Gianmarco Maraviglia – The Body in Crisis

P. 22. Student at University in the countryside. Two weeks after the referendum, in which Greece delivered its future to the hands of the European Institutions. He received a phone call from his father, who told him he could not send him the money as usual, because of the new control on capitals. A few days later, P. receives his first client.

Gianmarco Maraviglia

The Body in Crisis

According to a study by the Greek Center for Social Sciences, prostitution has increased by 150% in two years. The economic crisis that has afflicted Greece for years has had very profound, sometimes intimate, effects. In the center of Athens, around Omonia Square, dozens of prostitutes, often drug addicts; sell their bodies for a few Euros in crooked hotels.

In the side streets, people use heroin out in the open. Porn movie theaters offer dark rooms where young boys offer sex to the elderly. In a park nearby, young refugees, often minors, escaped from hell, end up selling themselves for 3 or 4€. In some streets, there are many illegal brothels. As soon as you open the door, girls are offered as if they were on the market. Everyone knows, but the institutions are not in a position to intervene.

There is no money for assistance, help or protection, and this is the true price of the crisis, which affects the weaker population segments. Once a family’s economic support has failed, even young, well-off students, have decided to prostitute themselves. Behind all of this, there is exploitation, trafficking, organized crime, or, for the lucky ones, only struggle for survival.




Gianmarco Maraviglia, born in 1974, works on long-term projects such as the story of his daughter Olivia, entitled Olivia’s Roots; whose grandparents were born in four different countries. Maraviglia documented these countries in order to tell the story of a little girl who embodies traditions, language, and culture. Looking for an alternative perspective, he then told the story of the revolution in Egypt through eyes of the underground movement; skate, parkour, hip hop… a more social and cultural revolution than politics. For several years he has been working on the topic of religion; first with the Global Religion project, which is a documentation of all foreign religions practiced in Italy. Secondly, with the long work EVA, an alternative vision of the sacred places of Christianity. He has been traveling for a year to the Caucasus with his colleague Karl Mancini, to tell the unrecognized countries born of the collapse of the Soviet Empire, with the Blooming Generation project. This work is narrated through the stories of young people born after independence, and their research of national and cultural identity. His work has been published by Newsweek, CNN, Washington Post, Wired, Marie Claire, Corriere della Sera, Die Zeit, Cicero, Mare amongst others. Maraviglia is the founder of the Echo Photojournalism agency and a photojournalism professor at the European Design Institute.

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Gianmarco Maraviglia

3 Responses to “Gianmarco Maraviglia – The Body in Crisis”

  • Quality pictures but I don’t feel informed or moved in any way.

  • Photography as subject sanitisation

  • I would love for Gianmarco to respond here. What was happening in your mind during the shooting and the editing to wind up with this set? Harry and Imants: I’m sure the Gianmarco’s intent isn’t to bore or wash over what’s going on.

    Burn is at it’s best when there’s a dialogue about what worked and what didn’t that takes both audience and photographer higher.

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