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A small photograph, the only one to have been preserved among thousands of photos.

Michalis is an amateur photographer. When he was left on the streets – he explains that he is homeless and is housed by the municipality of Athens – he couldn’t take his photos with him. He gave them to a friend, who put them in boxes and stored them in his basement, which was later flooded. The only photograph he kept with him is this one. He shows us the photograph and describes:

Michalis and Michalis. I am the baby that you can see here and this is my grandfather holding me. The only one I kept from all the photographs. As an amateur, I was taking portraits, landscapes, everything […] in Athens and during vacations in the summer.

He narrates that he had an AE1 CANON, which, as he tells us, was one of the best cameras 30 years ago. He had spent a lot of money to buy it, but he really liked photography.

I would like to go [to the basement] to see, but I don’t want to, because it was flooded, unfortunately, and he also lost a lot of his own belongings. I am afraid to go and see, I don’t know what I will find.

He tells us that the photograph was taken 64 years ago, when he was two years old, and that it was passed down to him from his mother. He believes it’s his good luck charm.

I kept it in my wallet because it means a lot to me […] It’s Michalis and Michalis. I took my grandfather’s name, that’s mostly why I kept it.

Michalis explains that he now takes pictures with this phone but he doesn’t find it satisfying: it doesn’t attract him as he has other priorities, first and foremost those of survival. He hopes that later, if everything turns out well and he finds a job, he will be able to pursue photography more. Continuing, he highlights that the emotions one feels don’t come from the photographs, but rather, from the camera you take the photos with; the item and the camera. He doesn’t think that the phone is a camera.

That’s the whole thing, that’s what photography is: capturing something that you saw and which you want to show to others.


Creator of object:
Place / Country of creation:
Year / Era of creation:
Michalis Samolis
Type / Description of object:
Family photo (Michalis & Michalis)
Object route:
Year / Era of movement:
1961 – present
Reason of movement:
License of digital image:

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