Forget Your Past
I was asked by Pooyan Tabatabei to choose three photos taken by photographers who I can relate to. I selected three photos taken by the photographers Nikola Mihov ( Bulgaria), Christine Iordanidou ( Greece), and Eleftheria Kalpenidou ( Greece ).
- Nikola Mihov author of the book : “Forget Your Past” is a contemporary photographer and cultural icon of Bulgaria, who has been exhibited and published internationally. He documented the events of Gezi Park in Istanbul in June 2013. Among his photos from days of photography in Istanbul, I felt one was especially powerfull. On that day the police fired tear gas into the Divan hotel where protesters had taken shelter after the attack in Gezi Park. In Mihov’s image, the colour red is overpowering, almost everything is in red except for touches of white and blue.
It gives a sense of the feeling of revolution in Istanbul. A man is under an oxygen mask, a hand is holding his hand, a woman has her knee on the ground and a paramedic is checking his heart.There is a sense of both emergency and solidarity. We feel the immediate presence of photographer.The wide angle lens carries this message and brings us the importance of the scene. We relate to Nikola in this photo as someone in solidarity with the injured man. The composition brings us the emotion. The body of injured man draws a diagonal line dividing the photo in two parts. The red casque of one of the subjects is taking our eyes right away to the shirtless man, and the fact that he is the victim of a brutal act by police. The cohesiveness of all hands in the photo helps us to understand that the injured man has lots of love and care at a difficult time
- The dark poetic work of Christine Iordanidou’s, deals with the financial crisis and its effect on people of Thessaloniki. She has degrees in Political Science and Political Analysis but five years ago, after seeing an exhibition of photos, she was moved by the power of photography, and changed her life and now uses the camera to see this world. Iordanidou uses night as a metaphor. Long monochrome exposures show us how the new situation makes makes people live like ghosts. The photo titled “Empty chairs at empty tables, near Valaoritou Street” has a lot to offer. She employs the old technique of Chiaroscuro, the contrast between light and dark, to engage us strongly with the subject. The dark empty street, strong vertical lines, a ghostly subject walking next to a lighted column of light, portrays the ambiguous feeling of the photographer. The light is the hope of photographer for the future of this country, while the dark subject marks the difficult situation society is passing through..
- Eleftheria Kalpenidou comes from a different background, the world of music and dance, but she chose to become a photographer. She also prefers to use colour. For Eleftheria, the focus is on documenting the abandoned buildings and industries. Eleftheria has been very sensitive toward her fellow citizens with her choice of lighting and colours: “I did a field study in each area, talking with neighbours in order to collect information and details about each place. It was also to be able to choose the perfect moment for the light, indicating what I wanted to show in each picture”. The man or woman as human figure, in motion, represents the shadows of workers who used to work in those industries.The beautiful use of negative space, colour, and motion in the composition of each photo, creates a powerful photograph to convey the message of the photographer. The photo “The smoked fish industry, Kalochori Thessaloniki” shows us a burned room, red colour in motion, a metaphor for fire. We see the suffering pose of a human figure, the subject framed in a door, as focal point of the image, creating a sympathetic feeling for the absent workers