Alexandros Maragos, Athens-based filmmaker and photographer, captured the stunning transformation of his city during Earth Hour 2016 in his own unique way. Setting up his equipment atop Lycabettus Hill, he lay in wait for the iconic Parthenon to dim its lights from 20:30 to 21:.30 on March 19.
The artist’s goal was to promote and document the World Wildlife Fund’s initiative for climate change through his art.
“It’s an important movement that intrigues me as both a person interested in the survival of our planet and as a photographer who can see the beauty of the event from an artistic standpoint,” he says, adding that he had filmed the Acropolis during Earth Hour in 2013 as well as Rio-Antirrio bridge in 2010.
Polishing his technique, he created an impressive video that captures the pulse of the city during Earth Hour. “It was an amazing experience and quite emotive as the lights dramatically switched off plunging the sacred rock into darkness,” says Maragos. “For the first few seconds of darkness, you could see a faint green hue covering the sacred rock. That was a surprise.”
As the domineering Parthenon faded from sight into the night, Maragos honed in on Anafiotika, the picturesque neighborhood on the northeast side of the Acropolis. “Full of life and vibrant color, nothing – not even Earth Hour – can stop the pulse of this oldest region of Athens,” he says. “Darkness accentuates the robustness of the surrounding area. You don’t often get to see this colorful Lilliputian area from such a distance.”
Using all his wizardry, Maragos shot 2,100 images over a period of two hours so as to show the juxtaposition between light and dark. He complemented the footage with US composer Blake Ewing’s haunting track, titled “Alive”.
The result is impeccable, but this is not the first time that Maragos has used his camera lens as a Greek window for the world to peek through. His work has been featured in National Geographic and he even caught the attention of NASA with his time-lapse footage of the starlit night sky above the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion.