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The Trauma of Looking is a work that aims to decode the narrative strategies used by the Greek mainstream media to report sensitive topics related to gender inequalities and gender-based violence. In the desktop-documentary video, A Study on Media Cannibalism, I explore the tropes and the effects of media cannibalism through the lens of intimate femicides - a phenomenon which has recently entered the wider public discourse in Greece. There is a need from mainstream media to commercialize such crimes and exploit personal dramas. They are treating real-life stories as a spectacle, as another true-crime series ready to be consumed by the audience. This globalized “life-as-spectacle” approach, which goes beyond Greece, transmutes our collective moral principles into a new culture where violence is always legitimized and thus is made acceptable in the society.

Through this work, which combines extensive research, writings, visuals and an olfactory installation, I argue that photography is in excess and I renegotiate our right to look at the images produced to report intimate femicides. Undeniably the collective trauma and fear needs to be discussed, mourned and potentially resolved but above everything they have to be acknowledged. This premise is specifically explored through conversations I conduct with people in the video Decoding Media Imagery where the dilemmas which arise on the representation and ethicality of these crimes through photography are discussed. In what ways are we all complicit in the perpetuation of gender-based violence and how we could disrupt mainstream media’s need for human misery consumption?

Counter-readings of femicidal media imagery, 2022
mixed-media installation (paper, white glue, perfume, paper pulp)

In the olfactory installation Counter-readings of femicidal media imagery, the pile is composed by images circulated in the Greek mainstream media for the reporting of femicides in 2021. It is inaccessible, making at the same time visible the amount of imagery available in the media and invisible their sensationalized and unethical content. The collective trauma depicted in the images needs to be openly discussed, mourned and potentially resolved. Thus the pile is destroyed, turned into a scented paper pulp where knowledge can come through olfactive communication, which contributes to the photographic meaning, creating an environment for the affective experience of images. Finally, from the paper pulp emerges new paper where new histories (and images) can be written. The question of course remains, by whom and for whom?
This symbolic gesture is not erasing the violence of complicity, but rather uncovers and brings to light the suppressed narratives concealed within the original images.

A Study on Media Cannibalism, 2022
single-channel video, 4'40"

Decoding Media Imagery, 2022
single-channel video, 4'14"

The Trauma of Looking: Readings and Counter-readings of the representation of femicides in the Greek mainstream media, 2022
Book printed and online, 85 pages.

*Thesis under the supervision of Andrea Stultiens.


Installation view, Studio HALLE 14 - Center for Contemporary Art, Leipzig, 2022.

*This project is part of my graduation work at the MA Photography & Society (KABK).