Zambia Photo essay

I’m re-editing my work from Zambia for a photo essay competition. Its very interesting looking back at your previous work and see what you can discover. I have found pictures that 3 years ago i don’t even “see ” them. It is such a great feeling to know that you grow up photographically. More pictures are about to come. The project will be on H.I.V in Lusaka Zambia.




























The Wayfaring Stranger.

A photographic documentary of “Mount Athos” by Konstantinos Kartelias.

Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in Macedonia, Greece. A World Heritage Site, it is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and forms a self-governed monastic state within the sovereignty of the Hellenic Republic. Spiritually, Mount Athos comes under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Today Greeks commonly refer to Mount Athos as the “Holy Mountain. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this peninsula of 390 km² houses some 1,400 monks in 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries. An autonomous state under Greek sovereignty, entry into the area is strictly controlled and only male residents are allowed to live there and only male visitors allowed.

The Wayfaring Stranger is a photographic documentary of anthropological and sociological content. Through the intimate tales of theMount Athos pilgrims it manages to comment on how men begin their search of god when they find there is no one else to turn to, on how society fails in its attempt to assist these individuals and consequently, how they turn to religion. It also shows the power and the influence that the Greek Orthodox Church has over its members. Through the interviews the fact that religious fanaticism leads to social and religious racism becomes evident. Finally, it presents the reader with a different image of Mount Athos than the one commonly available, revealing its double role as both a centre of Orthodoxy and a rehabilitation centre.

“The Wayfaring Stranger” documentary : Analysis of the photographs

The photographic documentary “The Wayfaring Stranger” focuses on individual cases of Mount Athos pilgrims. It also includes interviews and photographs of monks, each with their own story to tell. The landscape photographs are few and are basically used as representative and as means of defining a particular location. No extensive attention is given to the breathtaking scenery of Mount Athos, since it has already been excessively documented in photographs several times in the past. The photographs included in the “The Wayfaring Stranger” book can be split in two different groups: the portraits and the photographs that attempt to visualize the psyche of the portraits’ subjects.
The way in which they are presented has its significance: the photographs go in pairs that occupy the entirety of each double spread. The portraits are positioned on the left while presented on the right are the photographs that mirror the psyche of the neighboring portrait’s subject. These two photographs, besides referring to the same individual, are matching in terms of design and colour so that they forma composition that can stand well on its own.

This book is dedicated to all those who put their faith in me during my peregrination of Mount Athos.
Some pages have been removed, as the people included in the photographs kindly requested for their stories and pictures to remain unpublished.  All images in this book are copyrighted by Konstantinos Kartelias.

Written by Konstantinos Kartelias, translated by Dimitris Stamatiou

“This book is not about god. It is not about religion. This book is not about me and it is not about you.
It is for those whose life upon this earth darkened, and who now seek the light amidst the cloudy night sky.”

Greenwitch trip

Me and me friends went on a Sunday short trip around Greenwich park and Museum in south  London. I had my camera with me so i choose to document the whole trip. Is been a long time since i took pictures and i’m very glad about them. Im not going to write a lot about our day trip, hope you get the feeling from my pictures. Enjoy North Greenwich.


Some pictures i took this Summer at Amorgos island, which i spend my vacation with some friends and a few enemies.

Enjoy the only thing that Greece is good at.

Heygate Estate project

Elephant tales: Heygate Estate

This is my last project in UK before summer.Heygate Estate is a large housing estate located in Walworth, Southwark, south London. The estate is currently under demolition.  Heygate is one of the most high-profile estates in the United Kingdom, due to its notoriety and usage as a filming location. The estate is situated adjacent to Walworth Road and New Kent Road, and immediately east of the Elephant and Castle road intersection. The concept behind the construction of the estate was of a modern living environment. The neo-brutalist architectural aesthetic was one of tall, concrete blocks dwarfing smaller blocks, surrounding central communal gardens. The architect’s concept was to link all areas of the estate via concrete bridges, so there was no need for residents to walk on pavements or along roads.

