Sunday 24 July 2016

Sites of Memory - Young Greek Photographers

'The past will have been worked through only when the causes of what happened then have been eliminated. Only because the causes continue to exist does the captivating spell of the past remain to this day unbroken'. Theodor W. Adorno.

Sites of Memory, Young Greek Photographers, at the Benaki Museum, Pireos, Athens.
The exhibition Sites of Memory presents a series of recent works by contemporary Greek photographers who address the subject of collective historical memory as well as its ambivalent coexistence with oblivion. Whether recording contemporary sites in which dramatic events of Greek history have taken place, or focusing on people and personal narratives, these works demonstrate that memory should not be conceived exclusively as binding us in some deep sense to past times, but as a mode of representation belonging to the present.

Simos Saltiel:

Karatasou Camp

Paris Petridis:

The photographs below were accompanied by testimonies of people who were incarcerated, or were witnesses to the events that happened at these locations. Some were heartbreaking, particularly the ones of torture.

Vardari Square, the old National Security building in Athens. Here, thousands of political prisoners were incarcerated, tortured and murdered between the onset of the Civil War and the end of the Colonels' dictatorship.

Arrianou and Olympou in Athens. Here, the poet Manolis Anagnostakis kept watch as his partisan comrades executed fascist collaborators during the Greek Civil War.


Hippocrome Square. Here, at the Hippodrome, the guard of the emperor Theodosius massacred thousands of Thessalonians in the spring of 390 AD


Troon and Adrastrou Str., where the brutal attack on the unionist Konstantina Kouvena took place (juxtaposed with her testimony to the public prosecutor, which I have not included. However I have written about Kouneva before, and you can read about it  here )

Tzavella and Mesologious Str., where 15-year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot dead by a policeman in December 6, 2008, when he went to Exarheia in Athens to celebrate his birthday (juxtaposed with an eyewitness testimony, which I have not included).

60 Panagi Tsaldari Str. where the anti-fascist activist rapper Killah P (Pavlos Fyssas) was murdered by the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn in September 2013. You can read more about this here . The trial of Fyssas' killer is going on at present.


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