Yannis Behrakis, the Greek photojournalist who portrayed major events in politics, warfare, sports and society, has died from cancer at age 58. After joining Reuters 30 years ago, Behrakis covered many of the most tumultuous events around the world, including conflicts in Afghanistan and Chechnya, a huge earthquake in Kashmir and the Egyptian uprising of 2011.
Born in 1960 in Athens, Yannis Behrakis was one of the top photojournalists in the world and Chief Photographer of Reuters Greece. During his life, he earned multiple prestigious awards in Greece and abroad, such as the Greek Fuji Award News Photographer of the Year (seven times), News Photographer of the Year by the Fuji Awards Institution in London, Barcelona and Rome (1999,2002 and 2003), and First Prize in the General News Stories category by the World Press Photo Foundation in 2000, the most prominent world distinction in the photography industry.
In 2016, the Reuters photography team led by Behrakis, together with colleagues Alkis Konstantinidis and Alexandros Avramidis, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the refugee crisis in the Aegean. The team captured a series of images of migrants crowded on flimsy sea craft and their first moments upon reaching Greece. For this work Behrakis was also voted best photographer of the year in 2015 by the Guardian.
Behrakis was a talented and committed journalist, who won the respect of both peers and rivals for his skill and bravery.
“It is about clearly telling the story in the most artistic way possible,” veteran Reuters photographer Goran Tomasevic has said of Behrakis’ style. “You won’t see anyone so dedicated and so focused and who sacrificed everything to get the most important picture.”
Most of us have seen at least some of his iconic images, which captured the terror of battle, fear, death, intimidation, starvation, homelessness, anger and despair, but also love and courage.
In an obituary, Reuters write: He recognised the power of an arresting image to capture people’s attention and even change their behaviour. That belief produced a body of work that will be remembered long after his passing.
“My mission is to tell you the story and then you decide what you want to do,” he told a panel discussing Reuters Pulitzer Prize-winning photo series on the European migrant crisis. “My mission is to make sure that nobody can say: ‘I didn’t know’.”
All photos Reuters.
A very interesting Greek sculptor. Photos do not do justice to his work, which is sometimes very large in scale
Christmas back home gave me lots of time for book hunting in my parents’ bookcases. As usual, I ignored the sociology, finance and management books that have taken over even my own room and shuffled through the art history books that I haven’t been acquainted with. Nothing interesting came up. The search was over but I was angsty for a new obsession; the blog needed something interesting. It wasn’t until a few days later that my father’s proposition, writing about local artists, seemed more inviting than boring. From that moment, Kapralos couldn’t get out of my head. Kapralos happened to be a distant relative of my mother’s but I never had the chance of meeting him; he died before I was born. We did, however, have his work displayed in our dining room and a few books on his work. So…
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A new way to get around Athens. I’ve not tried it personally yet, but I love scooting, so…
Sometimes navigating the streets of Athens can be a bit like a scary video game. Potholes, trees, badly parked cars, aggressive drivers and slippery sidewalks all seemingly ‘out to get you’ can make it a bit of a nightmare for the uninitiated.
Since late January, there’s a cool new way to get around town that might provide the eco friendly, gentle way to play the around Athens survival game! Lime electric scooters are popping up everywhere and offer a hop on, hop off alternative form of transport through the busy streets.
They are easy to find and easy to use. Download the Lima app and GPS tracking will help you find the nearest free scooter. Scan the barcode on the scooter and then ride away for just one euro and 0.15 cents a minute. Drop off the scooter anywhere when you are finished, what could be simpler?
It’s great to…
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What better way to ring in the new year than watching fireworks explode over the Acropolis?
Athenians braved the rainy weather, forgot their woes, and came out with their umbrellas to celebrate.
The photographs are from the daily paper Kathimerini, and provided some distraction from the otherwise continuing dismal news. What do we have to look forward to in 2019? Yet more rising taxes, elections, and a continuing and unmanageable refugee crisis.
However, a brand new year always brings with it a glimmer of hope. And the feeling that here we are, alive and kicking—we made it through another year!
A big thank you to all who follow, read my rants, and especially those who take the time to comment. I greatly appreciate it. All by best wishes for a wonderful 2019!
Couldn’t resist re-blogging this! From Bruce Goodman’s great blog, Weave a Web.
(This is a translation of an actual poster in France)
After entering this church, you may hear “the call of God”. However, it is unlikely he will call you on his mobile. Thank you for turning off your phones.
If you wish to talk to God, by all means do so. Come in and choose a quiet place.
If you wish to see Him, send a text while driving.