EYES OF TRUTH | An Athens Group Action (Inside Out Project)
When Maria and I started throwing around ideas for our Inside Out Group Action five months ago, I was enthused! I knew that we would finally get a chance to get involved with social matters, which were of concern to us. The action group presented itself as an opportunity to become hands on with certain social issues. We finally decided to pursue problems surrounding immigration since it is a very grave matter, which is poorly handled by politicians and the government itself.
When the first photography session was done, I received an email from the Inside Out organization in accordance to another group working on another project in Athens. Anna introduced me to Corinne and Yvonne. During our first meeting, I realized that we were all working on the project for the same reasons. Corinne and Yvonne had come up with a great and inspiring idea for a project and I instantly wanted to get involved because as a graphic designer and photographer, when art is used as a medium for the betterment of people is when I take great pride in my profession. Hence we decided to put our heads together and contribute to the Inside Out Project collectively.
I unfortunately only started to work on the project in August because of the workload I had. Note: if you are a working guy and you have to work in Athens during the summer, and especially in August, then you do not want to be a photographer unless you like to play hide and seek- It wasn’t easy finding kids for the photo shoots!
After my first day’s futile attempt to search for families who would be interested, I turned to friends to seek their help. Most of them knew of families who were interested, but would only have been back in Athens after the deadline. So after recruiting and briefing Nuru, a friend of mine from Mitchells Plain, Cape Town currently living in Athens, hoping for better luck, we armed ourselves with optimism and headed to the parks. There however, I was met with the problem of trust; the difficulty of winning parents’ trust (in a short period of time). S o I decided to take things slow and focused my attention back to the friends that knew of families with young kids. As I briefed the families, I always wanted to give them time to talk and think about it and I surprisingly noticed that the ones that really wanted to get involved accepted my request without a second thought.
In spite of the obstacles, pressure and disappointment, I realized that as I was taking the photographs I had a smile on my face all the while.
I would like to thank JR for the opportunity to both work with him and meet these wonderful people in front and behind the camera. So, Maria, Corinne, Yvonne, Nuru, Magda, Kiki, Ioanna, Mika, Alkistis, Domniki, Valia, Roseline, Evangeline, Aurin; thank you for your help, trust and optimism that things can change for the best.