Few days ago in the Athens Photo Festival, I discovered through a serie of photos called “Shadows in Greece”,the Albanian photographer Enri Canaj.
Enri Canaj moved with his parents in Greece in 1991 and has been living there since then.
His serie about Athens remind me scenes of the movie of Matthieu Kassovitz ”La Haine”. Only in Canaj’s pictures there was no hate but desperation.
Canaj doesn’t make snapshots.
I have seen before pictures of homeless, junkies, people in the edge. Pictures that they were well-framed, had the right color balance but the photographer was just a person who was making a click-click and was whispering how much pity was feeling.
There is softness in Canaj’s way of portraying people. And even spaces. There is bitter sweetness in the photo of the couple laying in the bed staring at an invisible sky,same as there is in the photo of this man sleeping over a coffee table and even in the one where people sitting and discussing inside an abandoned dirty building with Arabic scribed all along the wall.
Canaj makes photos of people.
Of people who are junkies, homeless, with no money in their pockets, desperate and struggling .
But who firstly are people.