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Entries in Dan Giannopoulos (11)

Tuesday
Dec032013

Vegas in 8mm

Posted by: Dan Giannopoulos

A few years ago, following the death of my grandfather, my gran sold up their family home and moved in with my aunt. During the house clear out I found a bag full of old 8mm and super 8mm tapes that my grandad had shot. It's taken me a while to convert the films over to digital. Most are typical family videos taken from holidays in Spain or somewhere in the UK in 1960s and 70s. They've revealed a world that my grandparents and mother and aunts and uncle lived before I was born. Most are likely meaningless to anyone outside my family. but I figured that I would share this reel just because I think it's cool. the footage was shot in Las Vegas and Boulder City among other places. 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Nov062012

Behind the Photo: 2008 US Election Night Portraits

Posted By Dan Giannopoulos

Since I am in Chicago at the moment covering a story on the upcoming presidential election I thought it would be interesting to revisit some of the portraits I shot on election night in Grant Park, Chicago back in November 2008.

November 4th 2008 saw one of the largest public gatherings in Chicago's history. 240,000 + people descended on Grant park to witness Illinois state senator Barack Obama become the 44th president elect of the USA in a landslide victory over his rival John McCain. His subsequent speech from Hutchinson field in Grant park, has become one of the defining moments in the history of American politics. For many Americans Obama's election to office is a ray of hope in a Country witnessing an economic and social meltdown.

Voters watch the election results come back in on giant Jumbotron tvs set up in Grant Park. 04/11/2008. Image © Dan Giannopoulos

Image © Dan Giannopoulos

 

Image © Dan GiannopoulosImage © Dan Giannopoulos

 

Image © Dan GiannopoulosImage © Dan Giannopoulos

 

Image © Dan Giannopoulos

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Stories By Dan Giannopoulos

2008 US Presidential Election - By Dan Giannopoulos  

November 4th 2008 saw one of the largest public gatherings in Chicago's history. 240,000 + people descended on Grant park to witness Illinois state senator Barack Obama become the 44th president elect of the USA in a landslide victory over his rival John McCain. His subsequent speach from Hutchinson field in Grant park, has become one of the defining moments in the history of American politics.

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Losing Dennis: A family's struggle with the impact of dementia- By Dan Giannopoulos

Dennis was 86 years of age when on the 30th August 2008 he suffered a major stroke, paralyzing the left hand side of his body. After 2 months in hospital he was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. Vascular Dementia is a condition that causes a progressive decline in the mental abilities of its sufferer. Its onset is characterised by a loss of memory as well as deterioration of one's ability to carry out everyday activities. The sufferer's personality and behavior become markedly different. Dementia not only impacts on the life of the sufferer it also irrevocably changes the lives of the sufferer's loved ones. Victims, once active and independent, are reliant on others to complete basic tasks. Families struggle to cope with the loss of the person they knew whilst dealing with the immediate reality of the victim's condition and the associated frustrations.  ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Orphaned Elderly of Kathmandu - By Dan Giannopoulos  

Pashupati Briddhashram Social Welfare Home for the Elderly sits on the outskirts of Kathmandu near the grounds of Nepal's most holy Hindu site of Pashupatinath. It houses approximately 240 residents. These residents suffer from many illnesses associated with old age; including paralysis, failing eyesight and deterioration of mental faculties.

There are currently only 9 carers at the facility, who struggle to cope with treating even the most basic of ailments due to chronic shortages in food, medication and sanitation supplies.

Major political upheaval in Nepal has led to the near collapse of a reliable health care system, especially in rural areas... Read more>

Thursday
Oct252012

Behind the Photo: Georgios Papandreou and Baghdadi Mahmudi

Posted by Dan Giannopoulos

 

Image©Dan Giannopoulos. Greek Prime Minister Giorgios Papandreou Greets Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mamoud at his Home in Athens. Mamoud was in Greece for talks regarding Libya's commitment to helping Greece emerge from its debt crisis.

I often look at my life and see that it is shaped by the ridiculous mistakes I’ve made. The things I’ve entered into without consideration for the consequences; tackling the grade 3+ white water rapids of Nepal’s Trisuli, Upper Seti and Lower Seti rivers without having even the basic understanding of Eskimo rolls or kayak safety under my belt. (In hindsight this poor judgement call turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.)

