Costa Sakellariou worked as a magazine photographer for years in the Near East and South Asia. In 1992, he began working on an extended project on Turkey's dwindling Greek minority which was published in 1995 as "The Last Greeks of Istanbul".
For the past 16 years, he has been teaching photography at Binghamton University in upstate New York. In 2015 he was a recipient of a Light Work grant.
About the projects on this site...
Before the Deluge: a Greek interlude
These images were made during the month of January, 2016 at various locations throughout Greece.
There is no story being told here, and these are not newsworthy photographs. Rather, these lonely moments share a sense that time - if just for an instant has been suspended. From Durer’s hands on an Athens wall to the ghostly bust in the ruins of ancient Dion, the images evoke a sense of wary watchfulness and foreboding affecting the entire land. These images seek to render this zeitgeist of stress.
There is a growing realization that the European project is derailing, and nowhere is this feeling more palpable than in Greece, which has been battered by six years of austerity measures.
Compounding this situation are the refugees arriving daily, putting enormous strain on an already grim economic situation. There are real fears that a fragile Greek civil society- which itself never really addressed the ravages of a brutal civil war in the years following WW II - could come apart at the seams.
‘Before the Deluge’ is the first in a series of works exploring the rapid changes in Greece and the surrounding region.
Lacuna is an exploration of the overlooked spaces so ubiquitous in the landscape of America's rust belt cities. The images in this series were made during the summer and fall of 2015 in the small depopulated towns in the Southern Tier of New York state, which extends along its border with Pennsylvania. This and the current project At the Fair are both facets of a larger body of work dealing with the urban landscape of the Rust Belt.
The Last Greeks of Istanbul was completed between 1992 and 1995 and records the final years of a Greek presence in the city which their ancestors founded more than 2500 years earlier. There is an ebb and flow to the populations of cities, and this work is comprised of moments in the life of the last viable generation of this ancient community.
Around the Black Sea is a larger project of which one portion is offered here. This set of images is from the mountains of northeastern Turkey, and was photographed in the early 1990s - before the homogenizing effect of television and the Turkish state managed to dilute the frantic frenzies of summer festivals held in the Pontic 'antiplano' or yayla. Populations living in the river valleys of Turkey's Black Sea region migrate to summer camps in the highlands above the treeline - and week-end festivities feature a host of decidedly non-Islamic activities such as drinking, shooting and dancing (in that order).