Women are not for sale.Zero tolerance toward any type of violence.Speak up.

In this post I am going to share with you a photo shooting we accomplished back in November 2020 and specifically on the 25th,which is the International Day for the elimination of violence against women.After the me Too movemet in US,the past few weeks there is a wave,in my country Greee,with a heap of accusations against high prolific names on the entertainment industry,in the fields of theatre,T.V. and movie productions but also they have been some reports about journalists.

Here on Escape Karma we show zero tolerance towards any type of violence,verbal,physical,sexual,psychological and not only against women(it was just the concept of the day and I was the available role model) but against homosexual and heterosexual men too and mainly we want to raise awareness about children abuse.

What came to the light of the publicity so far about what’s going on behind the curtains of the theatre or the auditions were shocking for some of us but it has been long whispered in the art world although never openly discussed.

The concept of the photo shooting conceived by me and my collaborator and photographer Panagiotis Kadigkos,he wrapped my face to the point which literally,I almost were able to breathe and my body so that I can barely be able to move.

In that way we were willing to approach the feelings of the victims,to get to know their psychology or the reason of their non-reaction,the fact that they feel paralyzed in front of their abuser,in order for me to be able to capture the expressions on the photos and try to put myself on their shoes.What we did we did it with respect,our intentions are to empower those people,to give a helping hand,to awake the society so as to speak up about the injustice when we become witnesses of unjustifiable phenomena.

Photos Panagiotis Kadigkos

The first question that comes to mind,not to everyone’s fortunately,is why now?Why the victim decided to speak his truth about the abuse after so many years?Well if life were kind with you and you’ve never experienced something like this before at least please try to understand them in depth.

But we are proud and standing by the side of those who find the strength and the courage to share their burden with us in order to ease their souls,to protect and empower others,to heal their traumas,to accept and love themselves and in the end to forgive their abuser for their own cracked psychology who lead them to the abhorrent action.

Photo Panagiotis Kadigkos

The act of speaking up is of utmost importance,not because society thirsts for gossip and intrigue and is always ready to devour and taunt the perpetrators,but mostly because this act can enable and offer the chance to other victims in order to take the decision and share their agonizing story.

It gets a lot of nerve to reveal something so painful and personal,this act though may prevent future incidents,could lead the victims to alleviate their long time trauma and last but not least it opens the way to accept and love themselves despite the harassment and the abuse they have experienced.

Hope my article and photo story not insult those affected and not underestimate the seriousness of the current situation concerning the accusations of harassment and abuse.There is also one more photo shooting,a little bit more shocking,soon to be published.What causes me deep saddens,is the fact that our society lost the ability to get shocked,we are so familiar to the violence that violence itself doesn’t upset us.

Feel free to contact me if there is something that I have to alter or if you have something to state.

Photographer:Panagiotis Kadigkos

Model:Eleni Kadigkou

Eleni Kadigkou Xx

What to keep and what to “burn” from 2020.How to set goals for 2021?

What a year 2020 had been!However if you are here reading this article,it means that you made it so far and to survive this year wasn’t that simple for everyone.But was it so bad?Let’s decode what a tough and unpredictable year had to teach us.Because,as everything weird and hard in life,the past year also included,we can find a double meaning.Maybe the pandemic and the isolation changed our lives in a way that before seemed like a science fiction plot but if you are wise enough you should have gained enough.

text
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Beside the Covid-19 which altered the everyday life and our habits,in 2020 the planet was in turmoil,related to health,financial,political and many other issues.However,our topic is what to keep and what to discard from the previous year as concern the pandemic.Isolation and social distancing are on the list of what to burn.Not hugging your beloved ones also,not being free,not traveling,not to be able to meet friends out and have a drink and laugh carefree too.

set of chess pieces in daylight
Photo by Joseph Ruwa on Pexels.com

Although if you are wise enough you should have learned a lot from a life-changing year.Keeping some distance and calm down from an extraverted social and party life is not always that bad,working from home also.Human beings need that kind of personal space to redefine themselves and by extension their goals and desires.If we always seek for satisfaction depending on external conditions we will never be able to find it by ourselves.Taking some time all alone in order to do your self criticism is not only essential but constructive too in the road of success and in moving on.