There was also the time that a friend and I trekked through the wilderness of Tongariro National park in New Zealand, without the benefit of sufficient mountain clothing, food, water and knowledge of changeable mountain conditions. After 8 hours of trekking through the centre of a storm that turned rock faces into waterfalls and rope bridges into swinging death traps over 30 metre drops into rushing water, we found a remote hut in which my friend slumped unconscious, feeling the impact of advanced hypothermia - not before kicking the absentee hutwarden’s door to steal provisions. This seemed like a poor decision in most ways that night, whilst I sat in the dark trying to work out how I was going to get my friend’s lifeless body off the mountain. The next day when he had recovered and we had made some bizarre tea and lentil concoction to sustain us on the journey back down, the near catastrophe of the day before was all made totally worthwhile by us being the only people on the mountain to witness the majestic sight of billowing cotton white clouds rolling silently through the blue sky into the valley before us.

 

image©Dan Giannopoulos. Captain Wei Jaifu, Chief executive of The world's largest shipping company COSCO leaves Greek Prime minister Georgios Papandreou's Home after talks about COSCO's continued commitment to investing in the Greek economy

In 2010 I travelled to Athens to cover the fallout of the passing of a controversial austerity bill that would impact greatly on the daily lives of the entire Greek population who were expected to bail out a corrupt government system that had bankrupted itself.

Protests in Greece have become something of a focus for the media coverage of the descent of the country in to financial hell. I had felt a little dismayed at the coverage and wanted to explore in a more abstract sense. But a story was not forthcoming. A week earlier 3 employees of a branch of the Marfin Bank in central Athens were killed in a Fire-bomb attack that was blamed squarely on anarchist groups but the public were not so sure the finger was being pointed in the right direction. Nevertheless the city had taken on a tone of solemn contemplation. 

 

image ©Dan Giannopoulos. Greek Security staff await the arrival of Libyan Prime minister Baghdadi Mamoud whilst Greek Prime minister Georgios Papandreou stands in the doorway of is Home

On my last day in Athens I decided to walk to Syntagma Square to kill time before my flight back to London.  On my way I walked past the then Prime minister Georgios Papandreou’s Athens residence. Outside there were several men in black suits standing around with aviator sunglasses and earpieces looking all official and bodyguard-like. I asked one if he could tell me what was happening. He told me that Papandreou was meeting with various politicians and business people to talk about strengthening investment in the country. At that moment he was meeting with Wei Jiafu, the head of Chinese shipping giant Cosco; they were specifically discussing Cosco’s investment into the Port of Pireus

I decided to wait around and take pictures of what was going on outside. Wei Jiafu left and Papandreou’s next guest arrived; Baghdadi Mahmudi (the Prime Minister of Libya from 2006 to 2011). I was invited with other photographers to take photographs in the driveway of Papandreou’s residence and then was ushered into the building to a front room where Papandreou and Mahmudi shook hands and posed for the local press.. and myself. I then left and travelled on my way to Syntagma square. A little while later I returned on my way back to pick up my luggage to head to the airport.

I was approached by two men in suits and a woman with a face like it was carved from granite. What ensued was a 45 minute interrogation as to what I was doing here and why I had been taking photographs of Papandreou.

‘Do you just walk into Number 10 uninvited’  the granite-faced woman asked

‘No. Number Ten has better security and more competent guards’

‘You know that it is only local photographers that are allowed into here?’

‘If I’d known that do you think I’d go in?.’  (I had shown my press card to one of the agents before even entering the gated driveway of the premises.)

I was asked to go through the images on my camera and informed that I had to delete the ones taken inside the building. Whilst scanning through an image of the granite-faced woman appeared and I made a casual joke about her looking happy in the picture. She was not impressed and was more insistent than ever about deleting it.

After all my details were logged including my press card number my address in Athens my address in the UK my mother’s details my father’s details, what I had for breakfast, what I use to treat piles and a load more I was free to go. All told, this endeavour proved to be one of those foolish decisions that turned out to be okay in the end. Who knows I could have photographed an aeroplane and I would probably still be in a Greek prison now.

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Stories By Dan Giannopoulos

Angkor - By Dan Giannopoulos  

The Kingdom of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage site and once the seat of the Khmer empire, is the largest city of the Pre-industrial world. flourishing from the 9th to the 13th centuries. During the rule of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s, whose re -setting of the clock to year zero resulted in the abolition of religion and established culture, many of the intricate reliefs and architecture of the Kingdom were severely damaged. The following images aim to look at the beauty of Angkor in a new light where the ghosts of Cambodia's past merge with the vast remains of this beautiful kingdom.

