City at a Time of Crisis

 

 

Tracing and researching crisis-ridden urban public spaces

in Athens, Greece.

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08
Jul2013

Landscapes of Emergency is a brief glance over the undeclared state of emergency that casts its shadow over the functions and the phenomena of public space in Athens today, at this time of crisis.

08
Jul2013

Landscapes of Emergency is a brief glance over the undeclared state of emergency that casts its shadow over the functions and the phenomena of public space in Athens today, at this time of crisis.

01
Jul2013

A muffled, halting engine sound and the front of a train carriage peeking through a tunnel, making its way to a station platform. Coming to a still, the train opens its doors to an inflow and outflow of bodies before taking off once again. There might very well exist no image that is more exemplary, no experience that is more stereotypical of a feature ascribed to the urbanite the world over: movement.

24
Jun2013

Ένα χρονικό των γεγονότων της ελληνικής κρίσης σε τοπικό, εθνικό και διεθνές επίπεδο από το 2008 μέχρι σήμερα. Ενημερώνεται κάθε τρίμηνο.

17
Jun2013

IV. Plastic Deformations of “Common Sense”

And so, we find ourselves at the cross-section between two crucial active processes that include, on the one hand, the shady characteristics of the financial crisis ––and hence, the articulations of the state of emergency as well–– and on the other hand, the persistent demands for the urbanisation of the military subject, with the necessary emphasis upon the asymmetric dimensions that characterise the contemporary environment of armed conflict.

10
Jun2013

III. Paradigmatic constructions at a time of crisis

Our brief but nevertheless demanding perambulation in both the world of linguistics and the field of epistemology aimed at setting the theoretical foundations for an alternative comprehension of the informal, undeclared and performative appearances of the state of emergency. We now ought to test out the limit of these, by peeking over the bleak present as outlined by the intensive police operations against select façades of public space in Athens and beyond. An opportunity to conduct such an exercise is offered by the coordinated eviction operations of specific squats that took place in the city of Athens in the period between December 2012 and January 2013 (whilst it is not yet possible for us to tell whether the current period, today, comprises a mere pause in the materialisation of this plan).

07
Jun2013

 

The aim of this map is to provide up-to-date information about racist attacks taking place in Athens and other Greek cities. The map is accessible here:

map.crisis-scape.net

Being constantly updated, it will become an ongoing reference point where the quantity and scale of attacks, their location and severity can be grasped at a glance. The map will highlight and prioritise first-hand reports, yet it will nevertheless include information submitted by individuals, witnesses, mainstream or independent media –– as long as it meets a minimal verification level.

Given the complexity of the legal status and story of each migrant individual identities will remain hidden unless they have already been publicised elsewhere or the person explicitly wishes to publish their identity. This of course also counts for anyone else that might risk police persecution or fascist violence.


Our aspiration is for the map to become a tool for anti-racist and anti-fascist organising locally and for raising international awareness and pressure.

 

Ο στόχος αυτού του χάρτη είναι να παρέχει πληροφορίες σχετικά με τις ρατσιστικές επιθέσεις που λαμβάνουν χώρα στην Αθήνα και σε άλλες ελληνικές πόλεις.

Ο χάρτης είναι προσβάσιμος εδώ:
map.crisis-scape.net

Ο χάρτης ενημερώνεται συνεχώς σε αληθινό χρόνο, και η επιδίωξη είναι να γίνει ένα τρέχων σημείο αναφοράς, όπου η έκταση και ο αριθμός των επιθέσεων, η τοποθεσία και η σοβαρότητά θα είναι ορατή με μια ματιά. Ο χάρτης θα αναδείξει και θα έχει ως προτεραιότητα τις αναφορές, από παθόντες/ούσες, τους/τις γνωστούς/ες φίλους/ες ή συγγενείς τους. Αλλά θα περιλαμβάνει και πληροφορίες που υποβάλλονται από άλλα άτομα, που είτε υπήρξαν μάρτυρες περιστατικών, είτε επιθυμούν να καταγράψουν ένα περιστατικό που είδαν σε επίσημα ή ανεξάρτητα μέσα ενημέρωσης - εφ 'όσον πληροί ένα ελάχιστο επίπεδο επαλήθευσης.

Δεδομένης της πολυπλοκότητας του νομικού καθεστώτος και της εκάστοτε προσωπικής περίπτωσης του κάθε μετανάστη, τα στοιχεία της ατομικής ταυτότητας θα παραμείνουν ανώνυμα. Εκτός εάν έχουν ήδη δημοσιοποιηθεί αλλού ή το θύμα επιθυμεί ρητά να δημοσιεύει η ταυτότητά του/της. Η αρχή της ανωνυμίας μετράει επίσης για οποιονδήποτε άλλο θα μπορούσε να κινδυνεύει από αστυνομική δίωξη ή φασιστικής βία.

Επιδίωξη είναι ο χάρτης να γίνει ένα εργαλείο για την καταπολέμηση του ρατσισμού και να βοηθήσει την κατά τόπους αντι-φασιστική δράση, αλλά και να συμβάλλει στην διεθνή ευαισθητοποίηση και πίεση.

03
Jun2013

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.

27
May2013

I. The metro is the quintessential blood-line of the metropolis. It traverses it, just like the veins traverse the human body. This, then, becomes one of the fastest rule-of-thumb we have in understanding whether a city holds a metropolitan calibre: is it big enough to have a metro? And so, it seemed perfectly fitting for Athens to acquire its metro system at that exact moment when it had also believed, momentarily, that it gained metropolitan status... the Olympics, the construction boom, the apparent prosperity (for some) –– and the relentless exploitation to match it (for most): somehow, without anyone really ever being able to explain how or why, Athens appeared to be making it; it seemed like it was firmly standing with both feet in the West. For a fleeting moment, Athens had become a Metropolis.

