This photography project stems from a historical event, the big fire of the suburban forest of Kavala, Greece, in August of 1985. Almost 100 years after the beginning of the afforestation of a previously barren and rocky land, and 35 since the fire that led to its almost total destruction, the memory still remains. Reports of smoke filling the sky and residents massively fleeing town, led to a sense of helplessness and despair. “The sirens at the town hall sounded for hours, for the first time since World War II”, newspapers reported.
The scene is hidden behind thick smoke, hindering our vision, which otherwise would wander and fuse together with the natural environment. But as the smoke dissipates, we start wondering whether man is missing the forest for the trees. The suburban forest is replanted to some extent after the effort of the town’s residents during the following years. Nevertheless, human activities lead us to the wrong way. What we expect to see in our future climate is already apparent and ominous. Forest fires on their own are one of the natural phenomena that humans are still unable to control. Furthermore, climate change has been increasing the length of the fire season and the number of wildfires. This combination often results in deforestation, soil degradation, erosion, flooding or extinction of endangered species.
Since then, every summer flows with an ambiguous feeling of uncertainty. Wildfires are quite common during the summer months in Greece, often affecting urban areas and human lives. With this work, the photographer attempts to depict this serious problem from a different perspective. Pairing portraits and archive material, both historical and mythological elements are involved, creating a sense of timelessness and detachment.
This photographic work was initiated during a photography workshop held by Lucy Art Residency 2018 in Kavala, Greece, instructed by Klara Källström & Thobias Fäldt and Void. It is also a part of the collective book “straight cut” produced at the end of this workshop.