Panos Charalampidis and Mary Chairetaki are a Greek photographic duo, living in Crete. They investigate the world together, while evolving a common photographic vision. Their artistic work combines a strong personal perspective with that of documentary and conceptual-fictional practices. They like to be committed to long-term projects, immersing into their subject matter. They practice photography in order to understand. This procedure simultaneously serves their artistic expression.

Over the next months we will showcase the finalists and winners of Verzasca Foto Festival Awards 2019. Verzasca Foto is a festival taking place in the small village of Sonogno Val Verzasca, located in the Swiss Alps, from 5th to 8th September 2019.

Here it is "Cornucopia" by Panos Charalampidis and Mary Chairetaki, third prize of the award:

“Cornucopia” (horn of plenty), is a personal artistic research on the Lassithi plateau’s elusive identity. Lassithi plateau, situated at 840m ASL on the island of Crete, is a natural fortress with a particularly fertile land, surrounded by mountains. First inhabited during the Neolithic age, it became a major cult place of the Minoan civilization. This rich land which has nourished the inhabitants of Crete for centuries, is the same place that according to the myth, Zeus was born in a cave and according to another myth is the bridal bed of Europa. The plateau, similar to other Greek rural areas, has been under economic stress long before the generalized crisis. Young people are fleeting away, and the population is shrinking. 

Being part of a continent that gallops towards an unknown future, we investigate the contemporary imagery of a lost link, that is part of the core mythology of Europe, seeking the possibility of the existence of a place’s resilient identity, that can only be found in the verge of the imaginary. As reflective practitioners, we persistently confront our experiences of this place, while shaping an unintended path that is open to interpretation.