HEAR YOU ATHENS (1998-2006) 

Athens, the third room of my apartment.

HEAR YOU ATHENS is a series of photographs and short narrations. It is also a correspondence between two friends, Georges Salameh and Alexandros Mistriotis. Their conversation, over the years, is summarized in a book.

This body of work was produced over an eight-year period, living and learning to observe the urban space as an expression of an experiential, direct, non-conceptual gaze. 

Wandering and sinking in Athens' chaos I abolish it. Chaos resists us because we resist it, for chaos becomes man. Wandering in time expanding outwards, Ι discover the inner in its entirety and Athens echoes ones' intimate space and aspirations as a citizen.

Through those years of my apprentice, I started off to hear & embrace my city neither for what I wanted it to be but for what it is and eluded me.

*All photographs are from 35mm slides.

ΑΘΗΝΑ Σ'ΑΚΟΥΩ (1998-2006)

Αθήνα, το τρίτο δωμάτιο του σπιτιού μου.

Το 'Αθήνα σ' Ακούω', είναι μια σειρά φωτογραφιών και μικρών αφηγήσεων. Είναι και μία αλληλογραφία μεταξύ δύο φίλων, των Georges Salameh και Αλέξανδρου Μιστριώτη. Αυτή η συνομιλία τους μέσα στα χρόνια, συνοψίζεται σε ένα βιβλίο.

Οι εικόνες έχουν παραχθεί σε μια περίοδο οχτώ χρόνων, μαθαίνοντας να παρατηρώ το αστικό τοπίο, σαν μια έκφραση ενός βιωματικού, άμεσου, μη εννοιολογικού βλέμματος. 

Περιπλανώμενος και βυθιζόμενος στο χάος της Αθήνας, το καταργώ. Το χάος αντιστέκεται όσο του αντιστεκόμαστε, γιατί το χάος ταιριάζει στον άνθρωπο. Περιπλανώμενος στο χρόνο που ανοίγει, ανακαλύπτω το ελάχιστο ολόκληρο, και η Αθήνα αντηχεί τον οικείο μου χώρο και τις φιλοδοξίες μου ως πολίτης.

Μέσα από τα χρόνια της μαθητείας μου στην Αθήνα, ξεκίνησα να ακούω και να αγκαλιάζω την πόλη μου, όχι για αυτό που θα έπρεπε να είναι ή για αυτό που θα ήθελα να είναι, αλλά για αυτό που είναι και μου διαφεύγει.

*Όλες οι φωτογραφίες είναι από διαφάνειες 35mm.


I took this photo on an august night in 1998, the day my grandfather passed away, but a few days later my bag with the slides inside were stolen. So I re-shot the photo few weeks later, and was left with only a reproduction of that lost image & a missed farewell. That became a turning point in how I understood photography as a tool of expression and as an artistic gesture.

subway tickets
After the first few months living in Athens in 1998, we started having those long conversations about how one has to love his “ugly” city, otherwise his effort shall remain on the surface and fall of its body, and how only by sinking in its chaos we abolish it… and other theoretical stuff that seemed abstract to me until that morning, when I crossed this kid at Victoria station: Occupying Athens with his imagination!

Before coming to Athens, newspapers belonged to the daily life of a child who grew up during a civil war, today they seem timeless.

grey costume 
Sometimes at the end of a street, incidentally, we meet men who are ‘islands’ in this urban sea.

War, hated by mothers.

crimson jacket
Sometimes I followed an elderly person through the streets of Athens for a few steps to remind myself of all the old dead people in my family, left behind in Lebanon without having had the chance to say "goodbye" to them.

Klafthmonos square
In the living room, the grandmother tales a fairytale, embracing her granddaughter ...

yellow line
Déjà vu! A splashing wave and a dress from another time …

red high heels
My eros for Athens began inadvertently one spring afternoon while entering Attiki’s subway station.
A tiny, internal, almost quiet explosion, that would determine my future.
One first love that would sign my skin for ever, like this little scar on my cheek that everyone thinks it’s a dimple!


Walking along Alexandra Avenue, I found a room from my childhood, where I spent hours playing alone in a corner, hiding from the shelling.

The crab without its claws dies, as the state without its para-economy. (Greek proverb)


Cleaning up, during the Olympics in 2004, in front of the image of the Acropolis, wrapping partly the facade of some athenian buildings in ruins, the famous “Kountouriotika“: refugee housing compounds, built in 1934-40, after the great Catastrophe in 1922, Alexandras Avenue.
An icon that became five years later a premonition of a new era for Athens!

last supper


Debris go unnoticed for some … while the disaster has not yet happened!

wedding dress
Suddenly, like the first time when I discovered my mother’s wedding dress, in a closet, at the age of 11, as if she had run away!

A nostalgic song for Athens still resonates even if we can't hear it anymore!

As Athens enters its countdown to the next Olympic Games, you sit on your tiny balcony and contemplate a geranium, reminiscent of your garden in Beit Mery, quietly growing day by day!

Hotel Acropole

shadow mask
Looking towards the future, the past or just the sky of Athens!

Sometimes a fortuitous encounter on the street is not necessarily with a person but with a personality.

empty cart
Melancholy, despair without means.

This is not a shopping trolley.



Whenever I see a red flokati (Greek carpet), I hear bombshells whistling!


cigarette break
A pause between day and night, between two thoughts, or perhaps two eras of a city's life!


blue plastic bag


Athenian face
Staring at the inevitable, in the chaos of Omonia Square, belly button of Athens.

Not believing in your own actions anymore, is like eating pepitas in the middle of a revolution!

