LEICA Fotografie International / BarTur Award Photojournalist of the Year
Konstantinos Tsakalidis was born in 1986 in Serres, Greece. He graduated from the Department of Informatics of the Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki. He is a co-founder and member of the collective Greek photo agency SOOC Images and a contributor to Bloomberg News in Northern Greece. He is based in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, covering social and political issues with a focus on Eastern Europe and Turkey. During the period of intense refugee flows (2015-2016), he covered the route of thousands of refugees from the islands of the eastern Aegean Sea to central Europe through the Balkan countries, as well as their life in the improvised camp of Idomeni at the Greek – North Macedonia borders.
His work has been published in several leading Greek and foreign News Websites, magazines, and newspapers.
Evia on Fire
Evia island, Greece
Greece, August 2021. Amid the hottest and most long-lasting heatwave in the last 30 years, with temperatures reaching 47C, hundreds of forest fires broke out across the country.
According to the Hellenic Fire Service, 428 forest fires were recorded throughout the country, with the strongest of them in Attica, Peloponnese, and the island of Evia. In northern Evia, where the fires were burning uncontrollably for a week in the tinder-dry pine forests, more than 2000 residents and tourists were forced to evacuate their villages by boat.
The negligence of the state mechanism to control the fire in Evia in the beginning, giving more importance to the extinguishing of the fire that threatened at the same time the northern suburbs of the capital, turned to ashes more than 50,000 hectares of forest area, agricultural land, dozens of houses and animals. The largest forest fire in the modern history of the country. This huge ecological catastrophe has also caused human despair in the region as the forest was the lifeblood of Evia, Greece’s second largest island, residents.