Gianmarco Maraviglia | Photojournalist


The Body in Crisis


According to a study by the Greek Center for Social Sciences, prostitution has increased by 150% in two years.
The economic crisis that has afflicted Greece for years has had very profound, sometimes intimate, effects.
In the center of Athens, around Omonia Square, dozens of prostitutes, often drug addicts, sell their bodies for a few euros in crooked hotels. In the side streets,people use heroin open air, porn movie theaters offer dark room where young boys offer sex to the elderly. In a park nearby, young refugees, often minors, escaped from hell, end up selling sex for 3 or 4 €. In some streets, dozens of illegitimate brothels are counted, where, as soon as you open the door, girls are offered as if they were on the market. Everyone knows, but the institutions are not in a position to intervene. There is no money for assistance, help or protection, and this is the true price of the crisis, which affects the weaker population segments. But even young students, well-off, once the family's economic support has failed, have decided to prostitute themselves. Behind all this, there is exploitation, trafficking, organized crime, or, for the lucky ones, only struggle for survival.




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  1. P. 22 years. Student at University in the countryside. Two weeks after the referendum in wihich Greece delivered its future to the hands of European Institutions he recived a phone call from his father, who told him he could not send him the money as usual, because of the new control on capitals. Few days later, P. receives his first client.
    P. 22 years. Student at University in the countryside. Two weeks after the referendum in wihich Greece delivered its future to the hands of European Institutions he recived a phone call from his father, who told him he could not send him the money as usual, because of the new control on capitals. Few days later, P. receives his first client.
  2. Joanna, 36 years years and two kids. She work in one of the streets around Omonia Square. Former model and singer, with the crisis she asks 15 € for sex, half of what he asked before. She spends most of his money to buy drugs.
    Joanna, 36 years years and two kids. She work in one of the streets around Omonia Square. Former model and singer, with the crisis she asks 15 € for sex, half of what he asked before. She spends most of his money to buy drugs.
  3. The area around Omonia.
    The area around Omonia.
  4. Marilena, 50 Years. We meet in one of the many hotels around Omonia Square. Marilena has been a prostitute since she was twenty. Marilena wanted to be an archaeologist, but maybe she says because she dreams of going to search for that twenty-year-old son that her family keeps away and hidden
    Marilena, 50 Years. We meet in one of the many hotels around Omonia Square. Marilena has been a prostitute since she was twenty. Marilena wanted to be an archaeologist, but maybe she says because she dreams of going to search for that twenty-year-old son that her family keeps away and hidden
  5. Pedion tou Areos park. In a thick interweave of wooded trails, among the trees and the bushes, here very young Afgani, Pakistani and Syrian prostitutes. At night, lonely men walk in search of easy prey, with  ve or ten euros you can buy the ticket for hell. This night Little Red Riding Hood lost, and the wolf had his sacrifice.
    Pedion tou Areos park. In a thick interweave of wooded trails, among the trees and the bushes, here very young Afgani, Pakistani and Syrian prostitutes. At night, lonely men walk in search of easy prey, with ve or ten euros you can buy the ticket for hell. This night Little Red Riding Hood lost, and the wolf had his sacrifice.
  6. M. 25 years. He worked in a hotel like a dishwasher. When the hotel closed, he ended up prostituting himself in Omonia Square. He tells me he's not gay, he has a pregnant wife.
    M. 25 years. He worked in a hotel like a dishwasher. When the hotel closed, he ended up prostituting himself in Omonia Square. He tells me he's not gay, he has a pregnant wife.
  7. Inside one of the many hotels around Omonia, where the only business is prostitution.
    Inside one of the many hotels around Omonia, where the only business is prostitution.
  8. Cases of AIDS contagion are steadily increasing, thanks to wicked political choices. With the economic crisis, the government has decided to increase the VAT on condoms from 13 to 24%. The police also use evidence in prostitution allegations, prophylactic possession, discouraging their use and increasing the risk of contagion. A political, social, human short circuit.
    Cases of AIDS contagion are steadily increasing, thanks to wicked political choices. With the economic crisis, the government has decided to increase the VAT on condoms from 13 to 24%. The police also use evidence in prostitution allegations, prophylactic possession, discouraging their use and increasing the risk of contagion. A political, social, human short circuit.
  9. Louka, 24 years. Psychology student. He tells me that he does not just for money but also for his experience. If he asked for 100 € before the crisis, he now asks for 50, money that still allows him to live in one of the wealthiest areas in Athens.
    Louka, 24 years. Psychology student. He tells me that he does not just for money but also for his experience. If he asked for 100 € before the crisis, he now asks for 50, money that still allows him to live in one of the wealthiest areas in Athens.
  10. The area around Omonia.
    The area around Omonia.
  11. Inside one of the many hotels around Omonia, where the only business is prostitution.
    Inside one of the many hotels around Omonia, where the only business is prostitution.
  12. M. 25 years. He worked in a hotel like a dishwasher. When the hotel closed, he ended up prostituting himself in Omonia Square. He tells me he's not gay, he has a pregnant wife.
    M. 25 years. He worked in a hotel like a dishwasher. When the hotel closed, he ended up prostituting himself in Omonia Square. He tells me he's not gay, he has a pregnant wife.
  13. Brothels are somehow legal in Greece. Only 10 brothels comply with the restrictive laws regulating the opening. Each structure must be at least 200 meters from schools, churches and pubic buildings. But in certain areas of the city there are dozens of illegal brothels, who do nothing to hide.
    Brothels are somehow legal in Greece. Only 10 brothels comply with the restrictive laws regulating the opening. Each structure must be at least 200 meters from schools, churches and pubic buildings. But in certain areas of the city there are dozens of illegal brothels, who do nothing to hide.
  14. Maria, 48, a son. He started as a masseuse but because of the drug he started to work at Omonia. She lives with her mother, her son and two brothers. Before the crisis he earned 200 € a day, now 50, and he spent all of them on heroin.
    Maria, 48, a son. He started as a masseuse but because of the drug he started to work at Omonia. She lives with her mother, her son and two brothers. Before the crisis he earned 200 € a day, now 50, and he spent all of them on heroin.
  15. The area around Omonia and Sokratou. This square is the place for elderly sex workers.
    The area around Omonia and Sokratou. This square is the place for elderly sex workers.
  16. Joanna, 36 years years and two kids. She work in one of the streets around Omonia Square. Former model and singer, with the crisis she asks 15 € for sex, half of what he asked before. She spends most of his money to buy drugs.
    Joanna, 36 years years and two kids. She work in one of the streets around Omonia Square. Former model and singer, with the crisis she asks 15 € for sex, half of what he asked before. She spends most of his money to buy drugs.
  17. View from a room of one of the many hotels around Omonia, where the only business is prostitution.
    View from a room of one of the many hotels around Omonia, where the only business is prostitution.
  18. Using heroin open-air,  In an alley behind one of the sex hotels.
    Using heroin open-air, In an alley behind one of the sex hotels.
  19. Louka, 24 years. Psychology student. He tells me that he does not just for money but also for his experience. If he asked for 100 € before the crisis, he now asks for 50, money that still allows him to live in one of the wealthiest areas in Athens.
    Louka, 24 years. Psychology student. He tells me that he does not just for money but also for his experience. If he asked for 100 € before the crisis, he now asks for 50, money that still allows him to live in one of the wealthiest areas in Athens.
  20. The area of Omonia, in the city center.
    The area of Omonia, in the city center.