In her documentary series, In Waiting, Eirini Vourloumis explores the question: how does identity manifest when tomorrow is entirely unpredictable?
The financial crisis that shook Greece can be felt most prominently in its capital, and as such this forms the subject of the documentary photographer, who often works for such publications as The New York Times or Le Monde.
“It stands desolately in the entrance hall to the shipping association in Athens: a dried yucca with only two leaves. The space, which the plant was supposed to enhance, seems to have oppressed and overwhelmed it. Nobody feels responsible for its well-being. More dead than alive, the palm symbolises the state of public spaces in today’s Greece.” Just one of forty images in Vouloumis’ new book, it serves as a poignant metaphor.
Motifs show traces of the past, but are always deserted. Whether it is the sticky-looking decorations and worn walls of a courtroom, bare tax offices, or abandoned funeral parlours, everything is united by the debilitating impression of an idle bureaucracy.
The pictures do not provide answers or interpretations; rather, they invite the viewer to sense—and critically question—Greece’s current situation. What will people in the future think about today’s Athens? What lasting influences will the present day have on the country’s development?
Vourloumis, the daughter of a Greek father and an Indonesian mother, was born and raised in Athens.
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All images courtesy of Hatje Cantz