panos skoulidas – athens on fire


victims of police tear gas attack  (below), and  fires started by protesters (above), choke  the citizens  of Athens as riots grip the city



Athens on Fire:  Photographs and text by Panos Skoulidas                                                           Athens, Greece   December 7, 2009



point blank..
His name was ALEXIS…15 year old…
Last year was on fire for a whole month…
A year later…in his memory..
All schools are closed..Thousands of students protesting in the middle of Athens..
The “Kratos”…the state … ( GOVERNMENT )named all those students as “ANARCHISTS”…
i was briefly detained two nights ago… but my American citizenship helped me out..
The police ( ordered by the Greek government )…are out of control…
let me explain:..They stop you in the middle of the street…ask for id or passport..
if you  do not have one you get arrested..
if you  are an are jailed for 3 months at least…
Greek police with no authorization .
interrogates, harasses and jails “illegal” immigrants…
If you are a student , poor…or look “weird”  you are immediately detained and charged as a terrorist..
All that because Greece is close to bankruptcy…
Despair,high rates of unemployment… corrupted politicians…
dirty church leaders…etc..
If you dare to protest….then you go to jail…
you are a terrorist…
Greece is the only European country that still send to jail drug users…
The only country in the western world that fails to understand that drug use is a disease and not a crime..
What a shame for the country that gave birth to Socrates and invented Democracy..


Panos Skoulidas


(editor’s note: the above photo and caption provided by Skoulidas and is considered an editorial..few facts on this are known by Burn at the moment of publication..dah)

Associated Press report:

121 Responses to “panos skoulidas – athens on fire”

  • Wise text Panos. I always like to see between your weird behavior sometimes, this huge empathy and humanity. I always see it in your photos even if sometimes they seems to look “ordinary”.


  • You are great photographer Panos.

  • Not sure they are tear gassed on this particular picture. Isn’t the smoke coming from the burning rubbish on the right?

  • John..:)
    i could barely see at that point… Tear gas , fires and all was happening eyes half closed ,..
    no breath…camera on f5.6…between 2 feet to almost infinity the whole time…

  • it could have also been from a “souvlaki”-“pita gyros” stand next by…
    but still the tears were really chemically induced…check the photos before and after…
    but as i was talking with DAH ( skyping )…a sec ago i need to find accurate numbers about the detainees..
    give me a sec…
    checking BBC…& greek media..

  • Tear gas was used for sure. But the people on this picture don’t seem to be affected by it. When you are gassed you don’t stand still like that, and tear gas has another density.

    from BBC:

    “…Clashes also continued overnight at Athens Polytechnic, where masked youths emerged to hurl rocks and bottles at police, who responded with tear gas…”

    “….Clashes between police and protesters continued overnight in Athens as it marked the first anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a teenager.
    Riot police fired volleys of tear gas and fought running street battles with demonstrators who pelted them with rocks and set fire to rubbish bins.
    However, the protests have been nothing like the riot scenes of last year, a BBC correspondent says.
    Six thousand police have been deployed on the streets of the Greek capital.
    At one point about 200 masked demonstrators were holed up in Athens’s neoclassical university building, smashing marble chunks off the steps to use as missiles against police.


    Malcolm Brabant, BBC News, Athens
    Police officers corralled demonstrators into restricted areas and denied them the chance to run amok. Snatch squads on motorbikes roamed the streets and carried out a number of arrests.
    Some officers were pulled from their machines, and there were reports of bike riding policemen lashing out at people with their truncheons.
    The government has carried out a number of reforms designed to give the police a more human face. But these clashes will not have won them any friends amongst Greek youths.
    Many young people, who had their first taste of rebellion last year, remain angry with the authorities.
    The overwhelming perception of teenagers and university students is that the force remains institutionally violent.
    In pictures: Greek violence
    City officials said the university dean suffered head injuries when youths raided the building and was rushed to hospital.
    Clashes also continued overnight at Athens Polytechnic, where masked youths emerged to hurl rocks and bottles at police, who responded with tear gas.
    Earlier in Thessaloniki – Greece’s second-largest city – demonstrators threw petrol bombs at police and smashed the storefront of a Starbucks cafe, Associated Press reported.
    To head off trouble, riot police carried out a series of raids on Saturday across Athens, arresting more than 150 people, reports said.
    The BBC’s Malcolm Brabant in Athens says they have been forming snatch squads to deal with breakaway groups apparently intent on causing damage.
    Greece’s government warned it would have a zero tolerance policy towards violence.
    “We want to send a clear message, we won’t tolerate a repeat of the violence and terror scene in central Athens, we won’t hand Athens to vandals,” said Citizen Protection Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis…”

    AND JOHN..SINCE U DONT BELIEVE ME…here is the link:

  • The picture would be stronger without Panos’ editorial text — and people don’t walk through clouds of tear gas talking on their cell phones.

  • It’s not a matter of whether or not tear gas was used, but whether or not the picture depicts the use of tear gas.

  • ok…how about this photo John???? ( PHOTO NUMBER 38)


    also this one: ( NUMBER 44 )?

    IS IT STILL THE garbage fire?..or the souvlaki stand?

    why do this folks dont run? why they sit or stand still?
    Sorry John ..not to yank my chain…but obviously u dont know what a greek warrior is all aBOUT!!!
    Greeks dont run John..greeks dont run…
    big hug

  • Powerful stuff, Panos.

