Jul 302015
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Original post @ A Place Called Space 

Text and Photos by Eirene

Exarheia is one of my favourite areas in Athens. It’s portrayed as a hotbed of anarchist radicalism by the media, as an area that should be avoided at all costs. It’s true that an awful lot of students live here as it’s very close to the University the Polytechnic and a large majority of them are anti-establishment and very radicalised – just looking at the posters around the area is testimony to that. A lot of the resistance that Athens has witnessed in the last years has started here. It’s here that the school boy Alexis Gregoropoulos was murdered by the police, and this sparked off large demonstrations in the streets of Athens.

Large parts of the area are very run-down, but there are also an awful lot of quiet, residential streets. There is a real sense of community here, of people using the area and living in it – a real medley of people: grungy youth, trendies, old ladies wearing twin-sets and pearls carrying their shopping, older men, newspaper under the arm, walking to their favourite cafeteria for a coffee and a read.

There is a palpable energy, a real buzz, with a mix of people who peacefully co-exist. We like it a lot.

Lots of street art all around that tells the story of this city.

The period of the crisis is over... No more lies. Freedom or Death (Freedom or Death was the rallying cry of the Greek war of Independence against the Turks)

The period of the crisis is over… No more lies. Freedom or Death (Freedom or Death was the rallying cry of the Greek war of Independence against the Turks)

 

Your system is wrong

Your system is wrong

As a noun, lathos means mistake. As an adjective it means wrong. Except it’s misspelt: it should be an omicron rather than omega.

‘Lathos’ is everywhere, usually just the word, and I have taken it to mean wrong epoch/wrong times. This time, it’s a phrase: your system is wrong.

 

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No to subjugation

No to subjugation

 

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This is a recurring image throughout the city. And no wonder. In a country where the State launches chemical warfare against its own people, gas masks become a necessary protection in any demonstration.

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We (mistakenly, naively?) thought that there would be no more chemical warfare under the new ‘left’ government. I cannot describe the shock we all felt last week when the Syriza government used tear gas against people who were demonstrating against the new and third bailout programme that has just been accepted.

 

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OXI posters, left overs from before the referendum - lots still around

OXI posters, left overs from before the referendum – lots still around

 

NO to bailout programmes and post-third bailout agreement, someone has added: What do we do now?

NO to bailout programmes and post-third bailout agreement, someone has added: What do we do now?

 

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Sisyphus

Sisyphus

Some compare the present Greek predicament and the imposition of continuous austerity to the labours of Sisyphys who was punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, repeating this action forever.

 

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Does this refer to the burning of books, or to the fact that books lighten up our lives?

 

Wake up by INO

Wake up by INO

 

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A pity about the red van that was parked in front of this mural that takes up the whole of the ground floor of this house

 

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looking closer, the dedication

 

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On the steps leading to Lykabettus Hill, Asteras 1928, referring to the sports club of Exarheia, founded in 1928. The club has three active sports sections: Men’s baskeball, men’s football and Women’s basketball. The latter team compete in the top division the A1 Ethniki.

 

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The market on the day we visited the area was extremely quiet: very few shoppers, a sign of the times. Our local market is the same – just a fraction of the usual number of people shopping.

 

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This street art that refers to the market.

 

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  3 Responses to “Street art and graffiti in Exarheia”

  1. A great piece! Thank you for this visual essay on Exarcheia.

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