Lefteris Pitarakis is a videojournalist and photographer for The Associated Press based in Athens. He started his photojournalism career in 1995 in the Greek capital and joined the AP in 1998. Following several years of covering Greece and the Balkans, he was assigned to AP’s Middle East operations.
From 2000 to 2005, he mainly documented the Palestinian uprising against Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and also extensively covered the greater region. Additionally, he chronicled stories of conflict in Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Libya and Pakistan and the aftermath of the U.S. – led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
From the Middle East he moved to London, where he was based from 2005 to 2015 covering the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa while continuing to travel to the Middle East on multiple assignments. His work has been published in major international publications and online media and has been exhibited throughout Europe and the United States. He has received various awards and his coverage of the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon was part of a group of AP photographers who were finalists for that year’s Pulitzer Prize.
From 2015 to 2020 he was the AP Chief Photographer, Turkey, based in Istanbul. He covered extensively the military operations at the border with Syria and the refugee crisis.
A strong advocate of ethics in photojournalism, he regularly presents his work and lectures about the value of ethics and also psychological trauma to journalists to university students and conferences throughout the U.K., U.S. and Europe.