    It is depressing, however, to see so many there–ostensibly protesting an unjust killing of a teenager–all too willing to act like complete assholes! Destroy random properties, start uncontrolled fires, throw stones at and otherwise antagonize the riot police… some of whom are more than happy to have a reason to go all Rodney King on their asses! This honors the boy how?

  • people don’t walk through clouds of tear gas talking on their cell phones.

    no, people pee on their pants and surrender…
    Preston..what was the last time u been in a “real” demo?
    Rhetorical question..

  • …Preston boy…
    people got hijacked on the 9/11 flight to N.Y twin towers and they were still
    calling on their cellphones….
    but..yeah i know..i know…its news for you..

  • Michael..
    its so funny…man..
    i will post BBC..CNN asap..
    and i have folks ( in my ass ) telling me that a souvlaki stand caused “tears”…and suffocations…
    im not Nachtwey…
    from the crowd gathered there i was probably the one SCARED the most…
    but yes.. if BBC lies..then i lie too..
    Folks think that if cops starting attacking with cayenne tear gas..then..
    everyone will run and beg…
    jesus ….

  • “…Civil Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis defended tougher tactics used by police, despite criticism from a left-wing opposition party which said the government’s response had been heavy-handed.

    “Police detentions, when justified, are not illegal in a democratic society. Neither is it illegal for judicial officials to press charges,” the minister said…”

  • BBC reports:
    …Riot police fired volleys of tear gas and fought running street battles with demonstrators who pelted them with rocks and set fire to rubbish bins…

  • PANOS…

    send me the picture of the guys rubbing their eyes after the tear gas please..NOW…i will post it too….let’s get this right…on a shoot like this everything has to be really really accurate…to the wire…your text is at the moment editorial, but i will keep checking the facts also thru bbc, human rights watch etc etc

  • Panos…

    I hear ya. Big crowds going nuts. Emotions. Anger. Hatred. Sadness.


  • Panos, relax. No one is saying that there is no tear gas in Athens. But the people in your picture do not look as if they are in distress. If you want to claim a wild, chaotic scene, then your picture should reveal it. We can all read the news reports. But if you want your picture to contribute to the understanding of the events in Athens, then viewers should not be confused by it, and it should support the claims you make.

    Bottom line — this is not a picture that best represents what you are seeing.

  • Michael..
    yes it is depressing..
    i was telling friends and colleagues here that if this would happened in LA..
    ahhh tons of people would have been shot dead…
    but here is not LA…
    U see.. students still have the right of “asylum” ( lock themselves in the Polytechnic or University and fire back..)
    Now the question is: ( Do we still need the “asylum”?)
    In the age of people still need to get locked in an institution and throw stones?)
    i agree with u on this one..
    They just abuse their democratic rights like they do on a soccer game…
    but still..
    cops ( government ) here are also abusive…
    so its a false circle..:(

  • problem..i agree..

  • Panos, don’t become one of them and start playing policeman with the viewers. John was referring to the posted image not the urls.

    The thing about protests, spent my twenties and thirties as a regular in real time it is partly truth and partly fiction but we get the idea that stuff sucks big time. In the heat of the situations many forget why they are there that includes all walks of life protesters, the police, photographers, news hounds etc …………then we get angry

    I am sure John is not naive as to think that tear gas hasn’t been used.

  • the only thing that pisses me of though is that i heard about 900 detainees and i cant proved it..
    till last night the number was up to 400 something… and if the todays number of 190 is correct then its closer to 600 than 900… and that i should double or triple check…

  • Just to be precise… I don’t think I read in Panos’ editorial that this picture showed people being gassed. The title even says “Athens on Fire.” Not gassed.

  • Imants…
    thanks for the opp u giving me to apologize to John..( and Preston )
    i will gladly take it..
    its just my eyes are still red..nose running and im sure its not the flu..
    and yes you are “observations” today really made me angry …
    i should know better…

  • ALL…

    relax…everybody is correct…we are going to publish an additional picture in a few minutes giving another view…i posted the AP version on the bottom of Panos’ report…another picture or two ought to give us an idea of the scene…we have seen so many protest pictures , that i cannot make myself publish another protest i am trying to show something a bit different than the norm, yet still fall within the guidelines of accuracy…certainly all the pictures were shot at the event…and depending on which way you look a different scenario unfolds…

  • rumors abound at happenings like this.. the truth is out there..
    glad harvey is changing the photo though.. even though the there is no question that the chiaroscuro with the smoke is good.. it-s better to show the after effects of tear gas with certainty than show an ambiguous snap.

  • Panos. Just report what you see. Shoot what you see. and try not to get popped.
    you are in a position to be right on top of this. so just stay focussed and do your job. Everybodys with you on this.


  • Michael..
    u r right.. i got “trapped” and carried away..
    it is actually “athens on fire”..
    not “athens on tear gas”..
    what am i defending?
    although my eyes still red..and i havent smoked any weed either..
    thanks again..

  • glad harvey is changing the photo though.

    what photo is changed by Harvey? when, what, where?

