce n’est que perte et abandon. Partir et abandonner ce que nous avions construit, tous, chacun.

Ces lieux abandonnés, ces maisons éventrées, ces espoirs de vie inachevée, jonchent la Grèce. Ils témoignent d’un passé florissant, d’une vie d’abondance et d’espérances fauchées en plein vol.

J’ai voulu dire, témoigner par ces images ce que l’on ne montre pas habituellement, la misère comme sentence implacable. Et ici la misère est sinistre parce qu’elle est devenue générale. Nul n’échappa à son couperet.

—Panaysis Chrysovergis