On the last page of every issue, the reader can find the story of one of its vendors. This story – something between a diary and a CV – is written in first-person and within 700 words it tells a whole life. A life that could be our neighbor’s, our relative’s or our very self’s.
The project is these stories. Shedia’s vendors read out their “last page” and film their everyday lives.
After a very short training, they borrow a GoPro for as long as they need to, and film whatever they choose: things and places they like, their homes, their people, and let us in their lives.
I have been buying the magazine for more than two years now, and most of the time I get to the last page when I am on the metro. Every time I read it, I get this choking, teary feeling that I am always trying to hide. I am moved; by the courage these people need to lift and carry the burden and stigma of homelessness and long-term unemployment. My two brothers are in their late fifties, they have been unemployed for years due to the infamous “Greek Crisis”, but they own their houses and had people around in better shape to help. The stories of Shedia’s vendors are real, these people are around us and they deserve our attention more than our philanthropy. And it is important that their stories are told – as much as that is possible – unfiltered and free from TV and documentary clichés. That is why I chose to do something about these stories WITH the protagonists.
Much like the magazine, the project is not begging nor about self-pity. Quite the contrary, it is about dignity and solidarity. LAST PAGE STORY wishes to bring the effects of homelessness and long-term unemployment into new light, and above all to turn these people from invisible to visible.
Lefteris Fylaktos is a documentary filmmaker living in Athens, Greece and currently working as a Commissioning Editor for the Greek Programming Department of ERT S.A. – the Greek Public Broadcasting Corporation. He is also the National Coordinator for INPUT – International Public TV Organization – Greece. He has been active since 1997 in the conception and production of audio-visual content as Television Director and as Independent Documentary Filmmaker. His expertise includes several award-winning documentaries (including two audience awards at the Thessaloniki International Documentary Festival) and video projects for public, private and international organizations. He has experience in cross-media projects, cooperating with the Korsakow Institut in Berlin since 2011, and has served as jury and delegate for numerous media organisations and festivals. In 2012 he was awarded a Master’s Degree in Visual and Media Anthropology from Freie Universität Berlin.