George Tatakis has spent years travelling around in search of traditional customs – mainly in his homeland, Greece, but also in other Mediterranean countries. The Aegean islands, in particular, is where he finds what he is looking for: the original lifestyle of the Greek in traditional festive costumes or in robes that have remained unchanged over the centuries. “What I do when I take pictures is to use what is actually happening in front of me and direct it in a way that resonates with images I have in my mind. These extra images that I put together for Greek Traditions, are a good example of how a new reality can be created out of the actual reality.”
Learn more about George Tatakis’s pictures in the Greek Traditions portfolio that appeared in LFI 08/2017.
The Panagia Kera festival became well-known thanks to Zorba the Greek, the filmed based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, with Anthony Quinn playing the leading role. Crete, Greece, August 2017
The village of Anogia close to Rethymnon. On wedding days, guests go to the bride’s home while she is preparing herself for the marriage ceremony. Crete, Greece, August 2017
Residents and visitors from Amfissa come together in the old Tampakides (tannery) district, to take part in the Night of Ghosts carnival. Once they have dressed up as ghosts, the party begins in front of and inside the Church of Saint Nicholas. Fairies, sorceresses and slaves also take part. Amfissa, Greece, 25 February 2017
In the village of Simitli, residents celebrate the Kukeri ritual on New Year’s Day. Kukeri are bearded men in shaggy goat or sheep skins hidden behind terrifying masks. With wild dances, they drive out the winter and welcome in the spring. Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, New Year 2017
The festival celebrating John the Baptist takes place every year in the ancient city of Vrycous. Olympus on Karpathos, Greece. August 29, 2016. Many traditions that have disappeared in the rest of Greece, or are simply part of folkloric performances, have survived on the island of Karpathos
Born in Athens in 1981, Tatakis is a self-taught photographer. He is a co-founder of the Reflex Photo Collective and the Pculiar web platform.