On September the 8th the year of 2023 my brother, who still lives in Greece, near the place we grew up, called me. He spoke with a trembling voice telling me that Milina was destroyed and so was his shop. After the call he sent me some pictures. I could not believe what I was seeing. The whole village was covered with mud, rocks, tree trunks, trash and cars that where upside down or floating in the sea. Later he sent me a text message "I will call you again when there's electricity, I can't charge my phone".
Milina, one of the villages on the southern part of mount Pelion hardly survived the flooding, caused by storm Daniel, that affected the region of Thessaly. (According to Wikipedia Storm Daniel, also known as Cyclone Daniel, was the deadliest Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone in recorded history, as well as the costliest tropical cyclone on record outside of the north Atlantic Ocean).
A few days later I managed to visit him and my father and see the catastrophe myself. The scenery that I knew so well had totally changed. I got to see how the earth was swollen and how the sea seemed to had shrunk. How the roots of big trees stood naked between rocks, how everything was covered with a formless mass of mud and trash.
A feeling of absurdness struck me when I experienced what had happened, for sure, I told everyone back in The Netherlands, it's pretty different than seeing it just on the news. How is it possible that water, just water, the "holy" water, could do all this? Locals spoke of "God's punishment", others said "God saved us from the worse" and "He will give us strength to fix our homes again". Some spoke of climate change, a hot topic nowadays concerning a lot of people.
If this is indeed what climate change is capable of there's nothing left than to expect the unexpected to happen.
The clock is ticking...
The following pictures where taken two weeks after the flooding on locations where the damages where big. I wanted to capture the silence and the strange apathy that follow after a catastrophe. I also wanted to speak for the locals who fear that something similar will happen again soon. At last, I want to thank Irene Kotsifa for the collaboration.