Nomadic Library

Nomadic Library

The first mobile photobook library in Greece.

An archive of dozens of possible combinations of images with words. A toolkit for critically rethinking the history of photography. A repository of ideas under constant configuration. A mapping of contemporary artistic quests in constant interaction with local communities.


The Nomadic Library, an initiative of the MedPhoto international photography festival, is the first traveling collection of photobooks in Greece. From 2018 until today, it is granted successively to universities, cultural centers, public libraries, photography schools and groups, constituting a foundation for educational activities and for the initiation of a public dialogue on visual culture.


The study of the photobook as a work of art and its connection with photography as a framework of observation was the springboard for the formation of the collection. What arises is the dimension of the photobook as a product of collective work by creators from different fields and the shift that this marks from the individual image to the construction of meaning through broader narratives, either within each book of the Nomadic Library separately or from the correlations between the different books. Although, as David Campany observes, the photobook has been a creative practice since the days of Henry Fox Talbot and Julia Margaret Cameron, and although during the 20th century this practice featured memorable works by August Sander, Eugene Atget, Walker Evans and Robert Frank, it is the explosion of the internet at the beginning of the 21st century that made the photobook accessible to mass audiences and sparked the need for the systematic examination of its historical routes.


These routes continue to this day’s Nomadic Library and their exploration is one of the goals for further understanding the photographic phenomenon. Passing through the formalism of Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus to the deconstruction of dominant visual codes by Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall in the context of postmodern practices, the examination of social problems sometimes through a personal prism as in the case of Nan Goldin and sometimes through an orderly political stance such as that of Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, the exploration of the boundaries between still and moving images in works such as Chris Marker’s, the extensive use of language in search of a critical realism by artists such as Allan Sekula, as well as the relationship of photography with the visual arts in John Baldessari, Taryn Simon or Robert Rauschenberg are just some of the aspects of this ever-growing project.


The Nomadic Library is finally an attempt to enrich the discourse around photography accompanied by translations of theoretical texts, a gesture aimed at expanding the space of the Commons and of sharing knowledge. After all, the Nomadic Library is an open invitation to approaching photography not as an aestheticized and extrahistorical object, but as a process that offers possibilities for combining cognitive elements, visual qualities and references to social reality.

Host the Collections

The Nomadic Library is granted to educational and cultural institutions, aiming at the exhibition/presentation of photography books to the general public of the areas it visits, for a period of one to four months. Interested parties can contact Medphoto and request to be granted one of the collections (or part of them), assuring that there is a suitable and safe space for the placement of the books and taking responsibility for their smooth transportation to and from their homeplace.   

Thank you

Decisive for the start of the Nomadic Library project was the kind donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (2017), as well as the sponsorship of Motor Oil (2019) thanks to which it became possible to obtain the first 200 titles of the collection. The enrichment of the Nomadic Library with 100 additional titles was feasible thanks to the financial support received by KOLEKTIV8 from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports (2021). 


KOLEKTIV8 also thanks the Museum of Photography of Thessaloniki, the FUTURA publications, Hatje Cantz, Lars Müller Publishers, ZONE BOOKS and VOID for their contribution to the making of the collection, as well as the artists Julia Borissova, Chris Dorley-Brown, Rita Puig Serra Costa, Petros Efstathiadis, Stratos Kalafatis, Yorgos Karailias, Yannis Karpouzis, Alexandros Katsis and Maria Louka, Charalambos Kidonakis, Charlotte Lybeer, Simon Menner, Nelson Morales, Emilia Balaska, Liz Orton, Paris Savlas, Nicole Petarya Spak and Stella Chronopoulou for the donations of their books.


Pavlos Fysakis


He is co-founder of the artistic collective Depression Era and artistic director of MedPhoto Festival. He has worked as a freelance photographer for newspapers and magazines. He has taught photography at FOCUS School of Photography & New Media. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at: BOZAR (Brussels), Biennale of Nice, Slought (Philadelphia), Thessaloniki Photobiennale, Circulations Festival (Paris), Unseen (Amsterdam), Athens Conservatory, Contemporary Art Museum of Crete, Benaki Museum, Art Space Pythagorion, etc. His photobook “Land Ends” was awarded the prize for best Greek photography book in 2010.


