Photography in a Post-Truth World


An interview with Demetris Koilalous

“I believe that in the ‘post-Truth’ era we are also entering a new age in the arts, where the political and the personal/the existential need to be reconsidered”.

Demetris Koilalous was selected as the winner of our ‘Still Life’ theme with an image described by judge Lorenzo Vitturi as “quintessentially contemporary: aesthetically, the ‘still life’ turns into an installation in a ‘natural’ environment, whilst conceptually it serves as a metaphor to approach a problematic social issue, emblematic of today’s society”.

That image comes from his series ‘Caesura: The Duration of a Sigh’ – a collection of photographs exploring the transitory state of migrants entering Greece after crossing the Aegean Sea, or infamous ‘Death Passage’. The title comes from the musical term, denoting a brief pause of silence in the middle of a musical phrase, in this context used as a metaphor to describe the intemporality he explores – the moment following a distressing journey, and ahead of a new life in unknown lands.

Fittingly, his images hold power in their serenity – far from the chaos of boat trips and beach landings, of refugee camps and holding pens, his images reflect on the individuals caught up in this mass upheaval. They show distinct identities and recognisable faces of fellow people, pausing in a temporary landscape before continuing their journeys onwards.

We asked Demetris more about ‘Caesura’, while exploring his background and approach. The resulting interview is one of the most insightful and thoughtful conversations we have had with our community of photographers, and we invite you to share in it.