Nikos Giakoumidis (1963-2022): A Short Retrospective of his Work



Nikos Giakoumidis

Curated by

Alexandros Avramidis

Collaboration: Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

Support: Journalists’ Union of Macedonia and Thrace Cultural Foundation

Opening: Thursday, 12 October, 18:00

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.


Holding a camera from his early years, his photographs were first published in 1982 at the newspapers “To Vima”, “Ta Nea”, “Rizospastis”, “Makedonia” and “Thessaloniki”.

His first base was the office of Yiorgos Giakoumidis and Photis Filargyropoulos. As his ascent was fast, in 1984 he became one of the most well known photojournalists in Northern Greece, stationed in Thessaloniki and acting as a correspondent for the larger Greek newspapers. The year 1988 marks the first part of his cooperation with the news agency Associated Press. In 1993 he starts working with Reuters agency until 1999. During the two decades that sealed his career he covered the biggest events of the Balkans. In 1996 he photographs the bloodshed in Albania. In 1999 as a correspondent in Turkey he covers the deadly earthquake. The same year he starts to work again with Associated Press covering the war in bombarded Kosovo, where he stays for three months at a time when the international media had no access in the area.

His lens recorded thrilling moments of contemporary history. The bloody riot in Northern Macedonia (2000), the Athens earthquake (2000), the big demonstrations for the Summit Conference in Chalkidiki and Thessaloniki (2003), the Olympic Games (2004), the damaging fires in Greece (2007), the first refugee crisis in Evros river (2009 – 2010), the events of the financial crisis. He also worked with the newspaper “Kathimerini”, the journal “Balkan Review” of the Balkanic Press Center, he was in charge of the photo department of “Aggelioforos” newspaper (1996-97), the photographer of the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art (1994 – 2009), in charge of the photo department of the inset “Zo sti Thessaloniki” of the newspaper “Ta Nea” (1999–2008), while he covered events for the journals of the Lambrakis Journalistic Organization all over Southeastern Europe (1999–2009).

His photographs can be found in books, albums and publications, while he participated in exhibitions and festivals such as: “23 Greek Photojournalists” while Thessaloniki was the European Cultural Capital in 1997, “The Streets of Fire” of the Greek Photojournalistic Union in Greece, Turkey and Brussels, «Greece in Crisis» of the photographic team Phasma2 in Serajevo, which won the “Silver Flake” prize of best exhibition, «View from my Window» in Brussel’s Atomium, while he was awarded the first prize at ESIEMTH’s photography festival in Kozani.

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