The Eroding Greek Island

PhotographerNikos Pilos for Kappa Magazine, Greece
PrizePress / Nature/Environmental
Entry Description

In the Mediterranean, there's a tiny Greek island of 4,6 square kilometers that houses the world's biggest exporter of pumice in the world. It's called Yali. Pumice is used in construction due to its low weight, insulation, sound proof, and fire protection characteristics. Sole inhabitants of the island are 21 miners working for the mining company. But, the excavations are irreparably damaging the island, destroying its natural environment, which has been characterised by experts as exceptional. Nevertheless, little is done to protect the environment or the archaeological site on Yali. The island's mountains are disappearing one by one and experts fear that the whole island will be covered by the sea once the mining activity is over. Nothing is being done to protect it because of the income it brings to the municipality, making this tiny municipality of less than 1,000 people, the second richest in Greece, after Athens.

About Photographer

Nikos Pilos was born in Corfu, Greece, in 1967. He studied graphic arts and since then he worked with some of the most popular Greek dailies, like Kathimerini, Vima, Eleftherotypia and also in weekly magazines like K (published by Kathimerini) and E (published by Eleftherotypia). From 2001 onwards, he works with the international agencies Taiga Press (France), E-Lance (Germany) Sipa press (France) Zuma Press (U.S.A.). Since his first assignment in Lebanon at 1988 and the coverage of Nicolae Ceausescu overthrow the next year in Romania, he has worked in countries like Yugoslavia, Albania, Macedonia, Georgia, Russia, Germany, Portugal, Pakistan, Israel-Palestine, Kosovo,Iraq (where he spent 100 days) etc. Photos of his have been published in magazines like Newsweek, Stern, Focus, Bild, The Independent, Panorama, The New York Times, Washington Post, Herald Tribune, Gente etc. His work has been exhibited in ULISphotoFEST2007 in Istanbul, Turkey, Photokina in Cologne, Germany (2006), Photosynkyria in Thessalonica, Greece (2002, 2006), Gallery 55 (2005).,Athens photofestival 2007-2008, Tops â?? Word Photojournalism Festival China, 2008, Justina et pax Europa, European Council, Brussels â?? Belgium 2009, etc. In 2005 he was awarded (Special Mention) Unicefâ??s Photo Of The Year competition, for his work covering the earthquake in Pakistan. He is a founding member of the Greek Photojournalistâ??s Association.