Dimitris Kechris


He is a photographer, filmmaker and curator. He holds a BSc in Physics from the University of Athens and an MA in Digital Arts from the Athens School of Fine Arts. His work has been presented at the Benaki Museum, the Byzantine Museum, the Greek Film Archive, the Athens Municipal Art Gallery, the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation, and Galeria Hexagono (Barcelona). He is the co-founder of ALDEBARAN, a platform for photography theory. In 2022 he was awarded the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Artist Fellowship by ARTWORKS. His writings on photography and cinema have appeared in edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals. His first book The Essay-film and Its Political Aesthetics was published by Egokeros Publications in 2023 and his film Athens, My Love (2022) was honoured with Documentary Award in the 46th Drama International Short Film Festival. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Film History and Theory at the Ionian University.


Eleni Pagkalia


She studied English Literature at the University of Athens. Since 1993 she has been teaching English and translating literature and cultural theory, while working as a journalist as well. She is co-founder of the socio-political and cultural web-magazine, while she had also been editor and Head of “Special Editions” of the “Difono” magazine. She collaborated with Theo Angelopoulos in the film “The Weeping Meadow”. She has also been involved in contemporary dance projects through her participation in the dance-theatre group “Akropoditi”, which in 2016 was awarded with the “Karolos Koun” Dance Award for the performance “Medusa”.


Pasqua Vorgia


She studied cultural management (MA) at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens, organizational psychology (MA) at Columbia University in New York (as an Onassis and Fulbright scholar) and psychology at the University of Athens. She has worked as an independent documentary film producer and freelance writer for the Greek press. In 2011, she joined the art collective Depression Era, as an artist, curator and producer in various exhibitions, workshops and other public events and interventions in Greece and abroad. Since 2015, she has been working in the field of cultural management at Onassis Stegi, curating and coordinating the Talks & Thoughts program, which consists of discursive, artistic and inter-disciplinary events, inviting artists and intellectuals from around the world. During the same time, she has been part of the MedPhoto team, as a curator and producer in various international exhibitions and cultural events focusing on lens-based media and contemporary photography in particular. In her artistic and curatorial practice, she is interested in the dialectic tension between images and text, especially in the context of history, mass culture and the media.


Elena Ntosa


She specializes in Cultural Productions and Management. With a BA in Cultural Management at the Department of Communication, Media and Culture (Panteion University), she continued her studies in Sustainable Tourism Development through Cultural Heritage, Society, and Environment (Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Paris 1). During her studies, she has worked as a project assistant at EMST, Onassis Stegi, and Nieuw Dakota (Amsterdam). She has also worked as a facilitator at NEON, and as a curatorial assistant at the Neohellenic Historical Collection of the Benaki Museum. Since 2016 she has been working as a production manager at EllinikoTheatro (Greek Theatre of New York), coordinating performances and educational programs. Since 2017 she is collaborating with the visual artist Aemilia Papaphilippou. Since 2019 she is a member of the Oneness Act, and since 2021 she coordinates the production of “illustradays”, the first illustration festival in Greece and of the MedPhoto Festival.


Ioannis Markakis


He studied design at the Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering, University of the Aegean. Since 2012 he has been working as a freelance designer and art director in various projects. Since 2013 he has been co-organiser of the industrial design conference “Hellenic Design”. In 2018 he was a member of the jury of the Hermes Awards in the “Digital Design” category and participated as a speaker at the panhellenic visual communication conference “Design Athens”. In recent years, he has taken over the graphic design of multiple publications and photography exhibitions. He also works creatively with photography, having participated in exhibitions such as: “The sense of an Ending” at CAN Gallery (2017), “Follow me Home” at Trii Art Hub (2018) and “Good luck” at Onassis Stegi (2019).


Athanasios Katsougiannis


Athanasios Katsougiannis is a designer and coder. His design practice focuses on connecting digital and analog interactions in our everyday lives. He creates websites, design tools and experiences that disrupt user habits and explores the boundaries of new technologies and their unique functions that will bring life to the static world around us.