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The inauguration of the exhibition of photographs by Yannis Psilakis, entitled "Images of Greece and Africa", was a great success. The exhibition is held at the Zappeion Exhibition Hall, under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the kind sponsorship of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and the support of the Kapopoulos Fine Arts hall.
Ms Dora Bakogianni, Minister of Foreign Affairs, inaugurated the exhibition. In her greeting, she talked about the great work of the traveller-photographer Yannis Psilakis and about the images “captured by the artist’s eye,” which help us “expand our aesthetic horizons”. His photographs of Greece and Africa are a visual proof that “the Mediterranean Sea does not separate the two continents, but, on the contrary, it unites them.” Ms Bakogianni also said that the photographs of people that Yannis Psilakis met in Africa make us think and worry about the difficult living conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in the rest of the continent. We should reflect upon “the reasons that deprived these countries from having the position they deserve in the global economy,” stated the Minister of Foreign Affairs, thus sending a humanitarian message, which undoubtedly characterises the work of Yannis Psilakis.
During the inauguration, Ms Marina Lambraki-Plaka, Director of the National Gallery, talked about the art of photography, which she described as the “mother of modern art,” but also about the work of Yannis Psilakis, which is full of “looks that reveal human feelings.” The event was also greeted by a representative of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, who thanked the organisers of the exhibition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Latsis Foundation for their initiative to allocate the earnings from the sale of the exhibition’s works and catalogues to the Patriarchate and highlighted the bonds between Greece and Alexandria.
Mr Vangelis Chronis, General Manager of the Latsis Group and member of the Executive Board of the Latsis Foundation, gave a closing speech, in which he stressed that the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation supports such events on a regular basis since “promoting and showcasing Greek culture, literature and the arts is a main priority” of the Foundation. Moreover, he highlighted the sacred purpose of the exhibition, as well as its emotional significance for all persons involved in its organisation. Referring to the work of Yannis Psilakis, he said that the artist “did not pursue greatness but expressed, through simplicity and everyday life, the maximum one can express.”
Ms Fani Palli-Petralia, Minister of Employment and Social Protection, was also present at the inauguration, and she greatly admired and felt moved by the photographs of the exhibition.
The exhibition ‘Images of Greece and Africa’ will be held at the Zappeion Exhibition Hall (room 10) from 12 to 22 June 2008, in order to honour the traveller-photographer Yannis Psilakis. The exhibited photographs are a visual journey to familiar places in our country and exotic destinations in Africa, through the artist’s romantic and uncompromising look.
Yannis Psilakis broke the narrow boundaries of everyday existence and saw life like an exciting journey around the world and into the human soul. His journey in life ended prematurely, 2 years ago. Nevertheless, today, we can all follow his steps through his photographs, which are his memories from our world.
The exhibition’s exclusive sponsor is the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation; the contribution of SKAI and KATHIMERINI is particularly important since they covered the exhibition's press & communication needs. Above all, this important exhibition became possible thanks to the valuable contribution of the Psilakis family that offered the photographs.