• Red Light - Women for sale

    The illegal trade in people with the purpose of sexually exploiting them is a modern form of slavery. Sexual trafficking is a very lucrative business for criminal networks that encourage mostly immigrant women to enter a country, only to hold them hostage.

    The rules of the game are harsh, women find themselves pushed to prostitution and the sex industry by traffickers through false promises, physical abuse and blackmail. With Greece being at the crossroads between continents, immigrant women are trafficked into the country from parts of the world as diverse as Africa, Asia or Eastern Europe.

    The girls, helpless, get stuck in Athens or in rural towns with little hope of getting out. While there are a number of organizations addressing the issue, either by supporting the physically and psychologically traumatized girls or by persecuting their abusers, there is little doubt that the clients who fuel the sex industry bear a significant amount of the responsibility. It is that realization that brings the harsh reality of sex slavery much closer to our own lives.

  • Free Smoking

    Smoking is a habit that people find equally enjoyable or repulsive. In Greece it has been a "guilty pleasure" for centuries, a practice tightly connected with the country's traditions, adding perhaps a touch of orientalism.

    But what happens when the E.U. decides that smoking affects not only active smokers but also passive ones? Smoking has been proved to be the cause of serious diseases, such as cancer.

    A first law imposing partial bans on smoking was introduced in Greece in July 2009 but went largely unnoticed. On September 1, 2010, the ban was introduced again, fully prohibiting smoking in all public spaces. Nevertheless, in Greece, such as in Spain, a great number of restaurant/bar owners choose to ignore it, claiming not only that their business is harmed by the ban in a time of crisis, but that smoking is also a right which must not be violated.

    A steamy debate has begun among smokers and non-smokers, creating only another battle that puzzles the habitants of the country, and makes laws brittle and weak.

  • Battlefield

    Until the 60s, it used to be one of the most beautiful areas in the center of Athens. Today, Agios Panteleimonas Square, with the commanding Orthodox Church, has turned into an unofficial war zone among certain Greeks and the rapidly increasing immigrant population, and a neighborhood of poverty and violence.

    During the 90s, many legal and illegal immigrants flocked to this area in search of cheap accommodation. As the years passed and the number of immigrants kept increasing, with many of them sleeping around the square or squatting abandoned houses, the Greeks got wary of their presence and conflict began.

    In 2008, certain residents of the area, with the support of extreme right-wing groups resolved that, if the state was reluctant to do something, they would act themselves. Citizen patrols appeared, using violence to repel the immigrants. The message sent to the foreigners was sharp and clear: they were not wanted.

    In the past 2 years, the once only sporadic incidents against immigrants gradually became more frequent and more violent; the streets around the square are no longer safe for dark-skinned people.

    Hatred has become deeply rooted, and the opposing sides are trapped in a gridlock with no common ground.