Portfolio Contest, Parallel Voices 2019-20

Portfolio Contest, Parallel Voices 2019-20

Parallel Voices 2020


Ela Polkowska

Kostis Argyriadis

Areta Peristeri

Svetlin Yosifov

Nikos Priporas

Simone Jimena Rudolphi

Pinelopi Thomaidi

Gian Marco Sanna

Vasilis Nempegleriotis


Ela Polkowska, “Splinter”


“Splinter” is a story of people living in continuous disorder and about the feeling of uneasiness that their lives provoke.

For a year, I used to visit a family living in a house which should have fallen apart a long time ago. Yet, its residents apparently refused to accept that only order is legitimate in today’s world. They created around themselves a world resembling a warehouse – a space packed with things, whether working or not. Every time I went there, things would change their position, different people were visiting the house, sometimes it was hard to tell who is a member of the family and who is a stranger. It seemed that the continuous change gave meaning to that reality.

At the same time, I had the feeling that something is wrong, that this disorder should have end up with a catastrophe. And, somehow, this happened – the car which was owned by the family crushed, two animals died and the woman left the man and the house. Now they live apart, but with the same perpetual motion and disorder.


Svetlin Yosifov, “Mursi People”


“Mursi People” is a series of photos that were taken during my visit to Ethiopia and are part of the album “Ethiopian tribes expedition 2018”.

The African tribe of Mursi people is isolated in Omo valley – South Ethiopia near the border with Sudan. They are one of the most fascinating tribes in Africa with their lives being a combination of brutal reality and amazing beauty. What was really appealing to me, as a photographer, was to capture and recreate the perplexing nature of their culture and way of life. Suffering from extreme drought in the past few years has made their life cruel and sometimes dangerous, but has not left a single mark on their traditions. Living among them gave the sense of extreme authenticity and in the same time felt like an illusion. Their faces filled my insatiable passion for capturing pure, untouched souls of a culture on the brink of extinction.


Simone Jimena Rudolphi, “The  DisUnited Queendom – “We Won! : We Are Right!”


This series of images illustrates the state of mind of a nation. Showing the colourful tableau of campaigners from all corners of society in Black & White offers a means of unifying the commonalities … the viewer is encouraged to look and read the details of the images to discover the parallel perspectives vying for validation and recognition in an increasingly divided country.

Some of the text on placards gives vital clues but also hint at the  difficulties when common frameworks for living together have different connotations for different people.

While each is a stand-alone image they are best viewed in pairs.


Gian Marco Sanna, “Agarthi”


When walking along the shores of Lake Bolsena one is made aware of its distinctive and particular ambience.The water with its many colors and sounds, all of which play a crucial part in the natural cycle of the lake, its flora and fauna. The lake, a fascinating and mysterious place, over which many myths and legends hover. There are several stories about people going missing on the lake, and never found. The most recent was in 2007, when a man and his young children simply disappeared, and were never found.

Widely held beliefs take us back to the legend of “The Gate of Agarthi” a mythical place located on Bisentina Island, one of only two islands on the lake. Bisentina is believed to be the point of contact between “terra firma” and its mythical parallel – the legendary inner – earth kingdom of Agarthi – described in the work of the author Willis George Emerson (1856 – 1918).

Emerson’s conceptualization was linked to the theory of “Terra Cava” (Hollow Earth), a very popular subject in the field of esotericism and literature, as expounded by Dante Alighieri, who allegedly descended amongst the chosen-few, in order to explore the underground kingdom, and receive its energy called VRYL.

I have worked on the mystery of Bolsena and on its legends, investigating among reality and fantasy. The work is based on the territory of Etruria that could be a point of passage, the “Door, of passage” towards something of indefinite and mysterious. The Etruscans considered the Bisentina island (situated in the middle of the lake) the spiritual heart of the entire Etruscan nation that guard their secrets.


Areta Peristeri, “Bad Girls”


Metamorphosis: “a complete change of character, appearance or condition”.

In my photographs, I use my own self because it is my most valuable friend.

I have chosen a clear white background that does not distract the viewer’s gaze, ordinary objects and faces with extraordinary features that have become my allies in a journey of self-knowledge. Characters who trouble me, who are distinctive, who have always made me seek them out, analyze them and compare myself to them in order to erase an old trauma and achieve an internal catharsis. I impersonate other characters, because I cannot escape my own body. Why am I ailing, while others don’t?

