Photographing Joanna Paliospirou: “She walked confidently between cars as if she was maskless”

Joanna Paliospirou Paliospyrou Paliospirou

Joanna Paliospirou may still have a long way to go in the medical marathon, but after her victory in the court battle for the vitriol attack that changed her life from one moment to the next, she seems to have revived and is ready for a new beginnings.

One of them: a brand new series of podcasts, for the needs of which it was photographed by Olympia Krasagaki.

What experience did the photographer gain from her contact with this woman, who has become a symbol for all of Greece? Her response to Marie Claire unfolds a few more aspects of Ioanna’s distinctive personality.

READ MORE: “New beginning”: Ioanna Paliospirou announces her new podcast.

“When I go to photograph someone, I always have an image and feelings for them,” the photographer said.

“In the case of Joanna, because there was this tragic story, going there I was very charged, with emotion, with anger for the other woman [Efi Kakaranzoula] and with compassion for her.

“But when I saw her enter the studio, elegantly dressed in a fuchsia skirt and pencil skirt and confidently walking, she did not show me sympathy, but the message: ‘We are moving forward and we will face it’.”

“She also wanted to be photographed on the street because she had brought her own coat and another of her favourite clothes, and generally told me that she likes to be photographed.

“I did not want to be stressful, I never want the person being photographed to feel uncomfortable, but from the moment she felt good, I did too.

“So we took pictures on the road, between cars.

“Ioanna walked confidently, as if the mask did not exist. That was our first contact.

“Other photos of her have followed, where I always see her very comfortable with herself and her image.

“Her portraits do not show the features of her face because she is wearing the mask.

“But the eyes never lie. And in Joanna’s eyes you do not see sadness and misery but optimism, a spark.

“Surely her surroundings have helped her: her family, her good friends. She has people who support it.

“Moreover, since her story was learned, the whole society has been by her side. But I believe that power is mainly from within.

“Joanna has become a symbol not because she wears this mask but for what is hidden behind it.

“When I told her: ‘I have such anger for that woman [who did it to you] because if someone did this to my daughter, I would go and do exactly the same to her,’ she looked at me and said: ‘My Olympia, I understand you but nothing will change’.”

“She said it with such kindness that it calmed my anger.

“All my portraits, whether they meet the conventional beauty standards or not, I approach them in the same way: I do not see if someone, for example, has nice skin, for me the look is very important.

“For me, the portrait has not so much to do with beauty as with the good element that exists inside everyone and that comes out in his eyes.”

Ioanna Paliospyrou Paliospirou
Photo: Olympia Krasagaki, pod.gr
Ioanna Paliospyrou Paliospirou
Photo: Olympia Krasagaki, pod.gr

Georgia Karkani is a correspondent for Marie Claire.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor