Another Greek photographer has been signed out for his work, this time it was Greek-born Yannis Behrakis, who was named The Guardian’s photographer of the year for 2015. Although Behrakis has traveled the year documenting some of the world’s most newsworthy events, most of his year was spent in his native Greece covering that country’s own crises.
Another Greek photographer, Angelos Tzortzinis, was recently named Time Magazine’s photographer of the year.
“I have been covering refugees and migrants for over 25 years, but this year has been different: migrants are arriving in my homeland,” Behrakis told The Guardian, which released a series of his top photos in a stunning collection.
Behrakis also covered Greece’s economic crisis, revealing how his fellow countrymen were dealing with bank closures, capital controls and civil unrest during demonstrations and riots.
On the power of photography, Behrakis said:
“Photography can leave people speechless with its power and beauty. It can send a message to the audience, make people cry or laugh or both. It can make people feel guilty – or give money for a good cause. And it can make people think twice before pulling the trigger…”
Some of Behrakis top photos of the year for Reuters, featured in The Guardian’s collection:
A Syrian refugee holds his children as he struggles to leave a dinghy on Lesbos
“One day I was photographing a raft when I noticed movement in the water. I thought someone had jumped overboard. I focused using a long lens – then saw a fin. A dolphin jumped almost in front of the raft. It was a truly magical moment. It was as if the dolphin was showing the way and welcoming the people.”
A refugee girl cries after passing through a police cordon before crossing the border near Idomeni, 4 December
Stranded Iranian migrants who are on hunger strike, some with their lips sewn together, sit on rail tracks at the border near Idomeni
A Greek Orthodox priest covers his nose and mouth as he walks away from a forest fire near Saint George church in an Athens neighborhood.
Deserted grain silos are seen in front of the snowcapped Mount Olympus near the town of Larissa in Thessaly. A 2,500km trip from Athens to northeastern Greece and back shows the remnants of a once-flourishing Greek industry, which has seen a 30% drop in production. Abandoned factories are often looted, adding to the scenes of desolation.
The complete collection from The Guardian is here.