My project deals with the aftermath of the economic crisis and its socioeconomic and political consequences in Athens, Greece.
Greece experiences its fifth year of recession. The GDP has fallen by 15% at the same time, leaving more than 20% of the population living under the poverty line. Unemployment has reached 22%, with youth unemployment being over 50%. The sudden and dramatic drop of the quality of life of big parts of the population, and the ruining of hopes of the young generation, has brought many on the verge of despair. As the recent elections have shown, this situation has caused a political backlash, with the collapse of moderate parties and the ascendance of parties of the extreme right and left.
Questioning stereotypical photojournalistic ideas about the representation of the crisis, I focus on how the atmosphere of the city has changed during the last five years. My photographic narrative is built around the contrast between isolated people in the crowd – what I have personally experienced as a change in the mood of the city, a generalized feeling of depression that looms over the city and its population -, and venues where new collective identities are constructed. Blending fact and personal vision, I see my work as a kind of personal documentary that explores the potential of seemingly realist and representational images to act as visual metaphors.
Vangelis Georgas (1980) is a self-taught photographer with a degree in sociology. Currently he is obtaining his PhD in London.