Ghadaffi’s compound Bab Al-Aziziya, Tripoli
Saint-Tropez, France. © Nick Hannes
Photographer Nick Hannes spent four years traveling around the Mediterranean looking for the traces left by mass tourism, migration, financial crisis, political upheavals and other burning issues. “[The Mediterranean] remains unique on the map of the world: a sea at the intersection of three continents, a relatively short distance from each other,” Hannes told Flanders Today. “There’s a reason why this region is considered the cradle of our civilisation.”
History meets very contemporary troubles in his photos. While touring some 20 countries, the photographer saw tourists dancing on beaches while poverty-stricken people at the other hand of the sea were hoping to board a boat and migrate to richer shores, protests by family members of people who disappeared during the Algerian civil war, Gazans smuggling goods through underground tunnels in an attempt to overcome the severe food shortage imposed by the Israeli blockade, etc.
Hannes’ series Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man is currently on view at the Photo Museum in Antwerp. I visited the show a few days ago and here are some of the images i found most striking:
Crisis wedding, Rio, Greece. © Nick Hannes
Doing prospection for my Mediterranean Project in the port city of Patras, Greece, I bumped into this weird wedding party. Christos Karalis (44), who married Anna (26), decided to have the party in his petrol station, to save on expenses. “This is how we respond to the crisis”, a family member said to me. “Please show these pictures to Merkel. A Greek keeps on laughing and celebrating, even when his money is being taken away.”
Rock of Gibraltar, seen from La Linea de la Concepcion, Spain. © Nick Hannes
Qalandiya checkpoint, Ramallah © Nick Hannes
Valencia, Spain. © Nick Hannes
Checkpoint, Sirte, Libya. © Nick Hannes
Asylum seekers, Athens, Greece. © Nick Hannes
Istanbul, Turkey. © Nick Hannes
Adana, Turkey. © Nick Hannes
Cairo, Egypt. © Nick Hannes
Ibiza, Spain. © Nick Hannes
Palase, Albania. © Nick Hannes
Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man is at FotoMuseum Antwerp until February 1, 2015.
Check also my post on another FoMu exhibition that features Hannes’ work: Red Journey, a photo trip across the former Soviet Union.