“There was a planned protest march against a parliamentary vote on Greece’s five-year austerity plan that included tax hikes and government spending cuts, which degenerated into a violent clash between protesters and riot police.
I was standing on the elevated entrance of a central hotel on Syntagma square with other photographers covering the clashes. The police had just pushed back protesters with the use of teargas. Suddenly, through a cloud of teargas, a group of frightened tourists appeared, with luggage in hand and covering their noses, and started running towards us. The scene was totally surreal: In the middle of a stone war and teargas, tourists visiting Athens on their summer holidays were trying to reach their hotel.
I didn’t think twice, I lifted my camera and followed their agonizing effort until they reached the hotel entrance where we were standing. The door opened and they vanished behind it, safe and into a reality much different from the one that was evolving before me.”
Canon EOS 1 Mark IV, lens 70-200mm, f14, 1/400, ISO 320
Caption: Tourists run from teargas in central Athens during anti-austerity protests, June 15, 2011. REUTERS/John Kolesidis