The preservation of an era’s contemporary historical memory is owed to a large degree to photojournalists. During their professional life they are called to cover news and events, and deliver with the disarmingly simple and cohesive way of photography, their testimony to the rest of the world.
Based in Thessaloniki, Nikolas Giakoumidis started his photographic wonderings in 1982. The quality of his work led him to collaboration with the largest foreign agencies, such as Reuters and Associated Press. For more than three decades he was present and recording through his lens the biggest news of Thessaloniki and the greater area of Northern Greece, such as the earthquakes at Grevena and Kozani in 1995, the fire at Mount Athos in 2003, the riot events during the G8 Summit Conference in 2003, the fires at Kassandra of Chalkidiki in 2006, the events that followed the murder of Grigoropoulos in 2008, the financial crisis.
His professional and artistic articulation led him also soon in assignments away from his birthland, something quite rare for a Greek photographer at the periphery. In the 90s and 00s he covered many of the crises and wars of the Balkan peninsula at Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Turkey and elsewhere.
This exhibition is an attempt to retrospectively survey the work of prematurely lost Nikolas, without being a full presentation of his work. Objective difficulties in finding the original files constitute the basic reason why many of his emblematic photographs are absent. A sufficient sample of his work though is present, a number of which made covers or full spreads in the local and international press.
The quality and consistency of Nikola’s work form an essential testimony of the news that took place in Northern Greece at the end of the previous millennium and the dawn of the new one. His photographic stature though managed to leave a mark in the greater Balkan area. He produced symbolic icons, records of a turbulent era, that served as a source of inspiration for the younger generations of photojournalists.