20
May2013

Translated to Spanish here.

 

“Q: What will my benefit be as a citizen/ professional / visitor in Athens?

 

A: The functional and environmental rebirth of the centre will shed light on even the darkest and most unwanted sides of it. Panepistimiou Street and Omonoia Square will become the liveliest neighborhood, as a city centre for shopping during the day and as a nighttime “place to be”, whereas the area will become a special meeting place for Athenians from all neighborhoods. Living conditions will improve significantly and a large part of the centre will be re-inhabited, whereas the trade, entrepreneurial and tourist activity all over this area will be revitalized.”

 

From the website of Rethink Athens. (Original in English, Original Grammar has been retained, http://www.rethinkathens.org/eng/faq)


Athens centre [1] supposedly is preparing for one more big regeneration project. This time the city will have to reconstruct anew one of its most central streets, Panepistimiou, including Athens’ two most central Squares: Syntagma and Omonoia. The project will involve a semi-pedestrianization of Panepistimiou Avenue, which will be re-paved, while several new features such as water fountains or trees will replace the asphalted avenue. An international architecture competition took place during 2012 and the winner (a Dutch urban development office) was announced in early 2013. The political authorities of the country including the Prime Minister (PM) participated in the launching event. The PM was clear in his speech that ‘Rethink Athens’ is part of a larger project, which involves the privatization and regeneration of the old Athens airport along the regeneration of the Athenian seafront up-to Cape Sounio, 60km southern of Athens centre.

13
May2013

II. From language to paradigm.
 
The structural relationship between language (and therefore, its pragmatic function too) and law (and therefore, the state of emergency too) is also revealed in another, indirect way through Agamben's work. Many years before he attempted to offer some clarifications upon the central position of the notion of paradigm in his work, the Italian philosopher wrote: “exemplary is what is not defined by any property, except by being-called” [1].  It would therefore suffice to even briefly ponder over the definition above in order for one to see the similarity this holds with the exposure-to-language that Agamben focused upon in the late part of the same book, and to which he dedicated and continues to dedicate a large part of his work as a whole [2].

12
May2013

Ο "Μετρονόμος" είναι το πρώτο σύντομο βίντεο του ερευνητικού εγχειρήματος  Mass Transient (Μάζα Εν Κινήσει), μέρος του ερευνητικού προγράμματος Η Πόλη την Εποχή της Κρίσης: crisis-scape.net.


Υπάρχουν στιγμές στην ιστορία που ο χρόνος σα να επιταχύνεται

Στιγμές που οι χώροι στους οποίους συνυπάρχουμε γίνονται πυκνότεροι.

Και που η συνύπαρξή μας φαντάζει πιο καταναγκαστική.

Οι στιγμές αυτές είναι αποκαλυπτικές για τους τρόπους με τους
οποίους επιλέγουμε να συνυπάρξουμε.

Από τις μικρότερες των χειρονομιών, στο πιό απροκάλυπτα ρατσιστικό
ντελίριο, μας βοηθούν να κατανοήσουμε την ανθρώπινη κατάσταση.

Τούτη εδώ είναι μια φευγαλέα ματιά σε μια τέτοια στιγμή.

 

Παραγωγή: Ross Domoney και Αντώνης Βραδής
Σκηνοθεσία: Ross Domoney
Έρευνα: Antonis Vradis
Φωτογραφία, επεξεργασία και ηχητική επένδυση: Ross Domoney
Βοηθός επεξεργασίας: Αντώνης Βραδής

08
May2013

Metronome is the first short video in Mass Transient, a research strand of the project The City at a Time of Crisis.


Mass Transient is an ethnographic study of spaces of mass transit in Athens — and beyond: it is a study that seeks to reveal the ever-growing antagonisms and tensions in these quintessential spaces of the everyday, as the crisis deepens. At this historical conjuncture, buses, trolleys and metro carriages become the primary public spaces: on the one hand moving around are the ‘fallen angels’ of the bourgeois dream, and on the other, those swirling through the city are the undocumented, seeking survival. A close, meticulous reading of these spaces can help us understand how the transitory flux of a society in turmoil becomes a galvanized reality; how a transient mass becomes critical.

Produced by Ross Domoney & Antonis Vradis

Directed by Ross Domoney
Research by Antonis Vradis
Cinematography, editing & sound mix by Ross Domoney
Assistant editing by Antonis Vradis

08
May2013

Metronome is the first short video in Mass Transient, a research strand of the project The City at a Time of Crisis.


Mass Transient is an ethnographic study of spaces of mass transit in Athens — and beyond: it is a study that seeks to reveal the ever-growing antagonisms and tensions in these quintessential spaces of the everyday, as the crisis deepens. At this historical conjuncture, buses, trolleys and metro carriages become the primary public spaces: on the one hand moving around are the ‘fallen angels’ of the bourgeois dream, and on the other, those swirling through the city are the undocumented, seeking survival. A close, meticulous reading of these spaces can help us understand how the transitory flux of a society in turmoil becomes a galvanized reality; how a transient mass becomes critical.

Produced by Ross Domoney & Antonis Vradis

Directed by Ross Domoney
Research by Antonis Vradis
Cinematography, editing & sound mix by Ross Domoney
Assistant editing by Antonis Vradis

03
May2013

“I never thought it would come to this”. Myself and the rest of the passengers in the carriage ––those, at least, close enough to the young couple–– have now become accidental eavesdroppers. Why are we bearing witness to this conversation? Why are we allowed to listen to what ought to have been tucked deep inside the realm of the private –– and why does the couple seem indifferent to safeguard the privacy of their precious words?

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About Us

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...