Ioanna Sakellaraki

Born in 1989 in Athens, Greece, Ioanna currently lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She documents urban decay and lost architectural ruins and she focuses part of her work on memory and territory. She is interested in the relationship between her practice and ideas relating to aesthetically “mapping” the historical and contemporary context of relations with global and social systems of power. In the past, she has collaborated with Caters News Agency and she is currently a Contributor for Barcroft Media. She has steadily pursued photography for the last five years. She holds a Photography Diploma and she is also a graduate of Journalism and post-graduate of European Urban Cultures.

Home And Away

My interest in memory and territory is strongly connected with my homeland Greece which has an archetypical aura and ambiguous personal importance. This series is an effort to reconnect with a land I know and I don’t, as a patriot and as a visitor and collector of experiences. I am very interested in elements deriving from memory, myth, symbolism as well as ethnographic identity for enriching a multi-layered narrative. I am exploring the fine line between desire and obsession through uneasy portraits standing for isolation and despair.

Greece is a place that no matter the warmth and appeal it may have geographically for the rest of Europe or even the world, say because of its rich historical and philosophical background or the splendid islands with bleeding sunsets, it never appealed to me. During this series, I felt that I should belong somewhere with my presence but I am consciously absent from it. There is a relationship but parts of it are missing or have never been established until now. It is like myself; incomplete. Through this work I am looking for home while being at home and away.

After the death of my father, I strangely realised that I was part of a socio- cultural context I had never actively participated in; the funeral, the religious rituals, the morals and customs, the contact with family and relatives that I had consciously neglected for the past seven years. I started making photos, at first of what I couldn’t understand, and secondly, of what I felt I was experiencing for the first time. And I discovered a whole new world I had shut my eyes from or perhaps I had never actually really seen. Through this series, I backtrack familial bonds and I symbolically link them to the wider context of cultural and behavioural patterns within my own country, I learn from them and I learn about me.

To view more of Ioanna’s work please visit her website.