An illustrated guide to Greece
For most people, the idea of Greece evokes either images of sunny beaches and picturesque whitewashed villages, or, more recently, images of desperate refugees trying to cross over to Europe. With this project, my aim has been to deconstruct and question, but also enrich and expand, the store of visual representations associated with my country of origin. I attempted to capture an aspect of Greece’s landscape that is very far removed from the typical picture-postcard aesthetic usually associated with the country. I also wanted to evoke what I think of as the often improvised, play-it-by ear nature of the country: the somewhat laissez-faire relation of Greeks with their lived environment. Often, objects that would seem to have no place in the midst of nature are found scattered through the landscape. I think there is something deeply sad and surreal and sometimes even almost cruel (but at other times very tender) about these traces of human presence in the middle of nowhere. They are humble monuments to the multiple and often implicit layers of interconnection between people and the natural environment. Odd objects or structures that seem completely out of place in the landscape can be revealed, on closer scrutiny, to also suggest a very touching appropriation of, and connection with, the ‘common’ space shared by all. In parallel to this, by photographing my country of birth I also felt that I, too, was re-appropriating and reconnecting with my origins and heritage.