Mediterranean. Portrait of a region in turmoil

0khadalibie_foto8.jpgGhadaffi’s compound Bab Al-Aziziya, Tripoli

0saintrop91-large.jpgSaint-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:

0-of-the-week-Crisi-001.jpgCrisis 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.”

0greece_thivafoto_01.jpgThiva, Greece

0hamburguesia9-large.jpgRock of Gibraltar, seen from La Linea de la Concepcion, Spain. © Nick Hannes

0israel_foto_10.jpgQalandiya checkpoint, Ramallah © Nick Hannes

6fatpicnic0e24-large.jpgValencia, Spain. © Nick Hannes

0syriae-large.jpgCheckpoint, Sirte, Libya. © Nick Hannes


agreeceimmif85a5b49331-large.jpgAsylum seekers, Athens, Greece. © Nick Hannes

6bergere2d-large.jpgIstanbul, Turkey. © Nick Hannes

0hagaa-large.jpgAdana, Turkey. © Nick Hannes

0postersssss-large.jpgCairo, Egypt. © Nick Hannes

0i2nakedladies591105.jpgIbiza, Spain. © Nick Hannes

0albania80b-large.jpgPalase, 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.