  • Hey it’s all not bad, the heart runs faster, the mind plays games, feelings surface, hair stands on ends and there is a feeling of being alive. Better that than pretending to be a surveillance camera……. the funny thing about protests, there is always a bit of fun to have amidst all the mayhem

  • rumors abound at happenings like this.. the truth is out there..

    bro…truth is not “out there”..its out “here”
    open up though…dont be scared

    By NICHOLAS PAPHITIS, Associated Press Writer – Mon Dec 7, 8:59 am ET
    ATHENS, Greece – Masked youths smashed store windows and hurled rocks and firebombs at riot police who responded with tear gas Monday in a second day of violence during commemorations of last year’s fatal police shooting of a teenager.
    The death last year of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos led to some of the worst rioting Greece had ever seen, with gangs of youths smashing, looting and burning stores in cities across the country for two weeks, protesting heavy-handed police tactics.
    Monday’s clashes broke out during a demonstration by about 3,000 people, mostly high-school students, through the center of Athens. Several dozen youths at the tail end of the march attacked riot police with rocks, firebombs and firecrackers, smashing some of the bus stops, telephone booths and storefronts not damaged in Sunday’s demonstration.
    Protesters injured a passer-by who attempted to intervene, beating the middle-aged man unconscious. Police detained at least three youths.
    Some demonstrators tried to prevent clashes, shouting at the groups of youths instigating the violence, but to little avail.
    “I’m here to play at beating up the police. What’s your problem?” one young rioter retorted to a student who admonished him for causing trouble.
    Demonstrators also scrawled anti-police graffiti and stenciled a photograph of Grigoropoulos on store windows and walls along the demonstration route, while others set fire to garbage cans overflowing due to a strike by municipal workers.
    But unlike the previous day, police on Monday surrounded the buildings of Athens University in the center of the city, preventing protesters from entering the campus — which police are barred from — and launching attacks from there. Masked youths had occupied the building for several hours on Sunday, smashing through the locked door and injuring the university’s dean, who remained hospitalized Monday.
    Minor clashes also broke out during a march of about 2,000 people in Greece’s second-largest city of Thessaloniki in the north, where riot police fired tear gas to disperse youths pelting them with rocks.
    Police said Monday that 784 people had been detained, including 136 people who were arrested, for public order offenses in connection with the demonstrations across Greece during the 48 hours from Saturday until early Monday. Those detained included 58 foreigners, including people from Turkey, France, Germany, Italy and Albania.
    Five demonstrators and 16 police were injured in Athens during Sunday’s demonstration — including a woman who was seriously hurt when she was struck by a police officer who lost control of his motorbike as he charged into the capital’s central Syntagma Square.
    Government spokesman Giorgos Petalotis said Monday that the police officer involved was under investigation, and had visited the injured woman in hospital.
    Still, the two-day violence was far more limited than the extensive riots that gripped the country last year immediately after Grigoropoulos’ death. The new Socialist government, which was voted into power in early October, had vowed a zero tolerance approach to troublemakers during this year’s demonstrations.
    “Those seeking a repeat (of 2008) did not achieve their aim,” Petalotis said. “The message is that the cities where protests took place are not defenseless.”

    ohh i know..u think its my “truth”..
    then click:

  • my mistake.. harvey is adding a photo and has changed the caption..

  • Police said Monday that 784 people had been detained,…( from above link )..

    soooooooooooooooo ok…not 900 people detained..
    ONLY 784….my bad..

    now any lawyer out there wants to help?
    or just bullshit????????????????

  • no panos – i-ve been reading the bbc, as i-m sure most of us have..
    no one has disputed the facts of whats going on whatsoever – only the photo caption concerning tear gas.

  • the funny thing about protests, there is always a bit of fun to have amidst all the mayhem

    i agree on this one too Imants…
    big hug

  • PANOS..

    not changing a photo..adding a photo…stop writing here for a minute and just send me that second picture i mentioned…thanks…..pls send soonest as in NOW….

  • Panos,
    great images! Thank you for showing this to us. Good work!
    To me the question is not much about tear gas or only a burning pita – the smoke to me looks like the fog that youth all over Europe are confronted with. In Greece we see the escalation of the protests in an extremely violent way. But right now there are students protesting in many cities in Europe. So I see Panos picture as more universal image. The future of the young generation is full of uncertainty, full of fog and smoke that makes the view ahead into the future very dizzy and unclear.
    In Germany we have created a word for this current generation which is called “Generation Praktikum” or in my translation it is the generation that lives for unpaid interns (hm, difficult to translate. Praktikum means they work for little money to gain experience, but in reality it is simply cheap labour or explotation). To get a well paid job is difficult because the people who have a job in a safe position do everything to hold onto it very tight, even though all they do is to sharpen the pen once a day. Okay, I am a bit over the top and exaggerate, but I hope that in my words there is some truth. The outlook for students is very unclear and this causes this big frustration and the riots we see right now.
    In Germany students have to pay quite a high amount of money every semester term – student fees. At the university where I teach every student has to pay 500 Euros every semester term plus 250 Euro for insurance and a transport ticket. A lot of money and this raises the question if going to university is a possibility for everyone or only the privilege for those who have the money? The main issue however in Germany right now is the restricted, school system like way of the Bachelor and Master programm which most students don’t agree with.
    Another aspect that I see is the great disappointment in politicians. Maybe the greek politicians are the worst, but without doubt the disappointment among students about German politicians is pretty high as well.
    Yes, I am part of the university system and yet I tell my students to ask for their rights – in a peaceful way – and go out and do something because it is their future.
    Sad to see that people get arrested for all this. Some people seem to have big fear.
    Panos, I documented riots many times and it was always very emotional and I found it difficult to stay neutral. Keep shooting, keep a open mind (if this is possible) and please be careful. Images are important, but personal safety as well!!!
    Many words – please excuse if I got carried away…
    Panos, good luck and be safe!

