The Photographer’s Contract

November 23, 2016 § Leave a comment


I haven’t taken a single film photo in November yet. There has been some, even if faint, inviting afternoon winter light on a couple of days, but I lacked the energy and motivation to pick my camera and take a walk. In times when historical developments take place, especially depressive ones, a single person often loses the faith in the purpose or the influence of her own doings. Too small, I am, too irrelevant, what I do, too weak, my voice, one thinks. But we know we must eventually recover.

For no reason at all, or for all reasons of the world and some of those above, I kept thinking of a snapshot I took last summer while I was taking a beautiful afternoon walk with my sister around Plato’s Academy Park in Athens, a place full of traces of its historical importance but also still very much of a recreation centre for the inhabitants of the area.

On that warm July afternoon, the park was full of people walking about, chatting with each other, and several groups of kids and teenagers, either playing together or hanging out with their peers. I took photos of some of those youths, as the way kids move or interact with each other in groups is something always beautiful to watch: natural, surprising and refreshing.

I took this particular photo when I noticed the interaction between the teenage boy and the girl in the foreground: the boy playfully pulling the girl’s hair, probably clumsily expressing that way his interest in her, as boys often do in that age. Is that ever to change, I thought, rather amused and not really alarmed by the situation, could we ever teach our boys otherwise?

Only later, at home, when I took a more careful look at that sequence of photos I saw that I had actually documented a more severe act of violence. In the background a little boy, maybe my son’s age, was held onto the ground, being brutally punched by an older boy. An even closer look gave me the certainty that the fight was not a game and that the other boys had run towards the scene only to stand around as spectators.

I don’t know how everything ended for that young guy: if he was seriously hurt, or if someone helped him in the end, because by that time I had walked on, clueless of what I had just not witnessed.

I think of that photo feeling a bit powerless, but also not without a sense of guilt. How well do I see what I see? How can I see faster, understand faster, help faster?

New Boots

November 6, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Oh you should had taken a photo of me last night, when I was well-dressed. Today I look horrible and I’ve slept so badly, she said. But maybe the boots had really been a bit too much, she thought. They were not cheap, but she had ordered them online and they were quite different than how they had looked on the online shop photos. But when they finally arrived, there was no time to send them back. The party was on the same night. It would be either them or the old ones. She once had met a man who said that he wouldn’t drink a tea brewed from a teabag if his life depended on it. She had felt so sorry for him. She put the new boots on.

She danced to the music: November (New Boots)

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M.

November 6, 2016 § 1 Comment

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M. and I haven’t talked to each other for ten years. We will both turn fifty three this year. We used to make music together. He wrote the songs, I sang. Until his business silenced his guitar. Then he bought a house and a second car. A couple of weeks ago he sent me a WhatsApp message. He wrote he’d be gone for three weeks. He sent me three mp3 files with three brand new songs. He told me I shouldn’t worry and that he’d call me when he’d be back.

Music: November (For M.)

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Weavers

October 30, 2016 § 3 Comments

After Ariadne was left behind on Naxos, she learned how to weave. Ever since loneliness is only possible to be seen when woven.

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The Secret

October 15, 2016 § Leave a comment

He told me the way I embraced people would make them want to confide truths to me. Don’t let the CIA know that, I joked to make this discussion lighter. We were standing in the middle of a busy street. But I knew what he meant. I had stopped embracing strangers a couple of years ago. The waves had become too high for me. And my boats had been sunk long ago.

(First published on Instagram, here.)

The Good Neighbour

October 12, 2016 § Leave a comment

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I ran into her coming out of the house a second time in the same week. Two days ago I told her how sorry I felt about hers and W.’s separation and that if there was anything I could do she shouldn’t hesitate to tell me. This time she immediately asked if we could have a wine together. I said yes, of course.
The other night our troubled neighbour knocked at my door. The one who always forgets to take out the dustbins on garbage collection days. She had trouble at work. She needed someone to talk to

(First published on my Instagram account, here.)

The Promise

October 12, 2016 § Leave a comment

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The impossible was promised to him. That was because it is generally believed there is no harm in promising the impossible only to take your promise back after a while. After all, anyone who had really believed that the impossible would be possible was responsible for his own stupidity. There’s no agency for not keeping a promise of something impossible while a lot of pain for believing it was possible. A light wind was enough to blow such promises away.

(First published on my Instagram account, here.)

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