Monday 10 June 2013

George Voulgaropoulos

All images © George Voulgaropoulos

"Voulgaropoulos, translated, means 'the son of a Bulgarian'," writes George Voulgaropoulos in his blurb that serves as an introduction to his project. "When Nikos Voulgaropoulos was killed in 1922, any knowledge of our ancestry was lost with him. This is my journey as I search for the origins of my family and our name, beginning in Bulgaria where I meet a Greek minority group called the Karakachani. Traditionally transhumant shepherds, the Karakachani have been forced to urbanise in recent years due to economic pressures. Travelling across Bulgaria, down along the Black Sea coast and overland into Turkey, my journey took me through Istanbul to Izmir. Here I discover the birthplace of my grandfather in Smyra (modern day Izmir), in the suburb of Halkapinar. This project reflects my experiences as a second generation Australian growing up in a Greek family, tracing my connections with a fading past. The photographs represent my journey through the familiar within the unfamiliar on a search for the origins of my culture and identity."

George Voulgaropoulos works as a staff photographer for a community newspaper group in the western suburbs of Sydney. As well as teaching photographic workshops for refugees and emerging photographers, he has a passion for contemporary documentary photography and photobooks. Voulgaropoulos’ personal work consists of ongoing long term projects which have been published extensively domestically and in international publications.