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Biography / Annemarie Papatheofilou

Greece. A small, inoffensive country, South-east of Birmingham.
Greece. The other side of the world.

At twenty-three, I stopped reading about the world and started to explore it. Greece held a promise. Greece was temptation without guilt. Greece was where my love affair with different cultures began. Birmingham never stood a chance. It sank beneath another gravel-gray sky and took my childhood with it.

After Greece, came the rest of Europe. After Europe came Nepal, India, Haiti, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mexico, Bolivia - places and people that have left their mark. Some have captivated, impressed, surprised. Others have challenged and shocked. All have subtly helped to shape who I am and who I will become.

On all my journeys, a notebook is never far away. I try to preserve these instantaneous, but fleeting first impressions. I collect details and construct an experience, a meeting, a place. Stories are always there to find - the search is half the fun, half the magic.

As a copywriter for Oxfam I have seen a world far removed from the tourist trail. These journeys are the hardest and the most rewarding. In these poor, often remote communities I don't need to seek out stories - people have waited a lifetime to speak up, to speak out. I listen and record and try to do them justice.

Annemarie Papatheofilou