20 Instagrammers packed their bags and travelled around Greece with one mission: To bring back pictures of the country taken with a fresh eye, as we have never seen it before.
Who gave them this mission, you may ask. It was the Project Unseen Greece! A project for the Greece that we love, as we want its visitors to see it. So, we called in the “experts”. 20 people with a special eye, that makes them stand out on Instagram. (@yiannisampatziadis @kostas__nk @servetasvas @the_noise_diary @andreasne @dimitrism_ @stacygi @ahappycloud @mattlouder @liapavlo @george_bozouris @aris_katsigiannis @fanellas @biglebo @jamestopaloglou @irini_ioto @kastrinakisst @ledart @isvoss @sixtwelve)
This unforgettable journey included stops at Santorini, Zagorochoria, Meteora, Mani, Hydra, Athens, Ioannina, Thessaloniki, Chania, Halkidiki, Mykonos, Florina, Kalavryta, Kastoria, Katerini, Nafplio, Piraeus & Prespes.
Despite the sometimes adverse weather, with rain, wind, waves and cold temperatures, nothing curbed their enthusiasm and determination for their mission.
The 20 photographers went to places they loved or to places they wanted to visit and uncovered a new side of them, far from the traditional concept of a “tourist destination”. Besides, once most of the people have left, these places breathe and showcase their grandeur, hospitality and uniqueness without any pretence.
People go back to living at a different pace and readily offer a smile. In the few open restaurants, dishes are prepared and offered with care. “Give these kids some food, they are tired”.
Once they heard about the reason of the trip, they felt proud. Despite our differences, Greece unites us, and we all want its images to be recognised.
And that’s why they embraced the Project Unseen Greece. They are all eager to see the final result (okay, Mrs Stavroula from Mani might be more eager than others).
Quotes from Instagrammers
Fanis Pavlopoulos’ Santorini had cold temperatures, wind, but also the colours of winter. “The fact that Santorini’s landscape is world famous was a challenge for me. I chose to visit a place that has been photographed infinite times and I believed that there was no place on the island that had never been on a picture. When I arrived, it was empty and I saw landscapes that were completely different from those we are used to seeing. While looking for images beyond Oia and Fira, I learned that the island has a magnificent lighthouse.
Aris Katsigiannis has only positive things to say about his experience: “I am really proud to have participated in a project to promote Greece abroad! It is certainly an honour to have my personal look be a source of inspiration and a means of showing the hidden beauty of Zagorochoria. It was an experience I had thanks to my job as a photographer, which I love, and this made me even prouder”. “In recent years, Greece’s promotional and communication strategy seems to be on the right track, but I think we have to… stay away from clichés! Greece is world famous for its summer, but there is so much beauty beyond that, which needs to be uncovered! I firmly believe that we need to stay clear of the summer photo cliché and the “Unseen Greece” project is the perfect vehicle to convey another Greece to the world, one that is a year-round ideal destination”.
George Bouzouris: “Participating in the #UnseenGreece project was a very special experience for me. I was happy to have my love for photography recognised, but it was also an opportunity for me to photographically capture my home country in a different light. I am positive that accomplishing this challenge using a mobile phone with incredible specs, such as Huawei’s Mate 20, made this experience even more special. The idea of replacing my professional camera with a top-of-the-range mobile phone initially troubled me, but eventually it helped making the project really unforgettable to me”.
For Lia Pavlopoulou, the winter scenery of Mani, combined with the absence of people, gave immediacy to every place that you cannot easily perceive when visiting it at other times.
I had the urge to stop after every corner and take some snaps. I felt I was elsewhere. It reminded me a lot of Ireland and the Highlands. This wild landscape, the sky, the clouds, the colours of the sunset, the sound of the waves hitting the rocks, the air, cannot be described in words… They will remain engraved forever in my mind. The route from Vathia to Tenaro, including Vathia itself, is an absolute must. Of course, don’t miss the local salad!
For Yannis Porphyropoulos, the most interesting aspect of the whole project is that using a non-traditional photographic tool you can approach the Greek landscape in a non-traditional photographic way. In this way, we could change or develop our point of view on things. The biggest challenge in this project was to scavenge for images that were somewhat unpredictable and not so “touristy”, far from familiar imagery.
This journey was a unique experience for everyone, which did not end upon their return. On the contrary, it starts now. As these pictures become part of the Hellenic Tourism Organisation’s campaign, the country’s beauties, seen through a modern lens, will reach the world.
Explore all the photos under the #UnseenGreece hashtag on Instagram and find all the details of the journey on the website.
Unseen Greece is a Project inspired by Huawei, launching the new Huawei Mate20 Pro, with its 3 all-powerful Leica cameras. It’s a present-project for all Greeks.