One World

2016

Since the summer of 2015 up to now, hundreds of people coming from Middle Eastern countries, have passed through EU borders, many times, in danger of their life. Thousands refugees, including women and children, have been drowned in Aegean sea’s waters and throughout Mediterranean, during an effort of reaching a better life far away from bombs and war of USA, European Union, Russia as well as from local dictatorships.

From the hell of the atrocious wars to the doorstep of a hopeful life, millions of refugees who have been spread in Greece and EU, have faced two different faces of the “Old continent”.

From one side they have confronted close borders, concentration camps and racism, as from the other side they have been warmly welcomed from the ordinary citizens. Millions of Greek and European people have compassionately given their fellowship to refugees, in the form of food, clothes, and very often by opening the door of their homes in order to take care of them.

For many months, at the port of Piraeus in tents, wharves E1-E2, E3, were living around 4.500 refugees and immigrants. Likewise in many other places of the country, living conditions at the port of Piraeus are unbearable and inhuman. The ordinary citizens have shown the best view of their self by supporting in ways which trying to make living conditions for refugees more human-like, for as long it takes them to stay in Greece.

I have been in Piraeus port, supporting refugees, talking with them and have photographed the simplest moments of their everyday life, understanding that they have not a sure future. Through this photograph unit, I try to transfer the collective memory, the experiences and the inner strength of those people to the rest world.

The title of the “One World” accounts in the fact that simple people have nothing to divide, despite the apparent ethnic, cultural and political differences. As for the photographic technique, it moves through the contexts of street photography and documentary photography and I record the flow that collective memory follows, through my personal visual perspective. I recognize sharing of social experience, and therefore of collective memory, in many aspects and points of view. The biggest part of my photographs captures people and I am inspired from Humanistic School of photography. When I photograph people in color fingerprint, they captured as part of collective composition. Photographing with black and white, I capture people’s outer reality through their innerity and temperament.

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Visual Artist

Orestis Ilias © 2020, All Rights Reserved