City at a Time of Crisis

 

 

Tracing and researching crisis-ridden urban public spaces

in Athens, Greece.

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

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.

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

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

Tick.  “I never thought it would come to this. But I probably have to go, I have to get out of this place. And soon, you know it, so will you”.

Tock.  The middle-aged man has one of the most shy but frenzied gazes that I have seen in a long while. The combination is a peculiar one, and it gets me thinking. In the metro, in the bus or in the tram, our utmost struggle is to rest our gaze somewhere; better even, to allow it a private thoroughfare, a trajectory to reach beyond the point where we stand. In a space of intense togetherness, every single other sense of ours is exposed naked: we may overhear conversations, we may smell and we may touch our fellow passengers. Taste aside, the only sense acting as line of defence against this cramped and forced conviviality is sight.

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Funded by

Partner Institution

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...