As a photographer with a background in social anthropology and cultural informatics, Mary Lazaridi has always been interested in exploring and narrating human stories. For her, the camera is a powerful tool for initiating dialogue among people and communities. Working with the football team of asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants in Athens was a reminder of the significance of interaction among communities and the importance of keeping one’s eyes and heart open. This project reignited Mary’s interest as a social anthropologist and served as a valuable reminder of the power of storytelling through photography.
For this project, Mary worked with a football team that consists of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants of first and second generation, based in Athens. She organized a photo shoot, and she presented a series of portraits which were published in the team’s Instagram page. It might seem a bit simple, however, this was a powerful psychological boost for the guys that saw their pictures, posing like superheroes. The players of the team feel quite proud when they see themselves in the picture, so they tend to share it via their own social media where they have friends and relatives, back in their homeland. For them a photo showing them in action is like a confirmation that despite their daily struggle, they are still capable of chasing their dreams. Mary framed this pride and established a narrative which is portrayed along with the picture of the hero.