 

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Greek Debt Crisis - By Dan Giannopoulos  

On the 5th of May 2010 Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou passed a controversial Austerity Bill to ensure a 145 billion Euro bailout package from the European Union and the IMF (International Monetary Fund). Enabling Greece's recovery from crippling debts.

The bill which involved sweeping pay cuts, tax hikes and increases to pensionable age was met with widespread condemnation from Greeks. On a day of violent protests against the passing of the bill 3 people including a pregnant woman were killed when a firebomb was thrown at a branch of Marfin Egnatia Bank.

 

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Losing Dennis: A family's struggle with the impact of dementia- By Dan Giannopoulos

Dennis was 86 years of age when on the 30th August 2008 he suffered a major stroke, paralyzing the left hand side of his body. After 2 months in hospital he was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. Vascular Dementia is a condition that causes a progressive decline in the mental abilities of its sufferer. Its onset is characterised by a loss of memory as well as deterioration of one's ability to carry out everyday activities. The sufferer's personality and behavior become markedly different. Dementia not only impacts on the life of the sufferer it also irrevocably changes the lives of the sufferer's loved ones. Victims, once active and independent, are reliant on others to complete basic tasks. Families struggle to cope with the loss of the person they knew whilst dealing with the immediate reality of the victim's condition and the associated 

Wednesday
Sep262012

Work in Progress: World Of Soul Motorcycle Community

Posted By Dan Giannopoulos

During the final days of the 2008 US Presidential election campaign I travelled to the US to photograph various pro-Obama grassroots groups in and around the Chicago area; from the Buddhists For Obama to the Oak Park Phone bank, to spending time with a group called the World of Soul Motorcycle Community, a civic group whose focus was to encourage voter participation in the election.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The World of Soul Motorcycle Community, Inc. is a national motorcyclists association based in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded by Terry Hardy. Its website serves as an official social network for a progressive membership-based motorcyclist association with over 8,500 motorcycle clubs, motorcycle related organisations and their members and independent bikers from across the country engaged in recreational travel, club activities and community-oriented projects. 

In the 4 years since I first met members of this community, they have built as a civic outreach organisation. But with the upcoming presidential election fast approaching, their community is trying to develop new strategies in order to engage its subculture on the issue of voter apathy in the approach to the 2012 election campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr Hardy said recently of the problems the World of Soul community faces in the upcoming election season;

"we went to a rally outside of President Obama's campaign headquarters where protesters were burning their voter registration cards. I had an opportunity to speak with them and it appeared that what I had to say put many of them to shame whilst also encouraging them to have a much more constructive dialogue on the issues that matter"

 

The World Of Soul Motorcycle Community has recently expanded outreach efforts by encouraging its Chicago area constituency of motorcyclist and advocate members to become voter registrars.

As part of the process, World of Soul Motorcycle Community has been certified as a state of Illinois bona-fide civic organization to facilitate voter registrar training and registration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Below; Terry Hardy founder and CEO of the World of Soul Motorcycle Community interviews The BBC's Andrew Marr for the World of Soul Motorcycle Community Radio show

 

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2008 US Presidential Election - By Dan Giannopoulos  

November 4th 2008 saw one of the largest public gatherings in Chicago's history. 240,000 + people descended on Grant park to witness Illinois state senator Barack Obama become the 44th president elect of the USA in a landslide victory over his rival John McCain. His subsequent speach from Hutchinson field in Grant park, has become one of the defining moments in the history of American politics.

 

 

Friday
Aug032012

Dan Giannopoulos selected as a finalist for 2012 Photocrati fund

Posted by Aletheia Photos

Dan Giannopoulos' essay The Orphaned Elderly of Kathmandu has been selected as one of 25 finalists for the 2012 Photocrati Fund.

This judging panel for this year's grant includes: 

Steve McCurry
Michael “Nick” Nichols
Jim Brandenburg

 

To view the amazing work of the other finalists visit the Photocrati fund blog

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The Orphaned Elderly of Kathmandu - By Dan Giannopoulos  

Pashupati Briddhashram Social Welfare Home for the Elderly sits on the outskirts of Kathmandu near the grounds of Nepal's most holy Hindu site of Pashupatinath. It houses approximately 240 residents. These residents suffer from many illnesses associated with old age; including paralysis, failing eyesight and deterioration of mental faculties.

There are currently only 9 carers at the facility, who struggle to cope with treating even the most basic of ailments due to chronic shortages in food, medication and sanitation supplies.

Major political upheaval in Nepal has led to the near collapse of a reliable health care system, especially in rural areas... Read more>