CONFERENCE GEORGI LIKOVSKY
Saturday 7th May – 19:30h
CENTRE CULTURAL LA NAU, Aula Magna. Free entry
Gjorgji Lichovski. 1964. Bitola, Macedonia.
My beginnings are tied with taking pictures on weddings which was very profitable, but after a short period i decided to try and enter in the news photography because it was an attractive challenge for me.
In two years the breakout and wars started on the territory of former Yugoslavia. Macedonia was becoming an independent country for the first time in its history. It was a big privilege to take pictures from the creation of the country and me and my camera were witnesses of all the events that were happening in those uneasy times.
The departure of the Yugoslavian military from the Macedonian territory caused great tensions and the war was hanging in the air. I was one of the rare people to try and take photos from the leaving of JNA and that came out as а turn over in my life as I met EPA and AFP photographers looking for images.
Next was the war in Macedonia in 2001 which was very emotional for me, but I already had enough experience and my own point of view as a photographer so I could face all the challenges of the conflict. From a professional point of view, I did great, but emotionally i was in bad condition.
I soon entered EPA’s sports team and started traveling on most of the world and European championships in football, basketball and handball. There i really found myself, because i was taking pictures of young, happy and healthy people. There is no violence, everything is well organised in controlled conditions and the pictures from sport events do great in the media. According to me it’s a privilege to take pictures of sport. It’s even better that the sports are usually worked in teams and in EPA there has always been great friendships among photographers and great relations with the editors. Those were marvelous 14 years in which we succeeded to show all the bigger agencies that we can compete on an even level with all of them. In the mean time I would take pictures of news, but far from the major stories in the world with exception of the occasional tensions and conflicts in Macedonia and Kosovo.
Starting from April this year yet again I faced with a big story which was brought by the migrants which passed Macedonia on their way towards better life. In the beginning there wasn’t much interest from the European and American newspapers but I went in with all my heart and soul into it because I saw that another Exodus was beginning that would shake the world. As time passed the story was getting bigger, the pictures more horrible, the interest higher. For me at this time, my publications in the biggest news papers of the world were not as important as it was to capture and show the human suffering and tragedy of those people and show the world of the horror that was happening. To try and help the people by reporting daily of what is going on, to try and wake the consciousness of the powerful people of the world showing in explicit what the refugees go through every day on their path to a better life.
Time will show if we succeeded in our efforts, not only to report but also to help.
In any case I know that not many things have profiled me in my life as this refugee crisis that I am still working.