Student photography exhibition "European Identity"


Shortlisted students of the school photography contest titled "European identity":

  • Marina Kougiou, 1st Vocational Upper Senior High School of Moires
  • Kleana Mourati, 1st Middle School of Heraklion
  • Antonis Mpourakis, Model Experimental Gymnasium of the University of Crete, Rethymno
  • Jean-Yannis Lagnel, School of European Education of Heraklion
  • Eugenia Likaki, 1st Middle School of Heraklion
  • Kostas Vrouvakis, Lyceum of Nea Kydonia, Chania
  • Panagiotis Chatziargiros, 1st Vocational Upper Senior High School of Moires
  • Georgia Drosataki, Experimental Gymnasium of Heraklion
  • Manolis Sifakakis, Model Experimental Gymnasium of the University of Crete, Rethymno

Students of the School of European Education – Herakion photo club:

  • Dorothea Banks
  • Elli Zacharioudaki
  • Ioannis Kanellopoulos
  • Eleni Samaritaki
  • Kalliopi Samaritaki
  • Ioannis Sbyrakis
  • Maria-Myrto Makraki
  • Maria Foudoulaki
  • Jean-Yannis Lagnel
  • Bugaz Zbigniew

Opening of the exhibition: Friday, 21 June 2019, at 19:30
Visiting hours: Monday-Friday, 18:00-20:30
Curators: Panagiotis Charalampidis and Vasilis Garganourakis
Location: Hellenic Photographic Society of Crete, Doukos Mpofor 20, Heraklion

How does a young person, and particularly a student, handles the concept of "European Identity" by using the photographic medium?

For photography, the concept of identity seems to be inherent to the medium. We photograph and, through this process, we create evidence of reality, which is usually associated with the true essence of the depicted. Although the latter sounds promising, it is essentially problematic. The approach of complex concepts can rarely be done with a single image. Moreover, the medium itself is extremely subjective and, at the same time, poor in verbal content. An image is just an image and the viewer will always largely contribute to its content.

The concept of European identity is difficult, multifaceted and fluid, and the promise of European integration, while greatly needed, is still in progress. The European Union is not just an idea; it is also a system of governance that includes complex decision-making processes, laws, and institutions. Although these mechanisms are usually invisible, they shape the reality we all experience and simultaneously create a distance from the system itself.

This exhibition is a collection of small stories from students that are also citizens of the European Union. Therefore, we ask the viewer to perceive this exhibition as a bottom-up approach. Europe is a journey to another country and it is an urban, suburban or rural landscape. Europe is the families that we grow up in. Europe is the uniqueness of the traditions of a place. The imagery of Europe includes vistas, ancient monuments, symbols, and codes. Europe is also everything that happens in other countries and makes us feel concerned. Europe is the expectations we have of it. In this exhibition, the personal meaning, which is contributed by the viewer, completes the students’ artworks. In this way, the final result becomes a sum greater than its components.

The exhibition includes photographs from the students of the School of European Education – Heraklion photo club and the shortlisted students of the school contest, titled “European Identity”. The contest was addressed to the secondary cycle students of European Schools and Accredited European Schools, as well as all students of the secondary schools that pertain to the Regional Directorate of Education of Crete. The members of the jury that selected the final shortlisted students were Charles Weber (photographer, photography professor, Switzerland), Richard Petit (photographer, photography professor, France) and Polichronis Nikiforakis, (photographer, president of HPS Crete, Greece).

The exhibition is organized by the Regional Directorate of Primary and Secondary Education of Crete and the secondary cycle of the School of European Education of Heraklion (SEEH), in collaboration with the Europe Direct of Crete, the Parent-Guardian Association of SEEH, and the Hellenic Photographic Society of Crete.

During the inauguration, the winner of the competition will receive the contest first place award, donated by the Europe Direct of Crete. All participants will receive participation certificates.