In 1988 the multi-faceted photographer, architect and artist Aris Georgiou initiated the Photosynkyria, Thessaloniki International Festival of Photography. In the 1990s, the annual festival was established as a major international crossroads for the domestic and international scene, providing a key impetus to Greek photography and turning Thessaloniki into an informal capital of photography in Greece. Following on the creative course of the festival, the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography was founded in 1998, with Georgiou as its first director. Since 1998, the festival has been carried out under the organisational responsibility of the ThMP. Since 2000, Photosynkyria has introduced a central international exhibition with a different curator each time. In 2008, the then director of the ThMP Vangelis Ioakimidis proceeded to convert the festival into a biennale, rename it to Photobiennale and to conduct it on a different thematic axis each time.
At the same time, in addition to the events in Thessaloniki, a series of festivals or photographic meetings were established within the Greek photography scene, such as the equally historical and highly significant International Month of Photography in Athens (later renamed Athens Photo Festival), Photometria (Ioannina), MedPhoto (Rethymnon), as well as the Kythera Photographic Encounters.
MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography
The Thessaloniki Museum of Photography is part of the Metropolitan Organisation of Museums of Visual Arts of Thessaloniki (MOMus), which is supervised by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports. It was founded in 1998 and since 2001 is seated in Warehouse A on the First Pier of the Port of Thessaloniki. Its mission is to collect, preserve and present photographic works and archives, Greek and international, as well as to research the variety of important applications of the photographic medium that deeply affect modern societies. Simultaneously, the Museum, through organized educational activities and programs, attempts to disseminate knowledge to the general public of all ages on the photographic medium and its applications, the art of photography and the major challenges of the image era.
Its archives and collection include approximately 90,000 photographic objects of the 1890-2015 period, among which, the archives of Yannis Stylianou, Socrates Iordanidis and Dimitris Letsios, and is also the trustee of the Greek part of the Fred Boissonnas archive. Its current collection includes a large number of works by Greek and international artists.
The MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography organises a biennial international photography festival, one of the oldest in Europe (launched in 1988), which serves as a crossroad between Greek photography and the international scene. The MOMus-Thessaloniki Museum of Photography activity is nationwide and has undertaken major initiatives concerning the presentation of Greek photography internationally. During the past twenty years, the Museum has implemented hundreds of exhibitions and activities in Thessaloniki, in the rest of Greece and abroad.