  • Praktikum means they work for little money to gain experience, but in reality it is simply cheap labour or exploitation) ..sounds like a every generational thing…… goes by names like apprenticeship, work experience etc and the best one is ” give us a hand with this please” ………. even the “I want everything now” is nothing new we are just aware of it to a greater extent, damn those pesky kids down the road.

    Unies, colleges, schools etc have always been institutions of discontent, as a good member of those places it was always a feather in the cap to fail a year or two atleast once while playing the political animal

    To the credit of the younger it is great to see the “good” protest back in fashion anarchy just goes for the ride as there is nowhere else to hang out ………….

  • To the credit of the younger it is great to see the “good” protest back in fashion anarchy just goes for the ride as there is nowhere else to hang out ………….

    wisely said..

  • It is one hell of a photo, Panos, whatever the story behind it.

    I know from personal experience how hard it is to stay centered and focused when you’re in the middle of a police/protestors clash. Tear gas, smoke from fires, yelling, screaming, the sounds of running feet and people being hit and beaten. It’s so easy to see the riot-geared police as the enemy, but from reading the BBC reports, there’s been violence perpetrated by both sides. The question is: Are you, Panos, a participant or a photographer? Are you documenting or acting/reacting? I know you were tear-gassed too, but that comes with the territory. Capa says “Get closer!” Well you did. And this is what happens. It’s tough, but just try to keep your cool so you can get the shots. Not TOTALLY cool. After all, you ARE Panos, a hot-headed, big-hearted Greek! But if you get too emotionally involved, your ability to document will be compromised. And then you run the danger of having your photos discounted.

    But stick with it. Just next time bring some protection against the tear gas (check out, and stay cool. Shoot, shoot, shoot…your camera not your mouth ;=)))

    love you

  • He the Korean students and police made the protest into an artform during the 80’s and 90’s, now it has since become a national institution. luvit!

  • Are you, Panos, a participant or a photographer? Are you documenting or acting/reacting?

    super great question…

    i definitely didnt pick up a stone to throw towards a cop… hurt the “little” guy?
    thats a cops job…a cop is the one shooting the 15 year olds..
    nahh.. not me…
    but am i trying deliberately or at least subconsciously to hurt the corrupted greek government?..hmmmm
    i dont know…
    do i agree with the broken store displays..and loss of property?
    nahh not at all..
    most of the protesters were yelling anti-american slogans and old school silly communist crap…
    that made me laugh..not angry…
    but it all started with the murder of a 15 year old..
    yes..that made me take sides..

  • Nacthwey says he channels the anger or frustration or fear he feels with a situation into his photography. Otherwise he becomes useless as someone documenting the events. Although, Panos, I’m pretty sure you’ll never be a totally objective observer. :)

  • Although, Panos, I’m pretty sure you’ll never be a totally objective observer. :)


  • Don’t necessarily be objective but be accurate… And get closer. I didn’t see pictures where you were really close when the ‘action’ took place.

  • Hi John Vink
    How much closer? It seems Panos is close to what he wants to show. And it seems that Panos wants to show what regular newspapers aren’t.
    I just like to understand – no offense at all :)

    Panos – am i right in my assumptions?

  • From Panos: “All that because Greece is close to bankruptcy…
    Despair,high rates of unemployment… corrupted politicians…”

    From BBC:

  • its a single photo..not an essay…i was as “close” as a 28mm can go..

    second..when i posted the link on “cutouts”..i clearly stated that
    i will avoid the typical boring pj cliche “cop hits kid with a button”
    classic crap…now im called out to show some blood…
    sorry folks.. use your imagination for that or go here:


  • Panos close is when you clutch the policeman’s balls and click the shutter

  • Michael..
    once again..u nailed it..
    exactly… thats whats going on here in grecolandia.
    DESPERATION… anything can spark a fire…

  • the funny thing about protests, there is always a bit of fun to have amidst all the mayhem

    That’s the great thing about youthfulness… And hope too.

    Panos, as I wrote you, come take a rest in Thailand this winter. Maybe there will be demos too (yellow shirts vs red shirts), but they don’t check Ids there, or arrest you… No, no fear about that…. They just shoot you in the back from afar (the plainclothes cops that is, or someone)…

    I think every PJ there has a bullet proof vest to work in (Nacthwey too!), or stays home.

    Well, anyway, you are invited! :-)

    I enjoy the slideshow from innerspacecowboy. No judgement, I will put myself in your shoes before I do so!

  • Panos close is when you clutch the policeman’s balls and click the shutter

    laughing hysterically…..

    closer than that is being a tattoo on the cops ass..

  • Haik,

    I have a feeling Panos is not in tune enough with street demos strategies, that he is too much part of the crowd to show the strong moments in an explicit way. How they build up, where the clashes will take place. Being at the right spot a the right time (and that is usually a mere 1 or 2 minutes long), when violence erupts.

    It takes anticipation and proper pre-positioning, all in a very unstable environment. Not easy. But somehow almost all street demos follow the same pattern. It is mostly a quite codified confrontation. What makes it dangerous is the ‘mostly’. Sometimes the pattern is altered a bit and you can get in trouble. And sometimes it really gets out of hand.

    Mind you, being in the right place a the right time takes luck also…

    How much closer? Something like this:,160,2

  • Herve..
    as u very well said..
    just a/my TESTIMONY..
    fuck the truth..
    we got BBC for that..
    we are just lost “artists”…
    ( although my 784 fellow greek students are still detained .. and thats not just the “truth” but simply a “reality”..)

