BURNOUT by Dimitris Michalakis




This project portrays the devastation, marginalization and anger caused by the severe economic crisis that has hit Greece since 2009. The series of austerity measures that followed the country’s bail-out agreement with the EU and the IMF have torn apart the social fabric, placing extreme pressure on the middle class and spreading despair across most of the society. Youth unemployment has reached 62%, while 23% of the Greek population lives below the official poverty line. The total number of unemployed has grown to more than 1.5 million people. The 6th consecutive year of recession has created a situation that Greece hadn’t experienced since the end of WWII. The drastic cuts in public spending have dismantled welfare state institutions and have led to the marginalization of the most vulnerable members of society. There has been a big increase in the number of homeless people, with those with no insurance or health coverage seeking the help of NGOs. Thousands of people, from long-term unemployed to shopkeepers who lost their shops, depend on soup kitchens to survive. Following incidents of malnourished children fainting in classrooms, the Federation of Teachers has asked for soup kitchens to be served in schools as well. Under such conditions, the streets of Athens and other major Greek cities are filled with anger.

Dimitris Michalakis



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