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  • Red Light - Women for sale

    The illegal trade in people with the purpose of sexually exploiting them is a modern form of slavery. Sexual trafficking is a very lucrative business for criminal networks that encourage mostly immigrant women to enter a country, only to hold them hostage.

    The rules of the game are harsh, women find themselves pushed to prostitution and the sex industry by traffickers through false promises, physical abuse and blackmail. With Greece being at the crossroads between continents, immigrant women are trafficked into the country from parts of the world as diverse as Africa, Asia or Eastern Europe.

    The girls, helpless, get stuck in Athens or in rural towns with little hope of getting out. While there are a number of organizations addressing the issue, either by supporting the physically and psychologically traumatized girls or by persecuting their abusers, there is little doubt that the clients who fuel the sex industry bear a significant amount of the responsibility. It is that realization that brings the harsh reality of sex slavery much closer to our own lives.

  • Firewalkers

    Traditions in Greece have a way of surviving despite the country's modernization in the last decades. Up north, in the region between Thessaloniki and Serres, a very particular custom lives to this day: the Anastenaria. A fire-walking ritual performed outdoors in honor of the saints Constantine and Eleni in springtime, but also indoors, for the festival of saint Athanassios in January.

    The custom in the village of Aghia Eleni was brought over by Greek refugees from the village Kosti in south-east Bulgaria, following the population's persecutions in the wake of the Balkan Wars of 1911-1912. The local people's hospitality and love of this mystical tradition make this ritual an attraction that draws visitors from all over Greece.

    The holy icons' miraculous properties empower the initiates to dance through the fire having their faith keep them safe from harm.

  • Hidden Crescent

    Muslims in Greece originate from a range of different countries but have a very strong common element that unites them: their religion.

    In Athens alone, it is estimated that there are approximately 750.000 Muslims, a number that has increased exponentially over the past 10 years. Athens is also the only European capital without a single mosque for Muslims to practice their faith. They currently congregate to worship in all sorts of different places, from underground garages to empty warehouses.

    Even more pressing though is the lack of a cemetery. The bodies of their beloved dead are either buried in Christian cemeteries, far from Athens in the region of Thrace-where a Greek Muslim population exists-or sent back to their country of origin, a very expensive and time-consuming process.

    The Greek state has made several promises to construct both a Mosque in Votanicos and a cemetery in Schisto, acknowledging Muslims their religious rights. However recent xenophobic tendencies and swelling nationalistic pride have stalled the process adding to the frustration and anticipation.

    Will the Crescent finally find its place in Athens or will it remain hidden in the dark?

  • Forgotten - Roma in Greece

    The Roma have been nomads for centuries. People have called them gypsies. Scattered across most of Europe, their unique way of life stands out amongst the countries who host them. In Greece, their numbers are estimated between 200-300.000, although they consider themselves to be more.

    The Roma do not have a particular religion. Yet customs and traditions have kept them together in the course of their history. In general, they fall under two categories: those who have settled and those who still roam the lands as nomads. Most earn their living through trade, agriculture or performance, keeping constantly on the move and staying in the outskirts of the big cities, in self-governed settlements.

    The Roma have to constantly fight off many negative stereotypes which are attributed to them, often intensifying their unwillingness to adjust. Many of them are organized in unions (Greek Confederation), with over 300,000 registered members, while in 2006 they formed a political party in Greece, called ''Rom Shield''. As complaints about the violation of their rights increase, the Roma people keep on struggling to survive and to keep their identity alive in a society that seems to have forgotten all about them. In the past years they have experienced a new wave of persecution initiated by the State, in countries such as France and Romania. Many have characterized these newly introduced displacements as pogroms.

  • Kickstarters

    Greece is not a land of entrepreneurs. In a land of furious anti-Capitalist protests, where wealth seems to be a matter of few families and where richness is associated with corruption, those willing to put their effort and money into starting up new companies and making a profit from them are not well-regarded.

    We have grown accustomed to stories of successful Greeks abroad….who stay abroad. This proves two things. First, that Greeks are as capable of succeeding as anyone else. Second, that the problem may lie at home. The only way out of the current financial crisis in Greece will be through greater competitiveness, innovation and thrust. Yet, innovation does not only come from Information Technologies or software but also, sometimes, from applying the best care and knowledge to what you have closest to you. Thus, the old can prove new.

    Greece is an old rugged land that olive trees have called home for centuries. Gaea is a young company opening its way in the international markets by providing the best olive-related products that Greece has to offer. In a globalized economy, agricultural products may not convey the fancy, glamorous, and fast-paced images associated with a 21st-century economy, but they have the unique taste and flavour that make all mouths around the world water. It is all about quality.

    From a political point of view, the Greeks have lost all trust in their politicians as a result of the crisis, accusing them, often indiscriminately, of having filled their pockets with public money, received bribes and avoided taxes.

    Yet, some people with plenty of opportunities abroad, who believe in the benefits of private companies, are willing to stay. Failure might be the likely outcome, but the profit of living, prospering, and building up in Greece is worth the challenge. Panos Petropoulos has succeeded. He and his partner have sold their Blind Type application to Google. Their journey from Athens to Silicon Valley was not a typical one. And it was not an easy one. Their motto: If a country looses the youngest and the brightest, how it is supposed to make headway?