Jonathan Danko Kielkowski

Photography, Documentation

Ellinikon International

In 2018, I wandered through the deserted expanses of the once bustling Ellinikon International Airport in Athens. Opened in 1938, this airport served as the gateway to the Greek capital until its closure in April 2001, with the opening of the new Athens-Eleftherios Venizelos Airport. Instead of being demolished, Ellinikon remained as a silent witness to the past, its terminals fenced off, seldom accessible for public events.

During my photo expedition, I felt transported to another world. The abandoned halls and overgrown runways told stories of past journeys, busy arrivals, and departures. My aim was to capture the soul of this place, once full of life, now reclaimed by nature.

In 2016, the airport found a temporary purpose again when it housed over 3500 refugees in its buildings and adjacent stadiums. This temporary occupancy highlighted the tragic beauty and decay of Ellinikon.

The photos I took are not just images of an abandoned place but a window into a time long passed. They showcase the silent drama of decay and the beauty found in transience. Ellinikon stands as a symbol of the relentless passage of time and the constant change of our world.