  • Panos, the main thing is you are there and it’s happening. Keep shooting and posting.

  • Panos,

    A “cop hits kid with a button” photograph may be a cliché (although: how can violence become a cliché?) when taken on its own, and would have been one if you had posted only that on Burn. I can agree with that, and agree it is interesting to show something else. But in the slideshow it is another matter. I sincerely feel you’re too much ‘in’ the crowd to makes us feel what it is like.

  • John..:)
    of course ..absolutely…i totally feel you are sincere on the subject..
    i also know u r a famous magnum photog and all that..
    its funny though that the way way u think and shoot is exactly the opposite of
    the way i think , see, live and breath..
    but i cant help it…
    once again the conversation “loose vs tight” comes to my mind..
    old school vs “light”…etc…
    and John u talk and think too “tight” for my “loose”..”loose” brain…
    big hug
    respect and love…
    nothing wrong with that but if you are the “day” then i totally represent the “night” my friend..
    and there is nothing wrong with that..
    two different poles..

  • i still like #18 … :))

  • P
    that 1st shot:
    the beauty…
    take care of yourself….
    you are close enough….
    keep writing!!!!
    your words are strong too…

  • Panos,

    You can take away the “famous”. It is a very relative concept anyhow…
    Loose against tight maybe, but I don’t agree on the old school vs “light”. Old school is not necessarily “heavy” or “not light”.


    yes, #18 is the best single photograph of the bunch…just thought i would save that for the Greek essay coming up…since it is not a newsy photograph and can work in a larger context, i made that decision…didn’t figure i could publish it twice…

  • New York Times article re: Athens

    One photo was posted in the “Pictures of the Day: Monday, December 7.” It is #7

  • Panos,

    I can only imagine what it must have been like in the middle of the melee. Is this the first real ‘combat’ zone you have shot? Where you thinking about getting the “shot” or were you in the middle trying to figure out how to stay safe? I know when I was caught in a street battle between rival gangs in Thailand all I wanted to do was get out of there, and no pics to show for it. As for what is happening on the ground, I think this scenario could happen anywhere, civil rights and liberties have been severely restricted since 9/11 without most paying any attention. What do you do when your government is corrupt, when democracy fails, when the police motto “to serve and protect the people” becomes protect and serve those in power. What do you do when you’ve done everything they told you to do and you still end up broke, unemployed and in debt. What do you do when the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and politicians protect themselves and leave a country in ruin. What do you do? ….You take photos.

    Thanks Panos,


  • David, no explanation necessary of course but that makes total sense and thanks for relating. :)) There are editors, and then there are editors.

  • Amnesty International has accused Greek police of serious rights violations and called on the government to set up an inquiry into “systemic problems”.

    from BBC..

  • Thank u Patricia for the NY Times article..
    They also confirm the 784 detainees and the 136 arrests..
    784 detained…
    ( viva greek police and state of desperation..)

  • Panos…

    First off, congrats for bringing this issue to the front page of Burn and therefore to the attention of thousands around the world who would probably not have known about it if not for you.


    I have to disagree with your statement <>

    For me the picture of a bunch of riot cops kicking a “kid” face down on the ground is a more clear depiction of what’s way wrong in Greece at the moment that tear-gassed people. As you already know, tear gas is in everyday use by the riot police in Greece no matter if there is call for it or not. Hell, I’ve been tear-gassed a dozen times and I can tell you that in none of those times there was a legitimate cause for the use of it—no riot at hand, no desperate need for crowd control, no nothing… it’s just the norm in Athens… chemical warfare by the police against the citizens it supposed to protect and serve.

    the greek police is known to keep taps and lengthy files on anyone who participates in demonstrations—especially the ones around Polytechnio and the US embassy. That’s probably the reason most of the faces in the pictures in the link you posted yesterday (the ones taken by greek pj’s) were blurred out.

    Just a couple thoughts… didn’t have the time to go through all the comments yet… I’ll be in the darkroom all day today and won’t follow the discussion here until late at night.

  • Something when wrong there… you statement I was referring to is:

    …i will avoid the typical boring pj cliche “cop hits kid with a button” classic crap…

  • Thodoris…:)
    i see what u r saying..
    People believe that if u participate in a demo in athens..
    u better be an anarchist…
    In other words …as u can see in my first photo “innocent by passers” were gased too..
    i wasnt trying to show police brutality..
    i was more focused on the aspect that people could get caught into the battlefield accidentally..
    suffer & suffocate without even protesting or anything..
    i was one of those “innocent civilians” myself..
    i hate to say it..
    but i wasnt there to either participate or photograph the event…im not a hero..
    im not Nachtwey either..i got cought by accident..
    Athens on fire is the title..
    not police brutality…
    This is the point that John Vink and most viewers didnt get..
    Im happy though that at least DAH got it..
    thats why no pictures of cop brutality or faces of anarchists…
    i just photographed once again MYSELF getting in the middle of shit…
    big hug

  • …THE TITLE should probably be: “I GOT COUGHT IN THE MIDDLE”

    …..honestly i was photographing myself in the middle of another bullshit…
    i wasnt there to overthrow/depict the government, i wasnt there to show police brutality..
    i dont work for Amnesty…i wasnt there to throw stones..
    i wasnt there to snitch on the kids ( anarchists ???!!) either…
    i was there sort of an accident..
    I just TOOK SIDES in the middle of the event… me unable to breath ,suffocating etc..
    helped me choose which way to go…
    again my photos were “self portraits”
    big hug

