From the series, “Burnout” © Dimitris Michalakis
I’ve read countless articles about Greece in the past four years. From the printed words, the facts are clear: the unemployment rate keeps climbing, the economic forecasts stay grim, the deficit grows and the stories of daily life get harder, sadder, and more painful. But all these words can only convey so much; in my mind, all the texts run together. In terms of images, there seems to be a different kind of deficit. Besides the token photograph of a burned out building or a flipped over police car (with the tired headline, “Rioting in Athens”), I have long felt that there were no pictures that told the story of what was happening in Greece.
After spending some time with Dimitris Michalakis’ moving series “Burnout“, I can say that the ongoing crisis in Greece finally has a visual accompaniment. Michalakis’ work is grim, honest, and heart-wrenching. It is also intensely personal. In the artist’s words: “Burnout has to do with my own crisis too: I know it is a part of my life. This series is deeply experiential. Although it started four years ago, I still do not know when and how it will end.” Nobody does, but at least now we have a visual chronicle to help us understand what the people in Greece are facing in their daily lives.
See more of Michalakis’ series at LensCulture.