This multichannel video explores the neighbourhood of Kurtuluş which has historically been known as ‘little Athens’ ( Küçük Atina in Turkish) thanks to a Greek population of over 20,000 people. Today this cosmopolitan neighborhood is home to Turkish, Greek, Armenian, Kurdish, and Jewish communities, while the historic Greek influence and population continue to dwindle. Centered around interviews with the Greek (Rum) people still living in the area, Makkas’s work seeks to preserve the memory of the ‘old Kurtuluş’, seizing a chance to document something that is about to disappear forever.
About the Artist
Georgios Makkas was born in Athens in 1977 and had a strong interest in photography from an early age. He graduated from the Documentary Photography course in Newport, UK. His work about the depopulation of rural Albania won the first prize in the Observer Hodge Award. In 2010, Makkas participated in the artist in residence programme ‘SETSE’ at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland. His work has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London, Athens Photo Festival, MedPhoto Festival in Rethymno, Fotonoviembrein Valencia, Fotografia Europea in Reggio Emilia, Le Voci dell’Inchiesta in Pordenone, DUMBO Arts Festival in New York and the Istanbul Design Biennial, and also held in the permanent collection of the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography. Makkas is interested in the preservation of memory through lens-based media. His practice involves taking portraits, listening and filming people’s stories and documenting the disappearing face of cities.
Last Stop: Kurtulus
Four Stops To Kurtulus, Georgios Makkas, multi-screen video, installation photo 2020 by Julia Szalewicz