City at a Time of Crisis



Tracing and researching crisis-ridden urban public spaces

in Athens, Greece.

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Στο βίντεο χρησιμοποιείται ελληνική και αγγλική μετάφραση. Για μία σύνοψη του βίντεο στα ελληνικά δείτε παρακάτω.

The neo-Νazi party Golden Dawn has been active in Greece since the mid-1980s. Through the years, GD has attacked migrants, antifascists and homosexuals, often with the tolerance or even the collaboration of parts of the Greek police force. In recent years, the party saw a largely unexplained soaring in its funding, a broad coverage of its activities (whether real or fictitious) by mainstream media and the opening up of more than fifty local branches across Athenian neighborhoods and Greek cities.


The city at a time of crisis: Mapping racist attacks in Athens

Since the onset of the financial crisis and subsequent economic policies introduced by the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Greece, racism and incidents of racist violence in the country have risen sharply. During 2012, the Racist Violence Recording Network (RVRN) recorded 154 incidents of racist violence. In 91 cases, victims said they believed that the perpetrators belonged to an extremist group. In "at least 8 cases, the victims or witnesses to the attacks reported that they recognised persons associated to Golden Dawn among the perpetrators." The RVRN also reported that "there is a distinct category of 25 incidents where police and racist violence are interlinked," with some attacks taking place in detention centres and police stations, while in others "the involvement of law enforcement officials in racist attacks was also reported." [1]

Arguably, the so-called Greek crisis is not only linked to the deregulation of the economy, but with a wider social and political deregulation. In reference to the latter, the majority of the older political schemes collapse under the weight of their contradiction, with new powers emerging in their place. The most notorious newly emerging political party is the extreme-Right wing Golden Dawn (GD) which became a parliamentary force receiving approximately 7% of the vote (over 400,000) in the double election of May-June 2012. What is more, electoral surveys suggest that if elections were to take place today (May 2013) GD would receive over 10% of the vote. But GD is not entirely new. It has existed since the mid-1980s – yet until 2010 it was a tiny group carrying out attacks against antifascist activists and migrants alike.

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City at the Time of Crisis is a research project tracing and researching the effects of the ongoing financial crisis on urban public spaces in Athens, Greece. Read more...