The Photo of the Year

Konstantinos Tsakalidis


Konstantinos Tsakalidis calls it a wrap for 2021 with a series of international honorary distinctions. His heart-wrenching photo featuring the elderly woman in despair, as the flames are closing in on her house, in the village Gouves of Evia, amidst the devastating fires of last August, is hailed by foreign media as one of the best photos of the year.

Recently, the iconic photo taken for Bloomberg by the Thessaloniki-based photojournalist was bestowed with yet another major distinction, as it made it to the top-25 photos of the year selected by The Atlantic, whereas a few weeks ago it made the cover of TIME magazine, which included it in the “100 best photos of 2021”.

The photo was taken on August 8, 2021, when Konstantinos Tsakalidis was covering the terrifying ordeal of Evia’s people, as well as their struggle to protect their land from the wildfire. “The agony and despair on their faces, as the flames were looming over the villages, was staggering”, he explains. “What makes this photo so special is that each one of us can easily identify with Ms. Panagiota. All people who saw the photo experienced a feeling of empathy that triggered intense emotions.”

Konstantinos Tsakalidis’ photo made the cover of major newspapers, was broadcast on news programs and became a viral on social media. And is bound to stand in time as a reminder of the disaster suffered by Greece, in the summer of 2021.