Kotzia square

A gesture of the hand in her hair, a scent of immortality …

black light
Athens a private theater scene!

concrete ball

Agios Panteleimon square
After the fall of the Soviet bloc and the war in the former Yugoslavia, living in Athens at the end of the 90s and daily observing many children, from these migrations, growing up in the city squares, like seeds for a possible future Cosmopolitan Athens, I never imagined that one day, some would only call them "foreigners"!

A casual visit or perhaps a rendez-vous with History.

What's whispering in this collared dove's ear - a secret, a complaint or just plain chit-chat?

Imprisoned until then...

At the back of the tramway, a boy holding a notebook, empties his school day worries on Patision avenue.

heat wave

redhead and dog
Between the age of 13 and 16 years old, I had been struggling with my overloaded double school program, when suddenly everything was abruptly interrupted, on March 14th 1989, by another chapter of the Lebanese civil war.
My parents decided to leave for Greece that summer, but this time they would never come back.
A few years later, I realised when I was already at university in Paris, that I had missed this transitional phase between puberty and adulthood: I overlapped my teenage rebellion, no passionate love stories at school, no secrets from my parents, no strange haircut, no drinking and driving, no wild parties, no other risk-taking behaviours, and not one relevant immature adventure other than going once to a casino with friends, forgetting to tell my mother that I'll eat out ...
After my studies, my military service and my return to Athens, was born a certain nostalgia for an age never fully lived.
My teenage years manifested before me one day, a fleeting moment, when two trains occasionally intersect in a subway station.
All lasted for a glimpse !

A broken heart in spring will be burned to ashes in summer!

Empty pots or distant war drums!

looking for Nemo
It had been a few days since the film "Finding Nemo" had been released in Athens, and I was desperately looking for a reason to escape the heat and a feeling of suffocation.
We eventually left for Arcadia, the day I took this photo ...

yellow plastic bag

blu paper bag
A yellow hyphen between a gaze and an apparition.

bedside table

Under the indifferent eye of the most hollow gaze!

pink dress
When public space becomes, for a moment, a theater of intimacy.

'It is forbidden to display feelings'

Behind a public bench, Egypt square, at the end of Alexandras Avenue, once a river, which empties its flux of traffic into Patision avenue, forming a delta, reminiscent of the Nile and the city of Alexandria, the place of origin of Constantinos Cavafy, author of the poem “Walls“, now gazing for years at those of Athens' and its buildings … Is it the irony of fate or the decision of a civil servant, like him sitting behind his desk and plotting against oblivion?



Sometimes her face inspired me hope or longing. Other times, she recalled "The Scream"by Edward Munch, and once I even heard that silence of the early morning hours, after a heavy night of bombardments. It also can be the quality of this icon that enables mirroring and enhancing a particular feeling of the moment. It might as well be the power of this underground passage that echoes in us the voice of Athens.

Athens, despite the ban on imagining its future these days, the city is foreseeing a wave of unrest.

Hotel Balkania
Two barrels and two chairs to attract attention or divert the curious? Probably just a parking space for special customers!
Long before Athens becomes a European metropolis it was a crossroad and an exit door for the Balkans.


On Lycabettus Hill, the summer sky as an urban horizon, which architecture has not yet succeeded in hiding from us, is the source of our comfort and our ability to retain necessary images to safeguard our right to dream.

urban rails

Wandering through the streets of Athens in a resplendent sun, suddenly the sky darkens, I stop, frozen in front of the remains of a graffiti, an icy wind and the first rumblings of the sky, two migrants run to get sheltered before the rain begins, I am immobilized, shivering with anxiety, a deafening but mute scream escapes from my guts, for a moment, in this peaceful gray urban-scape, like when you hear the whistle of a shell before it explodes.


yellow folder
There are times when downcast eyes can be more penetrating than a direct look into the lense ...

green blanket

two columns
- What are the foundations of an identity?
- It is rather ruins and identity crisis!

Makriyannis‘ broken sword
There’s is always something revealed in a story and silenced in History.

turquoise pajamas
I remember the confinement and I see in this expression on the face of this boy a frozen similarity and a strange familiarity. Every time I visited an aunt, grandmother or someone else who resided in Beirut during civil war, the only access to public space was only allowed through a window or a balcony. As a resident of its suburbs, I have no memory what so ever of walking in one of its parks or squares or even one of its tiny alleys. I had to come back as an exiled, as adult, to reclaim what childhood could not have anymore. In the streets of Athens today this feeling of a déjà-vu keeps haunting me.

left hand
Awaiting for the subway, I heard a female voice, on the station's speakers, whispering: "Raise your left hand and swear that you shall tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the expanding moment in time."

Satory in Athens !


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17×24 cm, 96 pages, 50 color photographs
Texts Georges Salameh & Alexandros Mistrotis
Softcover (yellow or green), ota binding
Offset printing
Greek & English
ISBN 978-618-85273-0-0
Edition of 500
Athens, May 2021

features & publications

13th Venezia Architecture Biennale / Athena Bender of Vision

iFocus (GR, October 2018)

Al Hasad (UK, April 2021)

PHASES magazine (May 2021)

EFSYN newspaper (July 2021)

photologio (GR, August 2021)

LIFO (GR, Oct 2021)


Artpil (IT, Jan 2022)

Artwort (IT, Feb 2022)

Black River (UK, March 2022)


Urban Of - Athens Photo Festival (Greece, Oct 2000)

10.1.01 A.Σ.Κ.Τ (Greece, Jan 2001)

Athens: Photographic Aspects and Views - Benaki Museum (Greece, Sept 2001) 

Anatomy of Political Melancholy (Samos, Greece, summer 2018)

Anatomy of Political Melancholy (Athens, Greece, Feb.-April 2019)

WHEN IN ATHENS (Georgia, USA, June 2021)

PUBLIC DOMAIN (GR, April 2022)

PHOTOPOLIS (GR, October 2023)


photologio (GR, dec. 2021)