Gypsies have long been marginalized in Greek society, often living in poverty; photographer Nikos Economopoulos captures their daily lives
"Being on the road, traveling without a predetermined purpose, looking around me with visual curiosity and being surprised by what I encounter. While shooting, somehow, thinking is suspended. It is like playing a game with reality"
- Nikos Economopoulos
Nikos Economopoulos was born in the Peloponnese, Greece. He studied law in Parma, Italy, and worked as a journalist. In 1988, he started photographing in Greece and Turkey, and eventually abandoned journalism to dedicate himself to photography.
He joined Magnum in 1990, and his photographs began appearing in newspapers and magazines around the world.
In the same period, he started traveling and photographing extensively around the Balkans. The work in the Balkans won him the Mother Jones Award (San Francisco, CA) for work in progress. Upon the completion of his Balkans project in 1994, he became a full member of Magnum. His book In The Balkans was published in 1995 in New York (Abrams) and in Athens (Libro).
In the 1990s, he started working on borders and crossings, photographing the inhabitants of the ‘Green Line’ in Cyprus, the irregular migrants on the Greek-Albanian borderline, and the mass migration of ethnic Albanians fleeing Kosovo.
In the mid-1990s, he started photographing the Roma and other minorities. In 2000, he completed a book project on the Aegean islands storytellers, commissioned by the University of the Aegean. A retrospective of his work titled Economopoulos, Photographer was published in 2002 and later exhibited at the Benaki Museum, Athens.
Returning to Turkey, he pursued his long-term personal project, where he received the Abdi Ipektsi award (2001), for peace and friendship between Greek and Turkish people.
He has recently turned to the use of color. Currently, he is spending most of his time away from Greece, traveling, teaching and photographing around the world, in the context of his long-term On The Road project.