Trotz umfassender Absagen zu Beginn der Pandemie, hat Louiza Vradi in den letzten Monaten mehr und mehr Jobs bekommen und zusätzlich an freien Projekten gearbeitet. Wie die Stimmung in der griechischen Fotobranche ist und was sie sich fotografisch für die Zukunft wünscht, darüber hat Louiza mit den #FacesOfPhotography gesprochen:
Louiza, how are you?
I am fine. I am in Athens after a series of travels to some of the Greek islands, where I’ve been on assignments. At the moment, I am trying to find the balance between work and rest, physically and mentally.
What is the current pandemic situation in Greece?
Currently in Greece, vaccinations are progressing as the country is facing a big wave of infections. Covid-19 along with the measures imposed and a spectrum of issues that arose during the pandemic, especially issues around violations of human rights, have brought a lot of tension in the society. Besides the physical illness, the pandemic has also strongly affected the mental and emotional state of the collective, which is an important issue that we need to deal with. As summer just arrived, the travel and business restrictions have just been lifted. Greeks are now able to travel within the country and work again after seven months of lockdown. This fact along with vaccinations has led to increasing optimism.
What have you experienced professionally in the last weeks and months?
Although most of my work was cancelled a year ago, I was fortunate enough to have new collaborations popping in. Especially during the last months my professional work has bloomed and I was able to experience different realities through my work, some very stressful but others more peaceful. Having being fortunate enough to travel during the last weeks, I have witnessed contrasting sides of the reality we live in – from the quiet life in a small island of 400 residents to massive protests and from the lives of digital nomads living in a paradise beach to the pain coming from the loss of loved ones. Thankfully, I was able to stay productive and creative in the last months.
What does the pandemic mean for the photo industry in Greece?
The pandemic has affected all parts of the photo industry, not only in Greece. For example the event photo business unfortunately has been hit the hardest while commercial shooting is still on its feet. In general everything that is connected to online marketing is going strong. Furthermore, since it was not easy for photographers from abroad to come to Greece, greek photographers had the chance to reach a wider audience. Nevertheless, it was a hard period for everyone and some of my friends and colleagues were forced to do something else in order to earn their living during this last year.
Did you have time, capacity and leisure to work on free projects?
For the last month I have tried to focus my energy on a personal photo project of mine around the sea. At the moment, I am also completing a collective textile artwork that I have been working with a community of unique women artists. Last but not least, I continue shooting my first documentary film that I started creating two years ago. As a creative person in the midst of different projects, I think it is important to find time to pause and let my work and myself breathe.
What is your personal photographic wish for the future?
My goal is to keep my path purified and stay aligned with my vision while navigating life in a purposeful way. Additionally, I want to continue using my craft and tools in a therapeutic way to my communities, as I have been doing for the past decade.
I hope I can use my camera and art in a way that shines light in the dark side of the world I have been living in.
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