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Miro Arriba, Κοιτάζω ψηλά, Look up!

Those photographs are simple. As simple as a drink with your good old friends that you haven’t seen for some time and you catch up once more in a “cafeneio” in Thessaloniki.

Gradually, the euphoria of the prodigal traveler that returned home, builds up and feelings of greatness are evolving into my head. I pick up the camera; dim-lit room, well-lit spirit and the only enlightening solution a single light bulb on the high ceiling. Everybody looks up, not in a religious contrition, but in a jolly good happiness. The first set of pictures is made.

Traveling, once only a dream of a young lad trapped in a northern Greek province. I start feeling comfortable with the idea of not knowing the surrounding landscape, the food, the customs. People could be friendly no matter where you are. Sympathy towards the unknown will be faced mostly with hospitality and smile. Asking strangers to be my friends, asking them to look up. Photography as a vehicle for socialization. 

We spent most of our lives around familiar faces. Then they look up, unexplored land, a new person is forming in front of our eyes. The visual contract of the faces that we feel familiar is alternated.

Looking up, involves a body movement that allows a deeper breath. Humans are allowed to look up by their inherited body structure.

The embarrassment governing the photographed subject by the eye contact with the lens - eyes of the photographer - is limited.  A small detail in the ceiling or the sky absorbs the attention. The objectivity that constructs our world becomes flexible, and the shutter shoots the moment.

One year later and 300 people have looked up for my camera. A journal for the year 2002, a long distance love, death of my granny, trips to Spain, France, Turkey, Greece and Poland.


Miro Arriba, 193 pages, 190 BW photos, second edition now avalable