The pictures try to capture the atmosphere of a huge estate that is about to be demolished, along with the atmosphere of the surrounding area, the Elephant and Castle. A place that seems to be forgotten from the rest of London.








































































S h e e p y a r d .

A photographic documentary about a shepherd’s life .

Konstantinos Kartelias. MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography 2011

The train left Athens heading towards the town of Stilida, located in the Fthiotida rural district. A spring rain accompanies us throughout the journey, rejuvenating the vivid colors of the Greek landscape, turning it into a vision of splendor. The carriages are at full capacity, as it is always the case during the Easter holidays, when many Athenians leave the capital to spend a few days in the countryside. Our final destination is the village Achinos, located approximately ten kilometers east of Stilida. It is there that we will spend the Passion Week, attending and documenting the daily life of one of the local shepherds.

WARNING:  Contains disturbing images

HIV. Lusaka/Zambia

Photo report by Konstantinos Kartelias

The photographer Kostas Kartelias was introduced to Poiein kai Prattein when he did together with Maya Fischer the documentation of the ECCM Symposium ‘Productivity of Culture’ in Athens 2007.  The photos he took of the participants and of the Kids’ Guuernica exhibition attest to his amazing ability to capture vital moments. A lot goes into these captured moments in order to release them like freed birds into the air once an image to be seen over and again. That transcendence in time touches upon a quality of continuity and reflects a substance works out still further aspects which even the most observant eye would not perceive so readily and so easily. After all digital photography is making us realize many things escape our attention but once scanning the image taken many more unnoticed details until then can be perceived. Again the amazing ability of Kostas Kartelias is to capture all this footage in need of being assembled in real life over time in one magic like moment. As such the story told by his photos go beyond the mere image and make consequently a life unnoticed till now be present.

Hatto Fischer

After his documentary work in 2007, he undertook upon recommendation by Hatto Fischer a trip to Zambia. Once there he visited Mwiiki Malindima who has been training journalists on how to report about AIDS and who has done a lot of work how to tell the story of those struck by what is consequently a life only half lived.

The recommendation to visit Mwiiki Malindima was prompoted in part by what he wrote in 2005 and which conveys a true sense of a sad state of affairs, namely that people in Zambia but not only there have gotten used to death due to Aids.



Dear all,
I read with much interest the article ‘Africa ravaged with AIDS.’ It indeed presents the AIDS scenario here very well. Southern Africa, in which region I live has quite some substantial effects of HIV/AIDS especially on social economic development. My heart bleeds when I helplessly see just how true those words by our leaders here are as it is a holocaust, extermination or annihilation of our people.

The other day, I was walking on the street near our biggest hospital UTH in Lusaka. I met a woman in an her early 30’s crying . I asked her what was wrong and where she was going, she told me in her sobbing that her baby had just died in the children’s wing so she had to go and inform her mother who was tending her ill father in the adults’ ward of the same hospital. The interpretation of this befits when we say the burden of caring for the sick is more on women over here. For she was alone with the baby when he died while her mother looked after her sick father, but where was the rest of the family in this needful time, where was her husband and uncles in our extended family system? This touched me so much that I had to give her what ever little money that I had to help her get home. She had no money and she had to travel about 10-12 Kilometers to inform others at home walking! I couldn’t let this happen. This gives a picture of just what is happening.

In the article there is mentioned a woman saying they buy coffins from the money they get out of their cabbage selling venture. This also shows the rate at which the HIV/AIDS is maturing in AIDS here. Many many people are dying every day, overshooting our capacities to even bury them honourably. We have now gotten used to death. We cry and forget but the pain goes on. That AIDS is claiming people in their productive ages, mostly those from 15-40 years. This has serious impedements on our social economic development, to which comes now as well the drought due to an eratic rainfall. We really don’t know what is going to become of us.

These are issues so close to my heart and I could really go on to give real examples, but lets keep talking and certainly we shall share more of these problems.


