International Condom Day in Thessaloniki
How an EVS Volunteer from Wales changes the look forward the use of condoms
As you might think it´s all about sexual diseases, especially HIV, Jack Cowles, a Welsh photographer who stays for an EVS in Thessaloniki, Greece, proves it has not to be.
Cowles just released a photo exhibition about the condom day which is called spread the love.
For expressing thoughts and feelings of what LOVE feels like and looks like underneath the skin, Jack projects colours and patterns on bare skin.
It takes place from February 10th until March 1st in the Uberdooze Bar in Thessaloniki.
Teresa Kampfmann & Anni von Zastrow from Praxis Greece have spoken to Jack Cowles.
I initially did some research in topics that are common in photography exhibitions but wanted to do something different. Rather than making an exhibition to show people what is going on in the world or my favourite photos I decided I would really like to capture something I can give to the community. 'Love'.
'Spread the love' is the first stage of a bigger project in which I would like to get the community involved in spreading love throughout the city in a variety of ways. I aim to make 'Spread the love' a big craze in the city before I finish my EVS therefore bringing more strangers closer together.
Why did you wanted to show those topics that way?
The way in which I shoot all of my images was to show my feelings of love to others. I chose to shoot with projections of space or explosive colours onto the skin to emphasise the feelings you get from love. The projections are aimed at showing what love to me would look like underneath the skin. 'Beautiful no matter what'.
I feel that it worked very well in my images showing an array of colours, patterns and landscapes projected onto the beautiful and delicate skin of the body.”
On what does the exhibition focus the most?
The exhibition focuses on encouraging people to 'Spread the love' to others in any way they feel they can. The next stage of the wider project will be focused on this and will be shown through exhibits and videos. The plan is not a solid plan but I have high hopes for being able to highlight the love being spread to people in need as well as people who you don’t even know.
How have you created the creative connection between condoms and naked people?
The connection between condoms and the nude art is also tied in with spreading love but I wanted to encourage people to do it in a safe way.
Do you think the exhibition has the power to create an awareness of sexual diseases?
Yes, I believe that being able to create awareness of safe sex is important so that you can love safely. At the exhibit there are free condoms being given out which would encourage people to be safe.
Why have you chosen to make this exhibition this positive towards sexuality and love and not concentrate on the sexual diseases?
I feel that with time the exhibition will turn into something bigger. A project aimed at all aspects of spreading love from photos and videos of love spreading within the cities of Europe to promoting sexual advice clinics. I want to create a viral craze that encourages people to add their video of something amazing like sitting for coffee with the homeless or helping someone with their shopping or even buy a bus ticket for someone. Just to encourage them to do it and start an internet viral that gets people involved. The acts can be caught buy photographers and videographers, writers and more to help spread it faster. If it is to work properly, the love in communities and whole nations could be incredible.
What are the reactions until now?
So far the reactions to the exhibition were great and I have taken contacts of people who would like to see more which is very positive. I have a limited time here but I’m sure I can create a solid foundation for others to take over while I go to spread love in other countries.