City at a Time of Crisis

 

 

Tracing and researching crisis-ridden urban public spaces

in Athens, Greece.

How does a global financial crisis permeate the spaces of the everyday in a city? This documentary film traces the multiple transformations of crisis-ridden Athenian public space and those who traverse it.

In three parts, Future Suspended navigates its way through the past and the present of the crisis as it gets inscribed in Athens dwellers' minds, and as it plays out in their everyday lives. The first section, Privatised, explores the legacy of mass privatisation projects that preceded the 2004 Olympics, placing them in the context of present-day privatisation schemes.

Part two, Devalued, examines the ever-shrinking spaces of migrants in the city and the violent devaluation that comes as a result. The final third, Militarised, explains how, at the exact moment when the state recedes from its welfare functions, this devaluation of Athenian lives becomes a generalised condition.

Combining geography, anthropology, urban theory and research with visual research methods and digital design, the project has attempted to read the enormous (and often devastating) social and political change playing out before our eyes through the marks it leaves on spaces of the everyday.

The rise of racism and xenophobia and the establishment of unprecedented policing are viewed through supposedly prosaic urban sites: the Athenian metro, the city's old and new airports, its highways, squares and streets.

 

Future Suspended from Ross Domoney on Vimeo.

 

 

CC BY-NC-ND

 

Many years before the first clouds of the crisis would hover over the greek skies, amidst greek society's most glorious of moments and its most mundane of days, the lives and labour of migrants would be faced with their meticulous devaluation.

 

By Statewatch.org

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]

 

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.

The 11414 phone-line is a widely publicised initiative established by the Greek Ministry of Public Order and Citizen Protection in response to international and domestic criticism of police handling of racist violence, an example of which is a damning report by the Racist Violence Recording Network[1] (henceforth RVRN). Their criticisms included that the police are often more likely to turn people away, beat or arrest them under the pretext of lack of immigration documents than they are of investigating the attacks. Bearing in mind these conditions and the ongoing stream of horror stories that emerge in the Greek media of migrants being attacked and tortured[2], a few things become apparent: that understanding and communicating the actual extent of the issue of racist violence in Greece is very important; that doing this is also very tricky; and that to do it in a manner that will have any effect on the situation is extremely difficult. This is, therefore, a tentative text, written as an introduction to an attempt that might very well fail: to map, on a rolling basis, the attacks on migrants taking place in Athens. The aim is for this mapping to raise awareness of the situation internationally and to act as a tool for counter-action locally. There have been attempts and failures to do similar things before, yet each failure has nevertheless revealed new important details about the rise of fascist violence in Greece, drawing connections to the extent of far right wing support amongst the police, local employment relations, legacies from the Greek dictatorship, national and European immigration policies, austerity and international conflict, particularly with the wars in Syria as well as most of North Africa and Afghanistan. In other words, this issue is not merely a national one but has ties and relevance far beyond the Greek borders.

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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...