Motherland
Wip

For my most recent ongoing project titled "Motherland" I am incorporating all of the above ingredients, form, color, light, personal experience, and questions of identity that facilitates all of my work in the United States. For the last four years, and as the Greek socioeconomic crisis intensified, the dissemination of images of turmoil, despair, desolation and a hopeless future, bombarded popular media platforms. Some of those images cut like a blade to someone like me, who has spent half his life in Athens; and half living in the picturesque hillsides of Pennsylvania, two hours north from Philadelphia. But those images intrigued my curiosity both as a person that shares the same cultural background but mostly as a photographer. Is this what Greece has really become? Once the center of democracy, civilization and the arts, now forces the elderly to stand in lines for a short meal? I believed it and implicitly related but I was also certain that photographically there was more. Nobody could doubt and undermine the power of those images. They represented facts that were direct in choice of subject matter and content, appropriate for a particular platform such as news organizations. But those were a fraction from the plethora of possible images that make up the contemporary Greek society in these undetermined times. There was and still is the need for something more. My decision to avoid the obvious and visually repetitive that concentrates on disastrous facts was strengthened by this circumstance.

In general terms, my approach when I photograph is un-fabricated and as a rule I tend to photograph in my back yard. To reflect my intricate experiences and feelings on the two-dimensional surface of the photograph, and attempt to interpret reality in open-ended terms is of utterly importance. With the myriad of images seen in media publications and circulating my memory, I strived to depict the ephemeral and ordinary that encompasses and reflects the current socioeconomic crisis, with undercurrent tendencies of hope, humor, and pride, dignity, all layered qualities inherently formed within the Greek culture. Under the golden light that plummet the Athenian plateau and beyond, I immersed myself in experiencing a transformed society I once was an integral part of. The streets I walked during my youth, familiar, and at times uncertain. The experience of the diverse environs fluctuated between harmony and tension but naturally resulted in a sense of assimilation, of belonging, of home. It would be futile to undermine the current situation people’s struggle that have fallen victims to a corrupt system. It would also be discriminatory to depict a situation in a particular way in order to serve specific needs.

Like the recovery time from a crisis, my visual journey will be in accord and protracted. Most photographic projects are personal but for me, this is as personal as it gets, it hits home and it’s the foundation of my structure, an integral part of who I am. Call it biased; maybe it is.