Bruce Tanner photographer

"Suspect Area" - Gyaros Political Prison

A "Suspect Area" in this context is where unexploded munitions are. Not very well known outside Greece, Gyaros is a deserted island which was used as a political prison during the right wing Greek Military junta rule between 1967 and 1974.

It had been used as a prison prior to that going back as far as Roman times.

During the second half of the 20th century a total of 22,000 political prisoners, journalists or those thought by the government to be undesirable such as members of the LBGT+ community were sent there. They were forced to build the prison itself which was known as "Devils Island". After the military regime was overthrown, it was used as a firing range and it was not until 1989 that it was declared a national monument so that this concentration camp would never be forgotten. This was to be a warning of the dangers of oppression but successive governments have largely ignored the prison, preferring to leave it to decay and be forgotten.

In 2019, it became the first marine protected area in the Cyclades. The absence of humans in recent years had allowed populations of monk seals to thrive. There used to be an annual pilgrimage of survivors and families of those who didn't survive but, apart from that, it remains deserted and difficult to access because landing there is forbidden.

All images were shot on a panoramic camera mostly in May 2011.