INSP recently heard the sad news of the death of Dimitri Koutsomytis, a designer and photographer at =Oslo who had dedicated 14 years of his life to the street paper mission, touching many with his kindness and good-hearted nature.
Before leaving his post in 2019, Dimitri had contributed fundamentally to defining the style of the street paper and producing incredible photojournalism, particularly in 2016 on a trip to Lesbos where he witnessed and documented the rescue of Syrian refugees from the sea.
In a statement on Facebook, =Oslo remembered Dimitri, writing: “A few years after Dimitri came to Norway from Greece, he volunteered to work with Norway’s first street paper. His outlook: treating drug addicts as ordinary people who were allowed to smile in pictures. At that time there was an unknown view in the media, where such groups were preferably presented from beneath a hoodie or in anonymising shadows.
“In Oslo, Dimitri knew no one, but thanks to =Oslo vendors, he could soon go to Karl Johan [Oslo’s main street] and meet twenty people who wanted to chat and hug him. He often thanked the vendors for making him feel at home in the city.
“In the international street magazine world, Dimitri was a legend, both as a photographer, designer and party lion. His pictures have been printed in magazines and newspapers sold by disadvantaged people in all continents.
“He made =Oslo a magazine with a unique style and an unmistakable visually distinctiveness. As a photographer, Dimitri had a great repertoire, from playful and contrasting studio portraits, to evocative landscaping and thought-provoking snapshots from the streets of the city. His pictures of life in and around =Oslo over these years have given us an invaluable archive of the magazine’s history, and of all the people who have passed through its doors.
“He had an amazing way of approaching the joys of life, which often made him the centre of the party. In addition to good food and good drinks, he loved a good discussion, preferably about politics. He was a sworn socialist, but also a liberal individualist. He could play arrogant and cynical, but was actually a sentimental and empathetic teddy bear of a man.
“In the midst of the shock and grief of Dimitri’s passing, it warms to read the many memorial words and greetings that are still posted by journalists he has worked with, people he has photographed, as well as good friends and industry colleagues in the country and abroad.
“The good memories of Dimitri will live on among the many people he has touched, both as a human and a photographer. And his unique photos will live on in future editions of =Oslo.”
Below is a selection of some of Dimitri’s lauded photography