  • “…First off, congrats for bringing this issue to the front page of Burn and therefore to the attention of thousands around the world who would probably not have known about it if not for you…”

    ahhh Thodoris.. thank u.. but i dont deserve this kind of credit…
    as i explained above i was just doing self portraits…next u know i got trapped…
    next-ext thing u know..i couldnt get out…
    im like the old lady here( thats how brave i was..;)

  • Frank Michael Hack
    Where you thinking about getting the “shot” or were you in the middle trying to figure out how to stay safe?
    pretty much yes…
    Frank , thank you..
    i second all that you wrote above…
    people lose their liberties more and more each day..
    and nobody seems to care..
    ( we entered the times of the “couch revolution” )

  • Panos:

    damn, I came late to the show…

    glad to see of-the-moment pics here…

    didnt really understand the tear-gas controversy as I just read through the thread..(the top pic is definitely not tear gas, the bottom pic shows protestors who’d been gased), i guess i missed the sequences of events/pictures that stirred that up yesterday…i agree, when shoot spot-news, or any kind of journalistic work, accuracy is paramount, it’s all we have, our word and the ‘word’ of the image……but, looking at it now, seems like the captions are accurate….if they were not yesterday, i can see in the madness of the moment how they might have been misconstrued… but that’s what fact checking does…news is also team work: photographer/editor/reporter…

    it looks fine now…

    most importantly, you’re on the ground and there and please stay safe Panos and keep in close, u r there for a reason, to get it…seems like they followed u from Venice! ;))….

    get those cops balls in your shutter clutch, indeed..that will be close and nostalgic! ;)))

    stay afire, but aware Panos!

  • seems like they followed u from Venice! ;))….
    laughing.. afraid u r once again right!!!! trouble follows me everywhere..
    I was just going for a coffee… and suddenly , god nachtwey or god Aris ( greek god of war )
    appeared in front of me…
    karmic , no???( who knows what the hell was i doing in my previous life????..:)
    Yesterday i was criticized that i took the side of the protesters..
    no, no, no…i tried to stand in the middle and stay out..i just couldnt go anywhere though..
    ( at least for a while )..
    see here:

  • panos :)))

    you’ve got good karma, believe it or not, as i told you :)))…u weren’t detained this time ;)))

    i watched the whole sequence of your pics just now…it’s good stuff, and i see the whole thing unfold, from the pics of old folks to you standing close-close to the riot police (that’s pretty close :)) ), to the madness that ensued….i’ve always like spot-news stuff that shows me the whole damn thing…

    it’s frantic stuff, watching it unfold…im beginning to believe Venice is inside you :)))))))))))

    stay safe brother….glad u got this stuff here so quick…even if u guys had to scramble yesterday….i’ve been there in my past life (newsroom), and it’s always madness…dont sweat it, just keep digging…


  • thank u bob..
    yes , for a non news guy like was pretty quick delivery..
    i’ll take that..:)
    big hug

  • BOB..

    i can testify that cops do indeed follow Panos wherever he goes…and i have said this before and i will say it again, Panos gets stuff to me fast and in good order….i wish everyone would/could do the same…since we do have here photographers all over the world, it might be interesting to see if others follow….i will publish here on Burn any relevant event that our photographers shoot….yes, yes, attribution of facts and accuracy of photo reporting are paramount for this type of work…we did have a bit of a breaking news scramble yesterday, but it was fun for all of us and all comments constructive and helpful….

  • ok..
    i found a new career..
    im calling James Nachtwey & Jim Powers right now..
    Im gonna be shooting cops, protests and wars from now on..
    next stop for a coffee..???
    hmmm , palestine…or israel…

  • PANOS…

    FYI, it was Jim Powers who skyped me right in the middle of the whole thing and suggested i get your story on top for at least the next few hours….he was a damn good news editor….he and i were chatting by skype as i was posting your work…

  • I spent sometime in `90’s living in several Anarchist squats in Athens. I heard many stories from my friends of random arrests, torture and general corruption from the police. Apparently the worst ones at the time were from the motorcycle cops. I agree with John. You need to get ‘closer to your subjects’ to make your photos more compelling. And I don’t mean bright and tight. What I mean is more emotional. But make sure you do it your own way. Look forward to seeing more soon! Be safe okay?

  • DAVID :))))

    i think panos WAS a cop in a former life ;)))

    as i’ve said to u in private and in public, panos is many things but he always delivers the goods, and fast. in a moment like this, that’s a key. since i miss the whole thing unfolding yesterday/last night (finalizing a wrting think that was 6 months late), i only saw this today, and it all looks fine…even if there were bumps experienced, that’s the nature of the biz…i’ve seen the Times get stuff wrong the 1st go around too, that’s just life, aint nothing wrong, that it was properly captioned is testatment to how the 2 of you worked quickly…what i also like too (not found in spot news stuff) is the sequence he supplied (an advantage of the web) which shows us the sequence of events…

    and i feel for u, about all those not getting pics and stuff to u on time…i remember those days too of trying to get people to get stuff to us in time and as promised….generally speaking, i dont like leaving things unfinished/unsent etc…so i understand that…

    good for both of u….:))))

    now i want to see one of Panos up-close stories on both a person from this riot and a cop! :)))


  • David..
    i know i told u that in person ..but i also wanna make it public…
    total respect for Jim and all his contributions/experience…
    Nothing wrong with “tell it like it is”..or “tell it like u believe it is”..
    one thing for sure..Jim is honest…a man of his word..
    and has no fear..( PLUS sense of humor )

  • Bob…hmmm
    actually thats not a bad idea…
    scratching head..