My transformations are both a symptom and a cure, a total repression of every concern, a deterioration that helps identify the deepest reason of the current situation.

Photography as a therapy. I started photographing, when I became sick.

To me, it is the reality in which I am obliged to give reasons to nobody, my cure. “BAD GIRLS” is the emancipation of myself from the self-imposed prudery. It is Me.


Kostis Argyriadis, “The Moscow Derivative”


The derivative measures the sensitivity to change of the output with respect to a change in the input. I photographed Moscow in 2015 and some years later, as I was looking the photos on my screen, I re-shot them. This change of view offered me the distance in space and time needed to distance myself from the theme and at the same time returning back to its space.


Vasilis Nempegleriotis, “Meadow of asphodelus”


The Municipal Home of Retirement is a charity institution located in Central Greece, Larissa. It began accepting old and abandoned people in 1967, following the merger of the assets of Dimitrios Hatzizogides, Athanasios Chalkiopoulos and Angeliki Lappa. The institution , considered as a lung full of life enhances the everyday of the local and old people.
When, I finally realized that my grandfather was the most important person for me, it was too late. Our grandchild-grandpa relationship made my life better and stable. He gave me the love that I needed as a kid and transmitted all the inner peace and patient he had. I needed a lot to talk to him, even if I could not. So, this drove me to this institution. Searching for a way out of the everyday routine I started visiting this heart-warming Home. I can call all these people as friends, even if I do not know them at all.
Using my camera as a ‘boat’ and the famous poem ‘Oblivion’, of the Greek poet Lorenzo Mavilis, as a ‘compass’ I walked through the corridors of Municipal Home of retirement and ‘breathed’ doses of love and warm. The poem ‘Oblivion’ includes the lyric ‘Meadow of Asphodelus’ which is considered to be the garden of resting souls.
In conclusion, I feel as the grandchild of all these old residents. This feeling gave me the taste of magic of these people and the colour of human relations.


Penelope Thomaidi, “A Zone to Defend”


“ZAD” in french stands for an activist occupation intended to physically blockade a development project. Called officially in France, the Zone d’aménagement différé (zone for future development), it was renamed by protesters as the Zone à défendre (zone to defend). The ZAD of Notre Dame des Landes in west France was the first place to be so named. Since 2008, after a call by local farmers and inhabitants, a living utopia was formed around a fifty-year-old struggle against an “airport and its world”. By the beginnings of 2018, approximately 300 activists had organised their lives around this protest, horizontally and collectively, despite the markets and the state. On January 17th, 2018 the french government officially announced the cancellation of the airport project. But with this decision came another: the french PM also announced that the community had until spring to leave. I had a short time to get a glimpse of the community’s life before eviction operations started, comprising 2500 gendarmes, armoured cars, drones and helicopters. French newspapers calculated the cost of these operations around 5 million euros just in their first phase. Today negotiations with the state are still ongoing.


Nikos Priporas, “Souvenirs”



These photographs, under the title ‘Souvenirs’, describe a highly conservative Greek reality, which claims that the adhesion to an unskilled reproduction of ancient symbols along with the adoption of false mimic images of the Western civilisation, add to the self-sufficiency and the prestige that it seems to seek. Throughout these reconstructions which mime ancient monuments and statues, one can witness the marching of representations of popular emblems, churches that appear as miniatures in the middle of nowhere (which believers do they invite, really?), as well as symbols that, due to the recent political developments regarding the name of North Macedonia., became objects of quarrel. In these images, surrounded by square frames and despite their strictness, one can witness the playful, even ironic, mood of the photographer. The invocation of the past, the oblique westward gaze and the emphasis on the religious element are the triptych, which runs a large part of the disoriented Greek society. The hyperbole in their use, certainly invokes beliefs and arbitrary, often contradictory, adopted identities. Everything fits but nothing matches. This series reaches the lines of political photography as it records and gleans that which longs to be, through the use of symbols, the public image of the modern Greek and how he coexists with the public space. It is the image that he, himself constructs by using old and light-reflecting stereotypes which he estimates that they emulate the splendour of a long gone civilisation as a deficiency for the creation of a new one.

Aleka Tsironi