This series of pictures came about through an almost obsessive need to record the comings and goings of this central Athens district which for me, as a strange in this ancient city, had a special draw. Day in, day out, and long into the night, I walked the streets of Omonia, the area surrounding Omonia (or 'Concord') Square where in 1862 the various factions which had deposed the king agreed to end hostilities. Omonia is one of those "off-limits" urban spaces where people from all stripes gather, where nobody asks any questions and where anyone can tarry without feeling like an intruder.

A few years ago I started working on a project looking at similar places - often around ports and train stations - making a point of exploring these transitory places in whichever city I visited - places where illicit or questionable activities can flourish among the flow of people passing through. Places often ignored or avoided by the police.

My nine months in Athens was a time of introspection, of looking in rather than looking at others, as I usually do in my life as a photographer. I had been to Athens many times before but had never thought of looking further at the area around the famous (or infamous) square that gives its name to this part of Athens. During my last stint in the Greek capital, however, I suddenly felt an urge to explore its central core, on some days getting fully caught up in the hubbub of its restless daily life, on other feeling overwhelmed and having to call time on an outing, to be resumed another day. Omonia became Omania.

Being in this foreign place at this specific time in my life gave me a daily, visual mantra that I could latch onto as I gathered my thoughts and made some important decisions. I tried to capture this special atmosphere in my images, the daily impressions of Omonia's energy.

Omonia is a heady mix of colours and cultures, crammed with people speaking dozens of languages from all over the world. Over the years, the area has also become increasingly edgy, a hangout for dealers, addicts, prostitutes and others on the margins of society. During my time in Athens, Omonia was a place where I felt comfortable. It felt like a place where I was accepted just as I am; a place where I didn't have to prove myself during an uncertain time of my life. The obvious chaos surrounding me there gave me an opportunity to reconnect with myself, to find my place in the world again.
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