I just returned from almost a week in Athens on assignment for a magazine writing about how Greeks are coping on a personal level with the rape of their country by international finance. I found many things – a grinding poverty for some – more akin to the Developing World than to Europe but also small stories of hope; of people learning again what community and solidarity mean. Small stories, beautiful stories.

I had barely a couple of hours over a day or so to make some images and none of them reflect the immediate situation, but they were a therapy – going out and photographing people and their lives in the markets and on the streets.

My special thanks to journalist and fixer extraordinaire, Helen Skopis for patiently putting up with me and making all the ‘phone calls – and to two young and very talented photographers, Angelos Tzortinis and Alkis Konstantinidis who were generous enough to share their time and considerable experience to give me some background as only photographers can.

Thanks to all.


Greece - Athens - A child in costume plays in front of a sentry during the Changing of the Guard in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Syntagma Square


Greece - Athens - A fishmonger looks indulgently on a Greek Orthodox priest as he buys seafood from a stall in the Athens Central Market on Athinas Street

Just take five…

Some good news from Pakistan. The BBC reported today on the success of Sachal Orchestra in Lahore that is thriving by reinterpreting classic jazz standards – like Brubeck’s Take Five – and giving them a South Asian twist. Pakistani musicians have seen their livelihoods collapse in recent years: musical tastes, instability and a growth of religious criticism have all impacted on them.

Their Indian cousins have also to a lesser extent seen their craft disappear and it’s from them that I find a picture in my archive taken on an Old Delhi roof.


India - Delhi - Traditional musicians play on a roof top in Chandni Mahal, Old Delhi, India. Once patronised by the Mughal rulers many now scrape a living playing weddings and social functions. Violinist Afzaal Zahoor leads Zeeshan Ahmad, a singer, Shankat Qureshi (tabla) and Shakeel Ahmad (Harmonia).