Leontis_Isidor_Patras RefugeesIsidor John Leontis

“The Gates to Promised Land”


ARTIST STATEMENT

For the last twelve years, more than two thousand refugees, mostly Afgan, have reached their destination in Patras, Greece. Most of them young men, some as young as 10 years old, have left their homelands to escape poverty and authoritarian political regimes. After weeks and months of risky journeys, they have reached the Greek port city of Patras with only one wish. They dream of a sea passage, taking them to the heart of western Europe. Here, they are trapped between their war-torn countries that they have left behind and a continent who’s government does not want them. Working as a CBS-News photojournalist for some twenty five years, I have witnessed politics, war poverty and poverty worldwide.  Through the years, I have acknowledged that photojournalists operate as trustees of the public, concerned for every person’s need both to be fully informed about public events and to be recognized as part of the world in which we live. As photojournalists, we have the responsibility to document society and to preserve its history through images.  Photographic and video images can reveal great truths, expose wrongdoing and neglect, inspire hope and understanding, and connect people.

Selected by Anne Lyden, International Photography Curator at the National Galleries of Scotland.