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Portraits of Chania's Feline Wonders


It was the summer of 2017 when I first visited Chania. An almost chance encounter, not much had been planned that summer, but that’s how great loves begin. I immediately thought that this was the perfect dimension for me, a city that envelops you with its colours, scents, culture, and people – an explosive mix that calls you back every time you leave her. “You will feel the pull” once I was told. And so I returned again in the summer of 2019 and then again in 2020 where I had the fortune to spend two wonderful months.

Chania was different in the summer of 2020. I usually photograph people I meet on the street, I stop them, I talk to them and listen to their stories, then I ask if I can capture that moment in a shot. That human connection that is established will then turn into an image that will be able to bring the observer into the scene. All of this seems impossible to do in those days with the restrictions dictated by the pandemic. The forced distancing and widespread fear had transformed the face of this city. The tourists who usually crowded the streets are few and the city seems almost asleep. And that’s how I started almost as a game to photograph these wonderful creatures that populate the city, the cats.

Paka, a grey-striped cat, moved into my house in those days as if in some way she knew I would need her in that period. Her wandering spirit makes her elusive. She is wary and studies every step I take to try to understand when she can let herself go. She is a solitary cat and does not seem to have bonded with the rest of the neighbourhood cats except for Sympetheros, who comes to visit us from time to time. Paka has hypnotising eyes. She’s the one I photograph first, and from there, my photographic journey through the streets of Chania will begin, discovering these beautiful creatures.

Each photograph tells a story of survival, is a tribute to the resilient spirit of these feline wonders, who have learned to survive in a world that often overlooks them. I hope that my portraits will challenge viewers to see these cats not as mere strays, but as individuals with their own unique stories and personalities so to appreciate the beauty and importance of all living beings.

TBC. Stay Tuned!

TBC. Stay Tuned!

Unconventionally creative with a genuine passion for photography. Here I am, Daniele. I was born in Rome and studied engineering, before moving to Oxford in 2011. Though it’s mostly been for my own pleasure, I’ve always been into photography. Like breathing or cycling, I just started doing it and all seem to be working fine.



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