scrabble resolutions
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

In case that you lost your job or you are in work suspension due to Covid-19 you probably have plenty of time,but don’t waste it on worrying and grumbling,instead make a good use of it.Ask yourself if your job satisfies you,do you wake up in the morning and have that great feeling about it,does it please you financially and mostly what you have been doing for living is that what you really want for life?Maybe it’s time to educate yourself more,to learn somrthing new,to change career or to retrieve from your memory your dream of creating your own business and leading your path.

star glitters with magic text
Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

There is no magic trick in life neither spells or Genie like Aladdin’s.Although I may be characterized as a dreamer rather than a realist,let’s face it;dreams are actually the goals we set for ourselves but sometimes we are afraid to chase them.Nevertheless how to set goals in an unstable year and what to expect?

planner and calendar on pick background
Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

To begin with one should already know what he wants and maintain in his mind the clear picture of the desired outcome.Although to have self awareness is not that simple for most of the people,to find it meditate,take long walks,listen to some music you love,start writting down your dreams,your thoughts,a diary with your habits.Once you have it,organize it better,set short term goals,week by week,take action and the necessary steps,switch what doesn’t work.The progress and the change in your life will come as long as you are working upon it.Either it’s a business plan or a fitness one to have the body of your dreams or generally to ensure better quality on your daily life.

creative composition of modern notebooks and paper clips
Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

They say nothing happens without a reason.Maybe all this or whatever you called as bad luck is your sign from the universe to make the change you have been wishing for.”Nothing is so stable as change”,Bob Dylan said and we couldn’t agree more.If you are willing to move on you need to alter habits and adjust quickly to the new conditions.I won’t call myself an expert,I just share some of my thoughts with you,based also on my personal experience.The isolation helped me to take the decision to launch my online magazine,Escape Karma,something that I’ve been working on my mind for years.I am glad so far because I feel free and content with what I am dealing everyday.Whatever your goal or dream is I wish you this year to chase it and fulfil it!

Eleni Kadigkou Xx

Nedal Al Taoba,an outstanding collage artist who redifines activism on Instagram

Collage made by Nedal Al Taoba Touches on the monstrous contradictions of our societies

First of all,I would like to thank Nedal,for the photos he sent me and his contribution on Escape Karma magazine.Let me introduce you his story and his work.Nedal Al Taoba is a 27year-old Palestinian who grew up in Syria after his family presecution for their homeland.As a young person who felt the need of freedom and justice,he has been involved with activism from his early years,in a demonstration in Syria he got shot and afterwards moved to Beirut,Lebanon.Once again there as a Palestinian he experienced restrictions and deprivation of human rights.His next station was Greece for a small period of time where he experienced asylum.Currently he lives in Germany with his wife.

Nedal Al Taoba a collage inspired by the Beirut explosion on August 4th 2020

Although Nedal lives in Europe now,he never forgets the Arabic world and the countries of middle East,he is well aware of the wars,the massacres and the unrests there.After the explosion in Beirut,a city where he lived for a while,he combined photos captured by some of his friends and photographers that display smoke after bomb explosions in the middle East in order to accomplish his collage which caused global sensation.

A Nedal Al Taoba collage inspired by the racial and justice and the killing of George Floyd

Through his collage art Nedal,doesn’t only referes to the problems of the Arabic world,but his activism expands worldwide,on racial,environmental,humanitarian,social and political issues.What impress me about him is the way he manages his personal experience and difficulties he faced so far and as a result he transforms them into awaking and so touching art.

Nedal Al Taoba collage art,photo captured after the large fire in Moria refugee camp in Greece,September 9,2020

Is there a time for kohl and lipstick

A time for curling hair

Is there a time for high street shopping

To find the right dress to wear

Miss Sarajevo,

Some of his works feel like a punch on the face.They are so meaningful and powerful that is almost impossible not to touch you or make you feel anger and disgust about the impassiveness and the indifference on the pain and the struggle of less favoured fellow human beings.To this point we once again be capable of realizing the meaning and the mission of art,its use is not restricted to delight us but also to inspire,to awaken,to trigger feelings,to force us to turn to our inner world,to move us,to lead us think and question.And Nedal’s art has the ability and the power to make all of the things that I mentioned.