  • BOB…

    Panos as a cop? yea, probably..under deep deep cover….

  • Panos as a deep cover cop? If his cover got any deeper, he’d be in China.

  • vice or DEA? yeah DEA, I don’t think he has the legs for vice …

  • Panos – Mostly, stay safe. Although I would not call good photojournalism “cliche,” you have captured it in a different way and what you have done does tell a story – it takes a little more study to comprehend that story but it comes through with impact.

  • MR P

    looking good …. stay safe ….hugz and cheers vivek

  • John V..:)
    agreed ..removing the word “famous”…sounds too LA for someone like u..
    big hug

    gotcha..big hug also..

    changing my name and heading china..

    i dont have the legs, ha….!!
    (ok..i dont ..:()

    i forgot to thank u the other day when u posted your “accident” story and offered a new perspective..
    thanks again..

    im still scheming to make it to India…
    stay strong.

    leaving athens today, once again…
    seeking for a break…and CLEANER AIR..
    I WILL POST something later on tonight…when i make it to the old city of Amvrakia..
    Going West today…360 km from athens..north west..
    big storm is coming and im determined to greet it..
    Greyhound awaits… i will meet u again in a few hours..
    6 hour trip..
    stay safe and shoot more..
    keep the fire on..
    big hug brothers and sisters…
    Civi…i’ll be in Amvrakia around 5pm..
    meet me in the station..

  • ahhhhh… breaking newa ..Again..:((
    in about an hour from now the OLDER GENERATIONS of athens are about to protest…
    people 70 years old and up… the state is trying to lower their social security wages plus..
    plus raise the age of their eligibility to retire..
    So now the retirees are ready to protest..
    should i leave?
    should i stay or should i go?????

    Damn , All…Civi…what do u think?

  • Get that old leica out they won’t be phased by your digital shit

  • Running to catch up with the Retirees…
    who said they are slow???
    see y’all later on tonight…one more night in the city of mustaches…

  • a civilian-mass audience

    PANOS…again bad weather going West…
    I have a friend …coming this way…waiting for you…

    email-me …civilianma …@…yahooo….com

    let me know…unsafe road conditions…let me know the soonest as NOW

  • Panos — I’d stay, talk about non-cliche protest pictures. :)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    PANOS…I am waiting at the station…

    I am wearing a black hat …handmade logo …BURN ( orange and red…)
    I look weird…people are starring …where are you ???

  • Civi..
    im gonna travel north around 11pm before midnight..
    i’ll make it in Amvrakia around 4am..
    no umbrella…

  • …in the meantime..i just came back from another demonstration…
    The older generation on the streets…
    the Retirees…
    while i was shooting a really cool guy with a heavy british accent asked me:
    who is demonstrating today?
    it turns out to be the Professor of Enviromental Politics and Political Sociology and Director,
    Centre for the Study of Social & Political Movements from the University of Kent…Canterbury UK.
    He is in athens for a few days…etc..
    to make a long story short , we talked philosophy, religion, photography, politics etc…
    We visited the Acropolis, the ancient Cemetary, the Kerameikos, the Roman Agora and all the museums around Plaka..etc… We had Mythos and greek salads and talked about the world..
    Anyway , i have an extended reportage about our visit in those ancient locations..

    PLUS …photos from Demonstrations…

    The municipal workers of Athens are on strike for about a week ( maybe two)..
    garbage piling up to 6 feet height…
    im 6’3″ and and some cases garbage piles were taller than me….
    it was a great day…i will try to post a link before i’ll get on the road tonight heading west..
    trying to meet the storm…
    big hug yall

  • Panos, you seem to have found your place to be and work, your enthusiasm is exploding off the screen. The negativity has evaporated.


  • PANOS…

    any chance of getting a portrait of the mother of the Alexis as we spoke? that would really round out your work here i think….

  • IAN…big thank u..

    Completely different style of narration..
    i hope i wont disappoint anyone..:)

    At this point it is easier to talk to Obama …in person,
    than find Alexis mother…she refuses to meet anyone that is connected with
    the media…Politicians and the cheap, emotional stations (tv) exploited and used the tragic death of Alexis..for publicity and rates…
    They used the murder in a disgusting way..i dont blame her..but i keep trying..
    calling people etc…but at this point nobody trusts nobody..
    but not giving up..

  • ok..ALL..
    as i promised..
    new reportage from the city of Athens ( garbage , trash and ancient glory )

    click below:

  • a civilian-mass audience


    I was waiting to long at the station….hmmmm
    Anyways… the key will be under the 2nd pot …
    Santa …decoration…
    No kidding .

    Safe travels!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    toooo longgggggggggg


  • a civilian-mass audience

    I see now…why you missed the bus…
    you are forgiven….:)))
    ouzo on you though .


  • Love the shot with the dog looming in the foreground.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    JIMMY ,
    your key is ready …!!!

    I told you BURNIANS are coming over …

  • #25….Ancient greeks created magic…modern greeks?…trash….

