Moped delivery rider during the mid morning rush in Rethymno Old Town. I was impressed that he managed to keep the ciggy on the go whilst he manoeuvred through the melee!
A view into Chaplin’s bar on a late afternoon in Rethymno. Chaplin’s in one of a series of bars on Eleftherios Venizelos street, which is a strip which runs from the town’s harbour to the marina, and is the hub of much of the town’s vibrant nightlife. As can be seen from the photo, Chaplin’s caters for different music tastes compared to lots of the other bars on the street, offering a classic blend of the rock and roll greats.
I managed to capture the highly rare sight of a cat taking a nap here (!). I loved the look of his positioning underneath the poster advertising the jewellers, particularly as the model in the advert is very striking with her electric blue eyes matching the azure blue of sign for the ‘Sun Beam’ shop next door.
This is one of Rethymno’s side streets which links Eleftherios Venizelos (the marina strip) with the centre of the modern area of Rethymno. This street is full of shops selling all manner of tourist gifts – belts, bags, natural sponges and knives seeming to be the most popular.
Mannequins often prove a useful focal point in street photos (particularly as they stay still, so you can take your time framing them), and the ‘interaction’ and contrast between a mannequin and a real person in a photo can often be fun. As I composed this I realised that with the shopkeepers standing outside of their respective shops and the mannequin in the foreground there was an unbroken line of female subjects in the photo.
A back street in Rethymno Old Town. The graffiti to the right reads: “Crush the fascists”. The upswing in popularity of the far-right party Golden Dawn in Greece has prompted a powerful opposition movement from left and far-left groups, who have rallied against Golden Dawn’s divisive views on race and the role of immigrants in Greek society.
The murder of the rapper Pavlos Fyssas in September 2013 by a self-confessed Golden Dawn supporter prompted a drive-by shooting reprisal by an anti-establishment group in November 2013 which killed two Golden Dawn members. On the 26th January 2014, Kathimerini reported that Golden Dawn members had returned to the spot where Fyssas was murdered, and “vandalised” the makeshift shrine there.
In the wake of the September murder of Fyssas, and with mounting controversy over Golden Dawn’s links to violent attacks, weaponry and neo-Nazism, numerous Golden Dawn offices were raided, and several of its representatives have been imprisoned over the party’s potentially ‘criminal’ involvement, with the future of the party being called into question.
On the 2 February 2014 Ilias Kassidiaris – a spokesman for Golden Dawn, announced the party would seek to re-brand itself as ‘National Dawn’, if, as predicted by some, the Golden Dawn party is to be banned.
The day before (Saturday 1st January) some 3,000 Golden Dawn supporters gathered in Athens to commemorate the 1996 crisis involving the contested Imia/Kardak islands, which prompted a diplomatic incident between Greece and Turkey. This Golden Dawn commemoration gathering sparked a resurgence of the animosity between Golden Dawn and far-left groups, with the Associated Press reporting “scuffles” between individuals on opposite ends of the political spectrum.
The wonderful winding streets of Rethymno in Crete provide a fantastic opportunity to sample the unique charms of this historic town. The graffiti trend which has become increasingly widespread over the last 5 years would have conservationists up in arms, as the canvases utilised are often Venetian and Ottoman buildings, but it is just another artistic expression of the town’s rich and vibrant youth culture. As Greece’s young people face an uncertain future, while the nation struggles under its mountain of deficit, graffiti provides an outlet for self-expression, solidarity, and even opposition against reactionary far right groups like Golden Dawn.
I love cities at night, they seem to come alive! And nowhere is this more true than the Cretan city of Rethymno. Despite Greece’s deficit woes, it remains a vibrant and exciting place, and the harbour area is home to all manner of bars, clubs and street vendor stalls.