Nedal Al Taoba ,mix of his collages

“Is there a time for tying ribbons

A time for Christmas trees

Is there a time for laying tables

And the night is set to freeze”

Miss Sarajevo,U2
Nedal Al Taoba ‘s Christmas Tree collage
Miss Sarajevo,U2 and Luciano Pavarotti
Nedal Al Taoba

“Is there a time for first communion
A time for East Seventeen
Is there a time to turn to Mecca
Is there time to be a beauty queen”

Miss Sarajevo,U2

Nedal Al Taoba’s collage art

Through his oeuvre we are able to spot that he is not only focused on the middle East and the bombings,but his awareness affected by environmetal and global issues and to go beyond he also made collages inspired by the pandemic caused by Covid-19 and the discussion around the vaccines.

Last but not least,Nedal is not only an activist on Instagram and the rest of social media but in real life too.Let’s get political,philosophical,humanitarian volunteers,let’s act on global issues that affect us all.

Thank you for taking the time to read.He left me speechless with the first collage I saw on Instagram and felt the need to contact him to congratulate him on his work and ask him to contribute on my magazine.We had a discussion over his art and the issues we face as a modern society.He is kind,smart and willing to help you without even knowing you.

From Nedal’s Instagram account

You can Follow Nedal on Instagram and Facebook.

Eleni Kadigkou Xx

Had one or two random successes but then you feel like “you hit a wall” ? Why dedication and hard work are not always the keys to productivity .

Have you ever find yourself to this position ? You try to give the best of you everyday , you work hard , you are dedicated , most of the time you are thinking about your tasks and your projects but in the end you feel something’s missing and you don’t get the reward you were expecting . Let’s face it “burnout ” is a phenomenon of the contemporary societies .But how to avoid reaching this point ? Let’s discuss this matter below .

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

If you happened to feel mental , physical and emotion exhaustion , and you suffer from excessive and prolonged stress , you are probably dealing with burnout .Additionally if you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place and your productivity and energy has been reduced you are already overworked .But how the steps you have been taking led you to this point so far ?

Normally , when you begin new things or the job of your dreams , even you are a freelancer or not , you are enthusiastic , full of energy and ideas , you see the big picture , that of the recognition of the hard work you are willing to do . You are young and lack of sleep , skipping meals or eating junk food doesn’t affect you , dedication for you is the most important in the road of success even if you have to sacrifice the carefree moments with your beloved ones or the hobbies and activities that you used to enjoy before .

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Burnout is a gradual process , if you are able to spot the signs and the ringing bells you may prevent a major breakdown .But to reverse the situation you need to first recognize it and then build your resilience . Balance is the key every time , as the ancient Greek philosophers used to say “Everything in moderation ” . Lately , we are facing a pandemic and many of us are forced to work from home but there are people that were already doing so , and this can even been convenient and flexible or lead you to work in an excess degree without following any program .

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

However having a program and having a routine are not always synonyms . Following a schedule means to adjust to the needs and demands of each day ,knowing where to stop and where to begin , fulfil your tasks on time ,have some proper rest and taking quality breaks , in addition keeping a schedule on your sleep and meals included .On the other hand routine stands for repeating the same day like nothing changed from the previous one ,following a pattern of behaviour that becomes habitual , doing work in a monotonous and unchallenging way which lack of surprising .

And even if you happened to have one or two random successes amid this condition you may again feel the lack of motivation for your career and by extension for your personal life too . Finding yourself caught in a trap , returning back to the hard work and your old patterns , ending feeling that your effort is unvalued . But how once we are in the deep water we can find the way back ? By changing the frame and reconsidering our strategy .