For outsiders to such a half lived, half experienced life, human plight is nearly incomprehensible. Still, small changes in attitudes can go a long way to alleviate some of the worst pains. They are not merely physical, but also of social and personal nature, exclusion from a full life the real impact of AIDS.

For example, a mother can reject completely her child once diagnosed with AIDS. Paul Roux, a doctor working in children’s clinic in South Africa, affects the mother-child relationship by making simply an appointment with the mother to come back with the child after six months. The mother is stunned. She had the belief because of her child having AIDS, it will die so soon so why bother still about it, why show it any affection we usually do out of love for both child and life? Resignation takes on many forms. In the case of a mother who has written off her own child, it means that it is no longer worthwhile to bother about the child, to show it any sign of love. Rejection out resignation means just that: no more emotional attention is given to the child. The moment the mother realizes the doctor means it seriously, six months being a long time away, she suddenly gives again her attention to the child. They begin to play.

At another level Mwiika attempts to ensure that journalists do not create a huge divide between those with AIDS and those without, for there is at risk that global society divides itself between the touchables and non touchables. It is an art to show compassion for those affected by AIDS while making sure those in fear of AIDS do not shun away from having normal and natural relationships to those who have but with all the necessary precautions included. The recent campaign in South Africa on the eve of the World Football Match indicates that there is more to responsible sex than simple precautions. It means such solutions need to be found which allow  coming to terms with AIDS as part of everyday life. It does not mean excluding the adoption of precautionary measures but they should not discriminate at random. Therefore, a lot can be learned from these photos in order to discover still further going preventive measures. They have to be wise insofar as any society which does not heed them will let the spiral of ever new AIDS victims get dangerously out of control. This may be due to a lack of health policies and proper information given to everyone in all corners and walks of life but also AIDS comes with soldiers who can get easily out of control when set to rape anew women.

The AIDS issue is huge and has been a challenge not only for Africa, but for the entire world. With the World Football Games coming up in South Africa, voices raise concern about AIDS being contracted by those who forget themselves in frivolous or drunk moments. There has been some controversy in South Africa as to how leading politicians take the issue too lightly. Now some reverse in their attitudes leads to a new public awareness in the sense that the issue is talked about openly and more so in a responsible manner. After all leading figures have a moral and political responsibility on how this health issue is faced by all and not glossed over in an irresponsible way.

When Kostas Kartelias returned from Zambia and showed some of the images, it was like a stunning relief to come finally into touch with a reality until now quite far away for those who have never been to Africa. That continent has more than its share of problems linked to post Colonialisation, globalization, violence, genocides, corrupt politicians and endless attempts to rob the continent of its vast resources without giving a due share to its people often scattered in remote villages or displaced by countless wars which break out over and again like uncontrollable bush fires.

Each photo has a poetic aspect despite the apparent presence of AIDS as the case with the child looking back while sitting beside its mother.

Thus it is important to let the photos speak as to what Kostas Kartelias observed while visiting Zambia where about 25% of the population is identified as having AIDS. Unbelievable must be some night scenes with open prostitution spilling out onto the streets and clients lining up in their cars as if heading for a car wash or a gasoline station. Of interest is while a lack of protection seems to prevail in open spaces and means taking a great risk to contract AIDS, every house whether now poor or rich has a fence, a wall or some sort of protection around it as if everyone lives in fear of the outside world.

Certainly the photos of Kostas Kartelias bring the world of Zambia and especially those with AIDS a bit closer to our attention and underlines the fact that the issue of AIDS does exist. A first step to do this shall be the exhibition at the Vakalo School of Art and Design on Lamprou Katsoni 52 from 17th of May until 7th of June 2010.

The exhibition


Finally the donation money from my photography exhibition ” HIV Lusaka. Zambia”, which took place in Vakalo School of Art last November, reached Mother Of Mercy Hospice. This photograph sended to me by the Sister in charge. The second guy in the right standing, is Mwikka the journalist who help me accomplice the project. On his left you can see the Sister in charge holding the check with the donation money.