A new photography project: Edgelands

These pictures are the product of Babis Kougemitros’ last two-year wandering in several places and areas of Attica(Greece), the zone between the city edges and the countryside. They depict vague, ambiguous and constantly changing landscapes that people’s misconceptions often reject them as being ugly or aesthetically unworthy. This is also, a photographic endeavour of remapping the familiar landscapes of childhood memories –landscapes now in a state of radical transition.

This time, however, he escaped the Athens city centre, the chaos, the perpetual mobility of the crowd; this time, he turned his eyes to the edges of the city, where the spectacular and eye-catching frame tends to fade and disappear into the hazy and disordered flora. He ran off the main highway and followed much more peripheral roads –an uncharted road network, stretched like a web in the Attica basin, which indiscreetly unites underpopulated areas, industrial zones and slums. These are the narrow and insignificant roads we take, when we ’ve lost our way; these are the in-between areas which constitute the passageway from the city to the countryside, an intermediate zone composed by certain antithesis.

Purposefully, he didn’t overlook these “insignificant” roads; Babis stood and watched them, focused his attention on them, walked them and finally shot them, trying to captivate in a photographic instant what happens in the places where seemingly nothing happens. The attractiveness lies in that one always finds there something different than expected; there one can either meet a place of game or a place of well-hidden human traces of outlaw activities.

All in all, his nocturnal wanderings in these places -so close to Athens, but still so distant– revive the question of what is beautiful and what is ugly, what is significant and what is trivial –but most importantly where the heart of the city beats hard and unceasingly.

About the author
Babis Kougemitros was born in Athens in 1975. Ηe studied Political Science & International Relations in Panteion University and Photography and Audiovisual Arts in the Technological Educational Institute of Athens. His personal exhibition “Edgelands” (2012) and group exhibition “City Edges” (2013) have been presented in Athens Photo Festival. Part of his portfolio has been occasionally presented in Athens Benaki Museum.

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