CULTURE

Greek and foreign snappers bite into human condition

After the exhibition «The Justification of Thlon,» in which Greek and foreign photographers examined the relationship between photography and the fantastical, the 14th international Photosynkyria festival, running into March at various venues around Thessaloniki, digs its teeth thoroughly into reality. The artistic director of this broad photographic event, Eric Auzoux – one of the founders of the original Photosynkyria in 1988 and the successor of Yiannis Stathatos – suggested that this year’s series of exhibitions focus on man, on life itself, and on issues of survival and coexistence. «The Image of My Brother» is the theme of 21 of the 32 solo shows on display within the framework of the events. «This year’s Photosynkyria can allow us to re-examine the relationship between photography and art, and possibly, to set down new codes on what makes us, consciously or not, thinking beings, ‘social animals,’» said the director of the Thessaloniki Photography Museum, Aris Georgiou. History One of the highlights of the series is the show at the Alatza Imaret (91-93 Cassandrou), showing 66 works by local artists Dimitris Harisidis, Voula Papaioannou and Costas Balafas that shed light on life in Greece during the troubled period between 1940 and 1960. Another historical reference is made in the show «Macedonia in 1908» at the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle (23 Proxenou Koromila, until March 4), which is composed of rare turn-of-the-century postcards depicting the course of Ottoman rule in the region of Macedonia. Scenes from the Greek and Egyptian countrysides are the focus of Dimitris Papademos’s work on display at the Greek Literature and Historic Archive of Thessaloniki (until March 20), while a large exhibition dedicated to the late poet, writer and psychoanalyst Andreas Embiricos is on at the National Bank Educational Foundation (108 Vas. Olgas). The show, which runs until April 7, is composed of Embiricos’s own perspective on social and political life in Greece. France’s Delphine Kreuter captures moments from daily life and comments on communication in relationships in her solo show at the French Institute until April 6, while British photojournalist Simon Norfolk examines some of the greatest crimes against humanity in the show «Genocide/Land/Memory,» composed of his records of Northern Ireland, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Gulf War and Afghanistan. Another photojournalist, Italy’s Franco Zecchin, reveals the dynamic behind the Sicilian Mafia in a show running until March 15 at the Italian Educational Foundation. Last but not least, Haris Diamandidis displays images from Southeast Asia at the Paratiritis Arts Center, while Costas Ordolis takes viewers on a journey through Thrace at the Ianos Arts Center. Another show, «Man’s Best Friend,» takes a somewhat broader approach to the general themes of humanity, by drawing a parallel between stray dogs and the feelings of compassion they can evoke, under the theme of general philanthropy.