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  • Nikos, working at "Tabakaria", ChaniaNikos, working at "Tabakaria", Chania© Andreas Brokalakis
Crete as we Live it

Nikos (Tabakaria, Chania)

One morning I decided to photograph an old leather processing factory in Tabakaria (Chalepa, Chania), almost certain that it was abandoned. To my surprise, the factory was pretty much alive and fully functioning and people were busy working on transforming animal skin to leather.

Mr Nikos welcomed me and kindly let me in to photograph the place and watch him work. Always smiling, he told me his story on how he left Albania with his family to end up in Crete.

As time passed, I was feeling overwhelmed by the smells of the place. The scent of chemicals and the odors from the animal skins were suffocating me.

"Don't you mind the smell? How do you bare with it?", I asked.

"If I mind? This is the work, this is what holds me".

He kept on working, humming a tune. I could not handle it for much longer, I left the place coughing... and feeling a little weird that the previous day I made a big fuss at work because the air condition was too loud.

Story and photo: Andreas Brokalakis