Extraordinary photographers, visionaries, and committed activists – for a country in crisis, these Greek photographers, whether living in Greece or abroad, are talented, passionate and determined to prove that this troubled country hasn’t said its final word yet. Meet 10 Greek photographers to know and follow.
Chloe Kritharas Devienne
Paris-born Greek-French photographer Chloe Kritharas Devienne attended the University of Fine Arts in Paris before relocating to Athens to complete photography studies at the Leica Academy. Working with both the French and Greek media, she is known for covering various social issues and has exhibited several of her projects in both countries. With an emphasis on the human aspect of the subjects she chooses, she is drawn to showcasing instances of social injustice, as highlighted in her exhibition at the Benaki museum for the Athens Photo Festival 2016. She is currently working on a portrait project titled Anthropo.
Born in 1993, Theodor Papadakis currently lives and works in Athens. A former student of the Department of Photography and Audiovisual Arts at TEI of Athens, he attended classes in performance art, scenography and darkroom practices at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Complutense University in Madrid, Spain. A multifaceted young man, Papadakis has also been involved in ballet. He is currently working on a project where he aims to capture common human behaviors exhibited in cohabitation. His photography series Home Again was exhibited at the Young Greek Photographers during the Athens Photo Festival. You can discover more of his work on his Instagram account.
Orestis Seferoglou was born in Athens in 1990. After participating in a series of workshops and masterclasses by world-renowned photographers from Greece and abroad, including Anders Petersen, Chris Morris, Davide Monteleone, Stefano De Luigi, Pavlos Fysakis, and Kamilo Nollas, he was selected for a 7-month International masterclass by VII Photo Agency in Milan. He then started working as a multimedia photojournalist for two major Greek news outlets, and his work has also been published in various Greek magazines. Currently working as a freelance photographer for VICE Greece and Greek newspaper Kathimerini, Seferoglou has been nominated for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. Definitely a force to be reckoned with, Seferoglou is part of a promising generation of Greek photographers.
A plastic lifejacket floating near the shore after a dinghy arrived with refugees and migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on October 21, 2015. © Orestis Seferoglou
A migrant takes shelter from the heavy rain inside his tent, outside the Moria registration camp, on October 23, 2015, on the Lesbos island. Over 400,000 people have landed on Greek islands from neighbouring Turkey since the beginning of the year, most of them fleeing the civil war in Syria. © Orestis Seferoglou
Athens-born Thalia Galanopoulou studied photography and video production at the Focus School of Photography and New Technologies in Athens. She later moved to London to complete a Master’s degree in Photographic studies at the University of Westminster. Using photography as an auto-therapeutic tool, she sees herself as a visual activist and seamlessly mixes personal projects with documentary photography. An excellent illustration of that is her 2012 photo series where she explored an unseen subculture of Athens, as part of her work for the Pavlos Fysakis’s ‘Personal Vision’ documentary photography workshop. Exhibited in both Athens and London, she was the winner of the CU Romantso creative hub contest. As such, Galanopoulou will be working with promising young Greek documentary photographers while offering her input on their work. She currently works for Greek newspaper Ethnos.
Daimon Xanthopoulos, born in 1979, is a visual photojournalist active in film and photo documentaries. And while his work can be found in a variety of media, Xanthopoulos is the Chief Editor of Pf magazine (professional photography) and a European Panasonic Lumix Ambassador. His project Begin van het Kwaad (Roots of Evil) has been nominated for the best online documentary and focuses on the secret societies in west Africa and explores their impact in times of civil wars. Often travelling around the world, Xanthopoulos currently lives in the Netherlands. Dive into his work on his Instagram page.
Sierra Leone and Liberia: September 2010: Documentary – The beginning of Evil – Begin van het kwaad – © Daimon Xanthopoulos
Currently working in the field of photography and communication for Mediamatic, Anisa Xhomaqi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Photography and Audiovisual Arts from the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Athens. As one of the 13 Young Greek Photographers featured during the Athens Photo Festival in 2015, she won the first prizes of the International Hellenic University Photo Contest in 2011 and of the 16th School’s Photography Exhibition the same year. Drop by her Instagram profile if you want to learn more about her work and world.
Born in 1989, Maria Mavropoulou lives and works in Athens. After studying painting, sculpture and photography at the Athens School of Fine Arts, she quickly got down to business through different photography projects. Praised for her work at the 7th Biennale of students of Schools of Fine Arts of Greece in 2014, she joined the Depression Era collective established in 2012 with the mission to document the Greek crisis through images and texts. Her work has been showcased abroad, notably in Paris, Budapest and Istanbul.
Elena Nassati was born in Athens in 1990. A Photography and Audiovisual Arts graduate from the Technological Educational Institute of Athens, she has been working as a freelance photographer since 2009, and most specifically as a portraitist. It was her project On Changes that was chosen to feature in the Young Greek Photographers exhibition at the Athens Photo Festival in 2015. She currently lives in London where she is completing an MA in cinematography at the MET Film School. Her current projects include a short film that should premiere in various festivals in the coming year. Nassati is also working on another photography series.
Thessaloniki-born and bred Giannis Papanikos is a freelance photojournalist. In 2011, while attending the Stereosis School of Photography in Thessaloniki, he started working in photojournalism for an environmental free press magazine, and did some occasional work at art festivals and theatrical performances. His first project, called Trisomy 21 focused on people with Down’s Syndrome in 2012, while the following year he started taking photos of refugees living in a derelict building in Thessaloniki. His work has allowed him to visit and work in exotic destinations such as Morocco and India. Now collaborating with the Associated Press, he holds the position of staff photographer for the Greek agency Fos Photos. Papanikos’ work has been printed in foreign press, including The Guardian, Le Figaro, Daily Mail, MSN, The Telegraph, Le Monde, Wall Street Journal or even the Washington Post. Do not forget to follow him on Instagram if you feel inspired by his work.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India © Giannis Papanikos
After completing a Master’s degree in Visual Communication and Media studies in Athens, Konstantinos Kartelias relocated to London to complete a second master’s degree in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the University of the Arts London (UAL). For a while, this young wedding and documentary photographer juggled different projects, including several documentaries with NGOs, such as Médecins du Monde, Praxis or Create and Do. His thought-provoking project Young Greeks Under the Economic Crisis was exhibited in London at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the 2014 Taylor Wessing Portrait Photography Awards. It was also selected to feature in the 2014 RPS international Print Competition and later for the 2015 Athens Photo Festival. Winning first prize of the Athens Photo Inspiration competition, he even did a photo documentary called HIV. Lusaka/Zambia. He managed to raise funds for the Mother of Mercy hospice in Lusaka, Zambia, a medical center dedicated to the improvement of the living conditions of patients in terminal stages of HIV.