Images Panagiotis Kadigkos

Let’s see some options we have in order to reverse it

  • Re-examine the object of your profession ,maybe it’s not yourself to blame but the nature of your occupation that doesn’t satisfy you anymore ,maybe it’s time to switch field of work
  • If you used to love your job try to remember the days that you were” on fire” and thriving, you need to restore that feeling back and the manners you followed
  • Write down at least for a week a diary , what time you wake-up ,sleep ,work, eat ,your tasks and deadlines , then examine it thoroughly and spot what doesn’t work in order to discard it
  • Be realistic and objective , ask help from your colleagues or closed ones or if it’s possible take a distance and take a look of your manners as an external observer
  • Plan new strategies and apply them until you have the one that works better
  • Less is more , is a fashion quote but can find its application in many fields , work less hours but focus on specific projects ,by this way you can increase your productivity
  • Take some time off , for vacations , your loved ones , let yourself indulge in delights
  • Keep a balanced diet and exercise on a weekly schedule , even if you go only for stretching your body will be thankful of it

To sum up , in case that you are dealing with issues like those I’ve just mentioned , motivate yourself to take the steps that can relieve stress and burnout. I am not an expert ; however my article based on observation of people in my environment and the observation of my patterns and forms too . Believe me I used to be the queen of procrastination , even though I knew the solution in issues that I was facing I find it hard to take decisions or force my self to organize and follow schedules . But eventually , I abandoned some of my old habits and replace them with more productive ones . As Rolling Stones sing “old habits die hard ” but once you break them and substitute with more efficient for you , you will never go back .

Hope you ‘ll find it useful , if you have any personal experience on the matter , please share your advices with us .Till next time .

Eleni Kadigkou Xx

Before you say ” I’m extra” and “too much”, ask yourself… are you even “enough “? The importance of ”being you” .

Have you ever felt “guilty” or like others judge you behind your back for being too much of everything ? If you happen to have an exuberant personality and deviate behaviour , such as me , you ‘d probably understand what I mean . But since when should we keep our madness and uniqueness secret? Should we all be mysterious , secretive , sedate and live a quiet and private life ?

What I can recall from my childhood and also from the reports of my family ,is that I used to be an hyperactive (yeah never not dancing ) child , above the average social , curious about everything , reading books since 4 years old , organizing home made theatrical plays with my brother and pretending to be a journalist while interviewing my grandparents . Growing up and keeping that curiosity alive , external factors such as my experiences , travelling , art , music , the interaction with other interesting people , added more intriguing pieces to the puzzle of my personality . Nevertheless , I am not here to explain or apologize for who I am , but to discuss with you the fact of first accepting yourself , celebrate it and never have to hide it form others .

The world right now feels like been divided by two counterbalancing and diametrical opposite forces , on the one hand we have over-exposure and information overload and on the other hidden secrets and secrecy .Which is your role on this society ,are you the loud or the quiet ones ? The balance is the key word and after all never have to follow the masses but live by your own beat . If it feels ok to dance and talk too much and share your beautiful thoughts , your art , your special talent then do it , but do it because it arises from the inside , not fake it ,we should distinguish this . Otherwise if your private or professional life , your personality , ideas and talents are a personal matter it’s your choice to keep it silent .

Nonetheless , I belong to the crazy ones , the exuberant and liberated human beings . Imagine a society without this kind of people , if everything was meant to be kept secret how many great artworks , actors and films , emblematic books or notable people the world would be missing ? Planet earth is not a graveyard but our personal theatrical scene to play the role one has been given .

The roles I’ve been playing during the photoshootings or my daily life are inextricably entwined with my life and experiences . They are part of my vision of the world , a world of fantasies . If i am about to give you an advice it would be this: keep the young child alive , whenever you are connected with your intuition act , never doubt about yourself and life choices when your heart beats and your mind is clear . Intelligence is not only the maths and physics , offer your unique perspective , be inventive , and provide your ground-breaking ideas even when they seem so weird or so ahead of your time .

In the end when you leave the physical world what would you like it to be your legacy and your contribution to humanity , other than your true self , the kindness you’ve shown so far , the “gift” of being one of its kind ? Never be afraid or be reluctant on sharing love , emotions , ideas , perspectives , opinions . Celebrate and embrace yourself not in egopathy and egocentric way but in a way that others respect and eventually accept .

“All I can do is be me ,whoever that is “

Bob Dylan
Have you ever thought of writing a book ? People like me don't write books . We're written about .

I will be back with more thoughts related to matters such as the one that you have just read .It would be great if you share with me your opinion about the importance of being you and how you respond and adjust your personality in the modern society .

Eleni Kadigkou Xx

Photos on the article : Panagiotis Kadigkos