2004 August: Olympic Construction Workers deaths


This photograph is from the north part of Syntagama Square in Athens, just next to the Zappeion Hall, which, at the time, was functioning as the non-accredited Olympic media centre. This peaceful manifestation sought to raise awareness about the lives that were lost in the construction of Olympic venues.

As many people know, the Athens venues were under pressure to complete on time and the claim was that the rush to do this was neglectful of adequate safety measures. As a consequence, the sentiment here was that the lives were lost because of this pressure and, indirectly, because of the Olympics. The crosses here symbolize each life that was lost.

I have the impression that this coverage did not reach mainstream audiences. Here, everything was peaceful and reminded me of the value of such opportunities to express controversial positions during an Olympic Games. How can the Olympics aspire to remaining apolitical - as it describes itself - while functioning as a mechanism of important social expression?