Marinos Tsagkarakis was born (1984) and raised in the island of Crete, in Southern Greece. He studied contemporary photography at STEREOSIS Photography School, in Thessaloniki, Greece. He is a member of the collective “Depression Era” that inhabits the urban and social landscapes of the economic crisis in his home country. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions and international festivals, including Mois De La Photo in Paris, European Month of Photography in Budapest, Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Athens Biennale, FOCUS Photography Festival in Mumbai and Fotoistanbul. Moreover, he has exhibited his photographs in important art spaces such as Benaki Museum (Athens), Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris), Museo de Bogotá (Colombia) and several galleries in Canada, USA and Europe.
Why do you photograph on film?
There are some features of the film that digital photography cannot bit them. First of all, film gives us the opportunity to create images as they really are, with all of the flaws and the mistakes. A roll of film is charmingly imperfect, capturing images with grain, signs etc. Of course a digital camera can offer a more flawless image, but there is something about the imperfections that occur in a film shot that can make them realistic and more beautiful. Moreover, there is something about the colours of film that digital just can’t seem to match. The wider dynamic range of film, coupled with beautiful colours gives film a very special look. In addition, I feel a great satisfaction picking up some films and prints from the lab. Seeing an image in print is something very useful and photographers don’t do enough in the modern era, since the images stay on the monitor of the computer. Finally, I always have in mind that “you can’t beat the real thing.
What is your work about?
My last photographic project is “Paradise Inn”. “Paradise Inn” is an ongoing photographic project, which started in 2012, aiming to highlight the consequences of this massive and uncontrolled tourist development. In Greece, as in Southern Europe in general, these effects are reflected on the constructed landscape mostly through the unregulated and shoddy architecture, the kitsch and folklore decoration, the construction and adoption of artificial elements and entertainment structures, the falsification of identity and cultural heritage, the violation of the natural environment and finally the desolation that occurs after peak season. The tourist industry has drastically intruded the land, transforming it into a product while causing several effects with a severe socio-cultural character. Destinations are in danger of losing their original appearance, structure and identity, through a standardization process that aims to satisfy the tourists’ wishes. What is not understood though, is that this process doesn’t degrade only the final product but mostly affects the local societies which have to survive the low periods relying only on the remnants of a seasonal industry.