Pepi Loulakaki | PORTRAITS OF WOMEN  - Εικόνα

Photography Exhibition

In a series of 48 photographs, the exhibition “Portraits of Women” by Pepi Loulakaki is presenting photographic portrayals of women (1992–2020) from the Greek countryside and/or underprivileged social environments of the urban fabric; moments from their childhood or teenage years, but also impressions of the adult life of women who have remained bold and fearless, open to challenges, with purity, sweetness, enthusiasm, strength and kindness — such is the photographic gaze that “captures” them, always free in a time that stands still. Women, as explored by Pepi Loulakaki’s photographic gaze, never grow up.   

Let them play around me forever 
“Let them play around me forever. Never grow up.”  These are the words used by Vladimir Nabokov to describe how he sees “budding” women in his legendary novel Lolita. 
Reading it, through his eyes, I saw myself picking up my father’s camera, while I was still only a schoolgirl, and photographing my friends; at the end of the school day, we would walk around the city's archaeological sites and Thiseio, or play, and I would constantly shoot portraits and landscapes.
Already I felt that I didn't want the age called childhood and adolescence to ever end; or if it had to end, I wanted to keep with me everything that characterized it: the purity, the sweetness, the theatricality, the elegance, the tenderness, the kindness, the play, the enthusiasm, the imagination, the power — everything that makes us bold and fearless. 
Everything that is still burning high within many of us women, qualities that I later discovered in so many women and children during my expeditions, often even in less privileged environments, such as among the Pomaks or the Roma, during soirees called “nychteria” that are still held in villages so young people can get to know each other, at schools, among groups of friends, on festive occasions, at home or at work.
I deeply identify with the words of painter Georgia O’Keeffe: “I feel there is something unexplored about women that only a woman can explore.”
—Pepi Loulakaki

Pepi Loulakaki | Short Bio
Pepi Loulakaki was born in Plaka, in the historical center of Athens. She became interested in photography from a very young age, and began her career as a freelance photographer, parallel to her studies, proposing cover stories to Epsilon magazine of Sunday Eleftherotypia newspaper as early as 1992. Since then, on her own initiative, she has photographed a large number of social and socio-political themes across Europe, the Middle East and the Balkans.
She is particularly interested in the rights of women and children, and in environmental issues of our time. A large part of her tireless photographic activity consists of portraits of the most influential personalities, artists and scientists of our time.
Since 2000, she has collaborated with “K” magazine of Kathimerini newspaper, as well as other print and electronic media and organizations. Her photographic work has been exhibited in Greece and abroad.
In 2010, Kastaniotis Editions released her photobook on Thrace titled: “So close, so far away. The Muslim world of Thrace.” The book’s photographs were exhibited at the Benaki Museum in 2013.
For the past 15 years, she has also been photographing musicians from the world music scene, photographs of hers being featured on album covers and magazines, parallel to giving lectures on photography.

A production of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) 

We wish to thank Thanasis Stavrakis for his kind contribution to the design of the exhibition. 

The photobook on Thrace "So close, so far. Her Muslim World" (Kastaniotis Publications) will be available at the Marketplace/Free Thinking Zone Bookstore during WOW Athens 2024.

April 6, 2024 – June 30, 2024
Perimeter of Stavros Niarchos Park 

Credit | Xanthi, 2009 © Pepi Loulakaki 


See also

Sunday 07/04, 21:15

Prima Facie by Suzie Miller | Staged reading of selected scenes


Monday 08/04, 21:00

WOW Sounds: Hania Rani


Monday 08/04, 19:30

Talk: Deborah Levy