caesura | the duration of a sigh


CAESURA is a collection of photographs about the transitory state of refugees and migrants who have entered Greece after crossing the Aegean Sea on their way to Europe. Typically the term CAESURA refers to a brief silent pause in the middle of a poetic verse or a musical phrase, used in this context as a metaphor for a silent break amid two violent and distressed periods.

The landscape of CAESURA stretches reclusive and undisclosed, without distinct landmarks, nevertheless at the same time it remains a real place, absolutely relevant to the topographic context of the Greek borderland. An in-between space without solid identity -like a barren battlefield- caught in an intermediate and fleeting time.

The people of CAESURA appear to be trapped in an ephemeral and transitory space. They transmit an ambiguous feeling of restlessness and tranquility, emanating a sense of timelessness and durability as if they have existed beyond time -standing determined between two discontinuous moments.

CAESURA is a collection of personal narratives and private moments of people who wanted to declare in a silent and a heroic way their new condition as an element of their freedom. They are people who desired to be photographed –like a passage to immortality- exactly because they have achieved to arrive safe, almost like melancholic knights after the battle.

Ultimately, CAESURA does not only address those who were photographed. At the same time it mostly refers to those who weren’t photographed since it essentially addresses the generic identity usually attributed to the fugitive, the one who runs away, the person who adopts an intermediate temporary identity and focuses mostly at a personal and an existential level, attempting to raise questions about human condition and identity.

CAESURA does not intend to provide answers or make a historic statement about this phenomenal mass exodus –a unique experience for post WW2 Europe. Behind the stereotypical nameless mask of the ‘refugee’, these are the portraits of the new European citizens bearing with them the melancholy of their past and the hardship of their route, while demonstrating a determination to place themselves in a new global reality and a commitment to negate the anonymity of History.

© demetris koilalous