Two Greek modernist photographers captured its poetry and unique anthropology in black and white tones

Greek summer has a been a favorite subject to travelers, writers, artists, architects  and photographers for the last 40 years. They have all been inspired by the extreme light, the long shadows, the “play of the volumes under the mediterranean light”, the islands, the sea, the authenticity of landscapes and views. However, before it became an international trend, before international travel magazines discovered it and celebrated it, two Greek modernist photographers had already captured its poetry and unique anthropology in black and white tones.

We are talking for Voula Papaioannou and Dimitris Harissiadis, self taught photographers that captured WWII and post-war Greece in their work. Their social documentarist and humanist approach gave us invaluable testimonies of  years of social and economic struggle, during warfare and reconstruction in Greece.  Life in the countryside, the landscape, the traditions are manifested through their lens.  You can get a glimpse of their work below:

Karystos 1950-1955, photo by Voula Papaioannou

Karystos 1950-1955, photo by Voula Papaioannou

Mykonos 1950-1955, photo by Voula Papaioannou

Mykonos 1950-1955, photo by Voula Papaioannou

Octopus, photo by Voula Papaioannou

Octopus, photo by Voula Papaioannou

Astir Beach 1961, photo by Dimitris Harissiadis

Astir Beach 1961, photo by Dimitris Harissiadis

Mykonos island, 1955 photo by Dimitris Harissiadis

Mykonos island, 1955 photo by Dimitris Harissiadis

Faros in Sifnos, photo by Dimitri Harissiadis

Faros in Sifnos, photo by Dimitri Harissiadis

All works are from the the Photographic Archive of the Benaki Museum:The Photographic Archive of Benaki Museum was founded in 1973.  The collection of the Photographic Archive constitutes of negatives and photographs of the 19th and 20th century. To find out more you van visit the website of Benaki Museum.