"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

Categories: Photo project

The faces of the fishermen in these pictures by Austrian photographer Christian Stemper thousands of stories can be told without words. Their weathered skin, bright eyes and gray hair have seen a lot of storms and withering sun. Sea wolves from the Greek island of Paros go to sea every day on wooden boats named after their wives and daughters. But perhaps soon this little world will cease to exist.

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

Austrian photographer Christian Stemper started photographing fishermen from Paros back in 2010, when he first came to this small island in the Aegean Sea on vacation. In the photo: an old Greek fisherman Yanis Perentinos.

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

The photographer combined monochrome portraits of fishermen — their expressive rough faces contrasting with a black background - with color images of their simple wooden boats that float in the inky waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

The dominance of large-scale fishing makes the hard work of these people salted by all the winds less and less paid. Because of this, many of them gave up fishing after the EU offered money for giving up their ancient craft. In addition, the children of fishermen are increasingly looking for a better life outside of this Mediterranean idyll.

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live," says fisherman Vaggelis Parousis. — If I had to stay in Athens, I wouldn't have lasted a day. I'd just go crazy."

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

That's how strong these people's attachment to the sea is. "This is a special kind of people," says the photographer, who has been documenting the life of local fishermen for five years. - For them, life is simple: it's a boat and the sea."

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

The photographer admitted that the fishermen did not want to participate in the project at first. However, over time, he persuaded them, although they reacted to everything that was happening more than indifferently.

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

"After I started working on the project, in 2012 I held an exhibition on Paros," says the photographer. - Then I invited all my "models" there, promising to give them each a portrait, which I printed out specially for them. But only one fisherman visited the exhibition. Their families came — wives and brothers. And the sea wolves themselves are not interested in all this. For them, life is the sea and the boat. And these people are happy."

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

"If I don't see the sea, I don't live": sea wolves from the island of Paros

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