In this interview and dialogue, a pair of Greek photographers, Panos Kefalos and Dimitris Rapakousis, discuss their photographic approaches as well as the boundaries of documentary work with Ioanna Chronopoulou. The conversation happened in the context of the photographers’ latest exhibition “Saints & Outsiders.” The show was organized through the 2nd Medphoto Festival and is being held in Rethymno, Crete. It is running at the city’s Cultural Centre from December 2 to December 19, 2017.
In “Saints,” which was previously published in LensCulture, Kefalos entered into the intimacy of an Afghan family living on the streets of Athens and revealed both tender and difficult moments from their daily struggle. In “Outsiders,” Rapakousis tells the story of a different group of outsiders: a group of Roma people. In both cases, the photographers manage to get admirably close to their subjects and help show us a different world.
Ioanna Chronopoulou: Your projects both share common ground and yet strong differences are also evident. Is there a dialogue between these two stories?
Panos Kefalos: Dimitris’ photographs make me observe the details through colour. In most of the frames, I see a subject lacking order, but there is an underlying sense of harmony and order. I see a clear synthesis despite the chaotic context. Since most of his pictures don’t concentrate on one thing in particular, I understand he is searching for something.Thanks to seeing his work while it was being set up, I realized that my gaze could not focus on one point, but I was looking for details within the space. While he begins by talking about one man in particular, he is also talking about the environment in which man lives.
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