Iakovos Hatzistavrou was born in 1966, in Athens, Greece. Since 1987 he works as a professional photographer and photojournalist and has covered the news for hundreds of Greek and international print media. He has also been working on feature stories and documentary as a freelancer. For his photographic projects he travels mostly in Europe, Balkans and Middle east and focuses exclusively on the human being. He has collaborated with many Greek and international newspapers and magazines as well as governmental agencies. His work has been widely published in Greece and abroad. National Geographic magazine/Greek edition and abroad and Traveler, "Le Monde", "VSD", "Newsweek", "Ver.di publik ", "Vimagazino", are only a few to mention. The last few years, due to the difficult economic and social circumstances, he works mainly in Greece and focuses his interest on vulnerable social groups that face daily problems of survival: People with special needs, drug addicts, homeless, Roma, patients in institutions, immigrants, refugees, people living below the poverty line and newly poor. He also cooperates as a photographer with NGOs and institutions in Greece and abroad. The last two years, as a photographer of the NGO "Klimaka", he is actively involved in activities that aim at making available mental health services and also at the implementation of social integration of vulnerable groups. From October of 2012 he split his basis between Greece and Cyprus for his human interest projects, covering feature stories and news for magazines and newspapers and he is a correspondent for the National Geographic on issues having to do with the environment and Geography in Cyprus Also, He producing and directing a documentary film about "Homeless people in Greece" [http://homelessmovie.wordpress.com] He is a member of the EFE (Greek Union of Photojournalists) and member at the Art chamber of Greece, co-founder of Phasma2 photographers group, the SPELEO (Hellenic Speleological & Exploration Club), he is involved in scuba photography (SDI-TDI) and the "paragliding", he is a Samaritan and member of a rescue team of the Greek Red Cross with a (PHTLS) "Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support" and (BLS) "Breathing Life Support" diploma.
In the last few years Athens has dramatically changed.
The residents complain about the situation in the historical center. Drugs, robberies, prostitution are on the rise, with a daily manhunt by the police.
Greece is dangerously winning the first place in drug use amongst the countries of Europe.