For many of us some things, like the completion of primary education at a young age, are considered as given. For others though, adverse circumstances have thwarted their plans. People, of any age, under the burden of the current economic crisis and unemployment, decide to return to school, in order to obtain a degree. These students vary; they are involved – besides obtaining the necessary qualifications – in a personal struggle with time, they try to win back the lost opportunity, they attempt to redefine themselves or even to fulfill the expectations of their loved ones.
The Second Chance is a personal project that began eight months ago in the SCS (Second Chance School) of Mytilene. It consists of a series of anonymous portraits of pupils (Greeks and immigrants), teachers, as well as photographs of the school area. In this way, we recorded the school ecosystem and its ramifications. We took pictures of objects and we collected student manuscripts, answering questions about their past and their hopes for the future, which, in some cases, constitute comprehensive confessions of their lives and recollections.
In our photos we depict, literally or figuratively, our relation to this world. Each one of these portraits presents the person we met through a special relationship with him and not just his image. At the same time, in an attempt to share a part of our own lives, we created, in collaboration with the SCS, a photography workshop, in which a small group of students participated. This process enabled us to change and, from observers of this world, to become part of it.
Panos Charalampidis & Mary Chairetaki