Few weeks ago, I visited the current exhibition of the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography. Once more, it was really interesting. However, once more I left with a feeling of sadness.
The exhibition is called “Portrayals of History”. There are photos by Voula Papaioannou – Dimitris Harissiadis and they were taken between 1940-1960. The photographers “systematically recorded Greece at a time of political transition, economic uncertainty and social hardship” and depict “World War II and the country’s post-war reconstruction”
You can see more details at
In most of the images it is obvious more or less what it is depicted. The only one I want to describe is the one with the box and the person with the white lab coat. In the box is written in Greek that people can leave their babies there if they are not able to grow them up; so sad was the situation.
There were some smaller rooms in the exhibition where there was a notice that children should enter with the permission of their parents or something similar.
I took a couple of photos (see below). I think one comment I want to make is how universal and out of time is the image of starving children. We cannot tell in which place or what period, or in which war or natural disaster these images have been taken. And despite this fact and how sad these views are, the humanity will “produce” them again and again.
Another thing I noticed is the similarities between the photos of the ruined building almost 50 years ago and the contemporary photos of what is happening at the moment in Syria. The same is happening with images of people waiting to get some food, and images of contemporary refugee’s camps. Again, it is sad to see nothing has changes for the humanity after almost 50 years, same stories, same situations, just different locations and different era/ period.
Then after the World Wars and the Greek Civil War there were some signs of return to normal life and developments. Some positive photos. However, these still give me a feeling of sadness. That is because my country is again in a bad situation, at this time a financial crisis and nobody has an idea of when we will see again signs of development and better quality of people’s life.