Small-City America By the Lens of an Immigrant

In 2015, Greek-born photographer Niko Kallianiotis started driving round Pennsylvania, taking photographs of small-town life.

Kallianiotis, who grew up within the small Greek city of Kozani, says he feels a powerful connection to those modest, blue-collar cities.

Though Kallianiotis does not keep away from the shuttered retailers and closed-down factories, his images deal with the human aspect of life within the Rust Belt.

When Pennsylvania grew to become a battleground within the 2016 presidential election, Kallianiotis’s venture took on an sudden political resonance.

Kallianiotis says the images aren’t deliberately political, though they do contact on political and financial themes.

Kallianiotis was shocked to listen to a tv reporter expressing shock on the financial situations of the Rust Belt shorly after the election—situations that he and different Pennsylvanians are all too accustomed to.

Though Kallianiotis sees some similarities between Greece and America, one distinction is that small Greek cities nonetheless have many mom-and-pop shops, whereas in America large field shops have largely pushed their competitors out of enterprise.

Kallianiotis says that rich Greeks keep in nearer contact with impoverished areas of the nation than do prosperous People.

“You make people into caricatures, and then you wonder what happened,” Kallianiotis observes concerning the 2016 election.

Kallianiotis does not draw back from the uglier aspect of life in Rust Belt America, corresponding to boarded up retailers.

This picture, taken at a bus cease in Western Pennsylvania, was one of many first images Kallianiotis took for the collection.

“I want my photographs to start a conversation about this area, and maybe provide an entrance into a discussion that can benefit everyone,” Kallianiotis says.

Kallianiotis moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1999, a 12 months after immigrating from Greece, and has lived there ever since.

“I have a very heavy accent, I’m a foreigner, but when I go into these areas I’ve never had a problem,” Kallianiotis says. “What I’ve encountered is people getting along.”

Kallianiotis says that each one People ought to go to Rust Belt cities like this one fairly than depend on media depictions that are not all the time correct.

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