Photographic adaptations of Cavafy | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2052-3971
  • E-ISSN: 2052-398X



This article offers a critical discussion of photographic projects based on Cavafy’s poetry. It begins with an overview of the theoretical implications of photographing poetry within the wider framework of photography and literature as fields interconnected in their narrative concerns. To establish the link between photographic and other visual adaptations, the article goes on to discuss Cavafy in painting; this dicussion proves that gay agendas that framed the project of such photographers as Duane Michals or Dimitris Yeros, had already appeared in the work of painters, notably David Hockney. In its second part, the article examines in detail the most important photographic adaptations of Cavafy’s work from 1978 to the present day, placing them in two large categories: the ‘gay’ adaptations, which focus on issues of body, sexuality and LGB rights, and those (more recent ones) that identify Cavafy with modernity, aestheticism and memory. The proliferation of photographic projects based on Cavafy points to his transformation from literary figure to a creative field inviting artists to self-expression.


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