Saturday 3 December 2011


Meet Politis, Greek photo enthusiast, who promotes Nigeria
By Tajudeen Sowole

(First published on Tuesday, October 21, 2008)   
FROM the lens of a business tourist, over a million images have been shot in 60 countries, as the cameraman Greek-born Victor Politis displays a bias for the survival instinct.
  Out of this lot, the business tourist-cum photo artist, Politis has 60, 000 he shot in such Nigerian cities as Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Akure, Bauchi, Port Harcourt and Kebi.
  Some of the captures, he is exhibiting in the show titled Nigeria, Through the Eyes of a Passers Bye at the Didi Museum, Victoria Island, Lagos, starting from October 24 through November 6, 2008.
  Specifically, the show, he stated, is to take another look at how people survive and the dignity in such crucial aspect of human endavour.
   Based in New York, and currently spending his fifth year in Nigeria as a businessman involved in international developing and finance, Politis would not pretend to be a photo artist in the professional sense of it. He said of his photo mission, "I take my shots casually through the windows of my car while I am passing bye."
   This self nomadic mission, he disclosed, has been taken to over ten countries across the world, including Angola Argentine, China, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, India Kenya, Russia, South Africa, Turkey.
  Earlier, he had demonstrated his love for Nigeria when he published some of his photos in an international airline magazine.
  He recalled that when Turkish Airlines started flying directly from Istanbul to Lagos, they were looking for some materials for their magazine to promote Lagos to their clienteles. "One month before deadline for the collections of materials for the magazine, I provided my photos with an article I titled, Lagos - Vibrant And Surprisingly Friendly. It was published in Skylife magazine in August 2006"
He didn't stop at that as he said a Swiss magazine, Hors Ligne, through his influence published 6 pages of Nigerian photos in one of their issues. These photos are all his works.
  Explaining his love for Nigeria, he disclosed that he has more shots taken in the country than all the 16 countries he had visited put together. This love would not however be complete without a compilation, so the self-taught photo artist has concluded plans to publish his works in volumes of books.
  "This exhibition also involves the launching of my book, same title as the exhibition, Nigeria Through The Eyes Of A Passerby Volume-1. I am looking forward to the volume 2 in the next one year."
  How did Politis get into about photography? He recalled that as a young boy he used to borrow a camera from his neighbour during school excursions. Memories of those days, he said, are well documented in the copies of the prints. By comparison, he now carries a full-frame Canon 5D with a number of lenses whenever he is in action. "Digital photography has enabled me to become faster and more versatile," he explained.
 Today, a more matured photo artist, he has had solo exhibitions such as Intersections-2006 at the London College of Communication in London; Respect Differences - 2007 at Trend Show in Istanbul, Turkey; last April, at YMCA, New York exhibition and auction as charity show for children.
   Politis is a multiple award winner: three-time winner of American Photo magazine's annual contest and first prize awards in both Geo and Canon photography competitions.

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