Prolaz, project about the continuous change experienced in the Balkans over the last years. It’s about the complexity of the human condition during the region’s transition toward democracy. It’s a personal view on the tension and the contradiction occurring here.
I started my journey in 2004 from Istanbul, I decided to start from Turkey, to capture the influence of Ottoman Empire in the Balkans. And continue in subsequent years in different cities and surroundings from Albania, Bosnia, Bucharest, Croatia, Hezegovina, Kosovo, Istanbul, Macedonia, Montenegro, Sofia, Serbia, Skopje, Thessaloniki.
A land of unsure boundaries, where opposites both attract and repel each other. The last decade has violently changed the physical and psychological dimension of these towns, evolving them into a nationalist drama and perhaps the conclusion of an irreversible sense of their own being. Nevertheless, there are vibrant feelings of hope and fear, stemming from the people’s conflicting sense of their cultural heritage.
A boy touches a monument inside the Athens’ Polytechnic school, two days before the anniversary of a 1973 student uprising against the then military ruling junta in Athens on November 15, 2013. A mass march to the U.S. embassy is planned to take place on November 17 to mark the anniversary of the student revolt that helped topple the 1967-1974 military junta.
Roma stroll about prefabricated homes in their camp, many of them smiling. But there is worry and resentment here.
Their community is at the center of a child abduction case, with a Roma couple accused of abducting a blonde, blue-eyed girl who is thought to be about 4 years old.
The Roma, a poor people in a country devastated by an economic crisis, try to make a living in the camp on the outskirts of the central town of Farsala by selling fruits, carpets, blankets, baskets and shoes at local markets. They say they are already considered by some to be social outcasts, thieves and beggars.
Now, they fear they will be stigmatized as child traffickers. The president of the local Roma community, Babis Dimitriou, hopes there is no backlash against the 2,000 Roma living in the community.
Many Roma are wary of media attention and resentful of what they say is neglect by the state. The only thing authorities have provided, they say, is the prefab houses that replaced the tents they were living in eight years ago.
Photos taken on Oct. 20, 2013 by Nikolas Giakoumidis/AP
A riot policeman hits a protester with his shield during a peaceful anti-fascist rally following the killing of a 35-year-old anti-racism rapper by a man who sympathizes with the far-right Golden Dawn group in an Athens suburb on September 19, 2013.The Greek government asked judges on Thursday to move against Golden Dawn, saying it had evidence the far-right party was a criminal organisation and a threat to public safety.
1. Riot police walk past a burning garbage bin in front of the Bank of Greece during a protest in Thessaloniki. Violent clashes broke out Wednesday in several Greek cities after a member of the country’s far-right Golden Dawn party was arrested in the fatal stabbing of a 34-year-old musician described as an anti-fascist activist. The stabbing drew condemnation from across Greece’s political spectrum and from abroad. While the extremist Golden Dawn has been blamed for numerous violent attacks in the past, the overnight stabbing is the most serious violence directly attributed to a member so far. (Nikolas Giakoumidis/AP)
2. Protesters holding banners cast their shadows as they march during an anti-government rally in front of the parliament in Athens. Greek workers shut schools and forced hospitals to operate with only emergency staff on Wednesday at the start of a 48-hour strike against the latest plans to fire thousands of public sector employees. (Yorgos Karahalis /Reuters)
3. High school students shout slogans in solidarity with their striking teachers during a 48 hour general strike in Athens. (Kostas Tsironis/AP)
4. Protesters march in front of the parliament as words are seen on the ground during an anti-government rally in Athens. (Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)
5. Protesters from the health sector take part in a protest during a 48 hour general strike in Athens. (Kostas Tsironis/AP)
6. People gather at the site where Pavlos Fissas, a 35-year-old anti-racism rapper was stabbed to death, by a man who sympathized with the far-right Golden Dawn group, at Keratsini suburb southwest of Athens. Fissas, 35, who went by the stage name Killah P, was stabbed twice in the heart and chest on Tuesday night in a brawl after a soccer match shown in a cafe in Keratsini, a working-class suburb of Athens. (John Kolesidis/Reuters)
7. Riot police officers detain protesters after clashes between police and anti-fascist protesters in the northern Greek town of Thessaloniki. (Alexandros Avramidis/Reuters)
8. A protester is chased by police during clashes between police and anti-fascist protesters following the killing of a 35-year-old anti-racism rapper in an Athens suburb. (Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)
9. A protester throws a flare to riot police during a protest at the suburb of Keratsini near Athens. (Kostas Tsironis/AP)