Hellenic Protocols: Greek island hopping during a pandemic

One of our Berlin on Film members set off for some Mediterranean escapism in the brief window left by Coronavirus this summer, capturing the strange tranquillity and trying to understand the effects of the crisis on the South Aegean.

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© Duncan Miller — Minolta Dynax 700si, 50mm, Portra 160

In between his grumbles, I feared at some point that Babi might fail to lower his grubby face mask before trying to take a drag on his cigarillo. However, despite the sweltering heat, he was just about managing the sequence of actions. He had just whipped me up surprisingly delicious little gyros, and was a good company to while away a little time on yet another baking afternoon. “It’s the same, this weather, stays like this for months!” Sat heavily on a chair staring out past his glasses and mask, you could be forgiven for initially mistaking this beach bar owner’s mood for sour. But as I was fairly quickly coming to learn, this ready-to-hand venting in fact belies or perhaps enables a generally resilient Greek outlook. “Ah it’s the protocols, the fucking protocols” he said swilling his Coke Zero. “All this, it’s too much bla bla”. Our topic of conversation had of course quickly arrived at the state of affairs during the Coronavirus pandemic, although not before some reassuringly standard banter about football and the weather. Despite the apparent predictability, chatting with Babi actually didn’t feel generic. …


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2020 has been tough for everyone.

You will for sure understand and excuse us for choosing not to publish a physical issue of the magazine this time.

We embraced the limits of this historical period — and we are sure we will keep on being an awesome community in other ways, with other manners.

From today, we will publish the analog Haikus you wrote about Berlin.
They are beautiful.

Stay tuned — but also healthy and curious.


Are you curious about our community?
Do you want to have a sneak peek of our creative power?
You can have a copy and support our printed magazine with a small donation.

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Manifestos at the Launch event — December 2019

Printed numbers available:

Manifesto
Issue #1 The Analogue Imaginary
Issue #2 (coming soon)

We will be happy to chat at berlinonfilmmag@gmail.com !

Your Berlinonfilm Newsroom team.


One of the remarkable things about photography is that sometimes we can detach from ourselves entirely and immersively engage with our surroundings. Just by holding a camera, the mind gains space and time, to feel the environment, and wander freely. It is especially so of the analogue process, with its more selective and ponderous approach. And so it is sometimes that we find ourselves in new or even familiar places, alone with a camera, walking with fresh eyes through an imaginary world…

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I step outside and visualise myself as a kid growing up in America. I’m in a sunny Californian seaside town, it has a pier and a seafront and a big sweeping beach, there are surf shops and doughnut shops and neon signs, palm trees with pickup trucks and camper vans parked up beneath. …


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For four years I lived in Cologne, and I felt confident saying that I know the city and had confidence in giving visitors advice when needed. But let’s face it: The human species is one that really much relies on daily routines, that’s where we feel safe and comfortable. It’s the reason why we hold on to the job we wanted to quit already 2 years ago, its the reason why we go get our coffee on the way to work every day at the same old coffee shop and its the reason why we subconsciously tend to walk the same ways. …


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Until a few years ago, analogue photography was a foreign but always excitingly mysterious cosmos for me. The first thing for me was to have a huge technical effort behind it, which of course it doesn’t have to be. That’s why it was important for me at the beginning to demystify the topic a bit.
In Berlin it’s very easy and fast, many groups of photographers and enthusiasts offer a variety of events that deal with the topic and the processes behind it. This way you meet people who have been taking analogue photos for a lifetime or people who are completely unbiased about the topic. …


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Or: The golden mean between brush and sensor.

To say it in a quite sober tone: It’s all about technology. Shooting film is more than just one of many ways to picture an object. It is much more a fascinating combination of accuracy, creativity and magic (with which we already leave the path of sobriety).

For me, a digitally taken picture is more a file than a picture, showing naked facts. …


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My name is Martí Blesa.
I’m a photographer based in Girona, a small town 80 km from Barcelona. I love Berlin a lot and I try to go there at least once every year.

I enjoy shooting analogue cameras in all formats, from 127 to 4x5 and trying old and weird cameras to try to give them a second (or third) life. I also do alternative photography techniques, cyanotype, Van Dyke, carbon print, a bit of wet plate… and so on.

During one of my trips to Berlin, where I went to help in a carbon print workshop that a colleague did for AnalogueNow, I took my old Kodak Brownie 127 camera with me and I took some pictures while walking in Berlin. …


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Do you know Ferdinand von Schirach? No?
So he‘s a German author. Really famous. If you go to Dussmann — das Kulturkaufhaus these Christmas days you will notice that his books are a popular choice. So I remember in one of his interviews he gets asked how he learned to write cause actually he is a lawyer. And he says writing is not about special technics. In the end, it only matters if you pro- voke an emotion at the reader.
It may sound to you like a cheesy answer but he is the most uncheesy person in the world. He really means it. …


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Sometimes I really do not know what to write, how to put on sentences how I feel. What I missed the most from Greece apart of my family is the sea, the sky, the blue.
I try to write about this infinite blue, so beautiful and sometimes scary.

I always picture myself as a kid running around without shoes, feeling the salt of the seawater under the midday sun tickled my skin and the blue… that beautiful clear blue that captures the eyes and leaves you breathless.

Growing up in a city so crowded, noisy and with the craziness beyond the limits, that was our escape, our healing process, our happiness.

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Blue is the colour of my country, my colour, where the sky meets the sea, part of my photos and imagination.

— — — — — — — — —

By Theodora Zhsopoulou
aka @theofromgreece

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