2016 / Editorial / Photo Essay


  • Photographer
    Stylianos Papardelas

When the refugee crisis arrived at my doorstep, I was more devestated as a human being and less “excited” as a photographer. My first concern was to see for my self. I started visiting different places. Lesvos, Zaatari camp in Jordan, Pireaus and Eidomeni. I kept finding myself engaging with people. I felt that “keeping company” was making some kind of difference to people that wait endlessly and have nothing to do all day. Waiting is something that often gives your hope but at the same time, it can destroy you physiologically. In these four places, refugees and migrands can’t do much rather than wait, for some higher authority to tell them what is the next step in their life. They either wait for the war to end, so they can go back to Syria, or for the boarders to open in order for them to have a better life in Europe. Anamoni (greek word for waiting) is a project that links the daily life of refugees in these four areas of interest. Greek poet Menelaos Loudemis once wrote about “waiting” “I am waiting. Don't ask why. /Don't ask why anyone/who has nothing to wait for/would wait anyway. Still he does. For if he stops waiting/ it is as if he stops looking at the sky/ stops hoping/ stops living. It's unbearable. it's bitter./ Slowly approaching the beach/ not as the castaway/ not as the savior/ but as the wreck.”