color and absence

Color is life. At least that is what we intuitively think when we are presented with a visual stimulus. But as we grow up, we realize that looks can indeed be deceiving…

Over ten years of a staggering financial crisis pushed the Greek economy back to a past that we’d rather forget. Downtown Athens, home to the historic market of the capital, was slowly but steadily trasformed to a place of decay and decadence. Closed shops all around, whole streets with no activity at all. Yet there is one thing still there: color. Building faceades and storefronts became canvases for graffiti in all its colorful glory. One may argue that this is indeed life; but it is not. It is merely death with lipstick on.

However, there is a life pulse still beating strong in the city. In these same streets, vendors, shop clerks and owners, working people of all sorts and walks of life, are still toughing it out, day in day out. And through the sadness and the daily war they take part in, two things are still evident: a smile that is still stubbornly showing and a clear look of resilience and determination. There is life, even in the absence of color.