Greece, the years of the crisis
Since 2009 Greece has faced the consequences of a severe economic crisis. Consecutive austerity packages, following Greece’s bail-out agreement with the EU and the IMF have been tearing apart the social fabric, placing extreme pressure upon the middle class and spreading misery across society. Violence made its appearance in numerous protests in the Greek capital of Athens marked by clashes with riot police. The consequences are numerous but not all of them are visible. As a result of this, the Greeks stand perplexed, unable to understand what is going. Deeply afflicted by the crisis and scarcely optimistic about the future, they have become introverted.
Thousands of young Greeks are currently trying to find a job, as the unemployment rate of the country is the highest among its European Union partners. Shops in central Athens shut down rapidly and hundreds of merchants are facing a financial dead-end as the biggest part of the population can afford only their basic needs. The ''new homeless'' have made their appearance in urban centres, people - most of them Greeks - who cannot afford shelter and have to live on the streets.
Criminality rates and violent incidents have increased dramatically as well as a new drug called ''sisha'', also known as the ''cocaine of the poor'' has conquered the dark narrow streets. The number of people infected with AIDS and hepatitis has also increased because many prostitutes, frantic for drugs and cash, have unprotected sex for only 5 euros. In addition, racist attacks are a daily phenomenon, as xenophobia spreads its roots among Greek society and migrants living in Greece try to find any way possible to leave the country. As the Greek government tries to convince its people that the current condition will surely improve in the coming years, its words can be easily welcomed as the wounds in the Greek society structures seem really deep.
Angelos Tzortzinis. At the age of 22, I finished my studies at the Leica Academy of Creative Photography in Athens. During the past 5 years I have worked on the immigration issue in Greece, travelling across the Greek land and sea borders but also documenting immigrant lives in Athens and their efforts to leave a country undergoing a severe economic crisis. At the moment I am working on a personal project on Greece, documenting the effects of the financial crisis on Greek society and the obvious and invisible transformations that lie beneath. Parts of my work were published by TIME Magazine, Newsweek, the New York Times among others and exhibited in the Visa Pour l’Image 2012 and 2013 in Perpignan, France and the Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism in Hanover, Germany. At the moment I work as a freelance for the New York Times and AFP in Athens.
Awards / Exhibitions
2013 - Nominated Visa pour l'Image / Daily Press Award
2013 - Visa Pour l’Image 2013 / Exhibitor
2013 - POYi 70 New Multimedia Story 3rd Prize
2013 - Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist
2012 - Visa Pour l’Image 2012 / Exhibitor
2012 - Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism
2012 - Px3 Paris Gold medal
2012 - Chipp Awards 3rd Prize General News Story
2012 - POYi 69 Spot News 3rd Prize
2011 - Sony World Photography Awards Shortlist
2011 - World Press Photo nominated Joop Swart Masterclass
2010 - Chipp awards 3rd prize General News
2009 - POYi 67 General News Award of excellence
2007 - Young Greek photographers 2007