    Magic always easier with slaves around (democracy too!), trash is when we are all free, life is just that harder…. Without slaves :-))))

  • Ladies & Gentlemen…
    Couple nights ago i was wandering as usual in the city of Mustaches…
    trying in vain to entertain myself..and soon i discovered an amazing band
    called the DUSTBOWL….

  • I have a couple of questions: If you were to get ‘an audience with Obama’ what would you ask him?! And did you find your way out of ALL that garbage?!

    If you have and are now missing garbage, I can recommend a trip to India! NEVER have I seen so much! I failed to escape for months from it, and the smell of it, and who knows what is mixed in with it. People said I was MAD to do the holy dips in the Ganges – they said I was in danger of getting seriously sick but time spent on and in that river was one of the most amazing things ever. But, I so hope a time will come when India’s garbage and the mess everyone contributes to, is sorted out. But then if Gandhi couldn’t do it (he tried pretty hard to get the country to clean up) who can? What a joy to spend time in Thailand which is so very clean in comparison!

    Awewome that second image above! It looks like an amazing experience all in all in Athens!

    Enjoy it!

    Jenny : )

  • Jenny thank you..
    sorry missed that comment…
    hmmm the Obama question…
    let me think ..totally unprepared…
    ( i need to be politically correct on this one…coz i like the guy..)
    big hug

  • panos skoulidas
    March 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm
    sorry..that is the greek room…

    panos skoulidas
    March 11, 2010 at 1:12 pm
    OK ALL..FIVE MORE MINUTES..and i’ll post a slideshow…
    today it was the most intense street fights i ever witnessed…
    in the streets of Athens…
    big fat greek mess…
    at one point when the chemicals were getting dropped like crazy…
    i thought i saw zoriah… sorry i meant to say “messiah”…
    (oh btw..who wants to sign in for a greek workshop called Athens on Fire?
    i only charge $8000 euro and u get the Tear gas for FREE…yes free..
    the last day free field trip to Acropolis..
    stay tuned..couple more minutes..



    panos skoulidas
    March 11, 2010 at 1:17 pm
    BIG FAT GREEK SLIDESHOW?…why not? click below:

  • Officer given life for boy’s murder in Greek riot case

    Witnesses said Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot deliberately
    A Greek policeman has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering a schoolboy in 2008, an incident that sparked mass unrest.

    A court in the town of Amfissa convicted Epaminondas Korkoneas, 38, of intentionally killing 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos.

    He was shot dead on 6 December 2008 in the Athens neighbourhood of Exarchia.

    Korkoneas’s patrol partner, Vassilios Saraliotis, 32, was given a 10-year jail sentence for complicity.

    Continue reading the main story
    Related stories

    Relief at Greece police verdict
    In pictures: Anniversary violence
    Rebellion deeply embedded
    The riots that followed the killing saw cars being set alight and shops looted in a number of cities. Hundreds of businesses in Athens were targeted and the second city of Thessaloniki also saw serious unrest.

    Further rioting took place on the first anniversary.

    ‘We will not forget’
    The verdict from a panel of judges and jurors was 4-3 in favour of convicting Korkoneas of intentionally shooting Alexandros.

    Continue reading the main story

    Malcolm Brabant
    BBC News, Athens
    The decision, by the smallest possible margin, to convict Epaminondas Korkoneas of murder closes one of the darkest chapters of recent Greek history and is a source of considerable relief for the country’s socialist government.

    Anything other than a guilty verdict could have triggered a violent response from the country’s youth, many of whom regard the police with suspicion, mistrust and outright hatred.

    The outcome is a source of grim satisfaction for the family of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos, who had fully expected “The Rambo of Exarchia” to be convicted of murder.

    Alexandros’s mother Gina Tsakilian, who runs a jewellery store in Athens, was highly distressed by attempts by Korkoneas’s defence team to paint her son as a troublemaker and the verdict helps to restore his memory.

    Two judges and one juror had backed a lesser verdict of manslaughter with possible intent.

    The nine-month trial heard that Korkoneas had fired three shots, during an altercation with youths on the streets of Athens.

    His lawyer said these had been warning shots – responding to a hail of missiles – and cited an autopsy report indicating the boy had been hit by a ricocheting bullet.

    However, witnesses and relatives testified that Korkoneas had deliberately taken aim and fired.

    At the trial in January, Alexandros’s mother, Gina Tsakilian, said the two defendants were “monsters in the guise of men”.

    Responding to the verdict, her spokesman, Capt Andreas Constantinou, said: “The family is happy with the outcome of the court proceedings. Justice has been done.

    “Of course, Alexandros is not coming back, but at least what is important for the family is that his good name has been restored.”

    The trial was moved from Athens to Amfissa – a small town 200km (120 miles) west of the capital – to deter attacks by anarchist groups that had vowed to kill the two defendants.

    Exarchia is a rebellious district, popular with self-styled anarchists, and there are frequent clashes with police.

    Saraliotis (left) and Korkoneas denied the charges
    The BBC’s Malcolm Brabant in Athens says the chairman of the residents’ association there, Manos Koufouglou, had told him he welcomed the verdict.

    But Mr Koufouglou said that while tensions had eased, the people of Exarchia remained unhappy that the armed Special Guard unit to which Korkoneas belonged had not been disbanded.

    “Police violence goes on,” he told our correspondent. “The government has not done enough to reform the police.

    “There will be a demonstration to mark the anniversary of the murder. We will not forget.”

Leave a Reply

You must login to post a comment.