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THE PROVINCIAL

Photographs and text by Antonis Giakoumakis

Excerpt from his photo book The Provincial


Introduction Melanie Meggs




Photography for Antonis Giakoumakis is creation, communication, and storytelling. It is about not wanting to forget that moment, seeing pictures in spaces...moving, listening and observing. It may not be objective, but it can be a constant reminder that the world is not what we see.



What to write about the Province and even more for my own Province, since emotions are often contradictory within me.

Conflicting emotions.

Good memories and sad memories.

So I let my photos "speak" (to the extent that they can), in an attempt to capture an inner need to re-capture past images that often pass through our eyes or appear coincidentally in front of us.

We see them walking around the old neighborhoods with low houses, courtyards, trees casting their shadows on the street, my eyes are filled with images. The memories are coming!




"In a photo that is nothing more than a presence...of an absence!"(K. Dimoula)




From one end of the country to the other.

Buildings old and new, which signify the human presence even if it does not exist. The absence around us sometimes becomes intense but redeeming.

It seems to be true but also imaginary.

The scene is empty but the traces are a lot.

They say that..."The only reliable witness we lived, is our Absence!"

So contradictory but at the same time so clear.

The old one, with the modern one.

Roads full of livelihoods, kids to play, a hum but also absolute peace!

The shops, the workshops, the meeting places, the taverns and the traditional cafes!





Human faces are sometimes cheerful and sometimes gloomy.

Carefree? Casually? Inaccessible? Familiar?

The upper and lower neighborhoods...I reminisce with some nostalgia what was before and wonder if it was permanently lost.

From one end of the country to the other,

Greece is the same everywhere and at the same time…so different!




The words of poet Dinos Christianopoulos touch my mind and heart.


Ithaca


I do not know if I was consistent

or the need to get away from myself,

the narrow and small Ithaca

with its Christian associations

and its choking ethics.



However, it was not a solution;


And I've been rolling from street to street ever since

having wounds and experiences.

The friends I loved are gone

and I was alone, trembling that no one saw me

that I once talked to him about ideals...





Now I'm back with a last-ditch effort

to look flawless, whole, come back

and I am, my God, like the helpless one who leaves

truth, bitter, and turning around

to the father the good heart, to live

in the bosom of a private apostasy.




I bring Neptune inside me,

that always keeps me away

and even though I can still approach,

will Ithaca find the solution for me?




All photos © Antonis Giakoumakis

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You can read more about Antonis and his photography in an interview HERE on the website.