[Photo Gallery/ Teaser] Exarcheia Neighborhood Athens

Athens, Greece

Following up on a conversation that was a triggering point for a refugee and Bay Area Intifada contributor to pack their bags, get out of the open air prison we call the US of …. ugh ugh ugh and travel to various flash points in the current refugee struggle taking place in Europe – BAI would like to share a simple photo gallery that gives a glimpse into the anti-authoritarian community of Exarcheia, Athens and the pretty spectacular street art that it is literally covered in.

In the coming weeks, BAI intends to release a series of articles on various issues within these communities… basically to figure stuff out through first hand experience, rather than more ish talking and assumptions. So have a look:

Image

Portrait of Pavlos Fyssas, aka Killah P, antifascist rapper murdered by Golden Down members on 17 September 2013.
Photo by MKFor more info: http://roarmag.org/2013/09/pavlos-fyssas-killed-golden-dawn/ 

Image

A memorial at the exact spot where 15 year old student Alexis Grigoropoulos was murdered by police on 6 December 2008, which sparked the largest and most intense uprising in recent Greek history.
Photo by MK

Image

Photo by MK

Image

AEK antifa ultras’ graffiti. Many Greek ultras groups have joined the antifa fight after the 6 December 2008 and the murder of Alexis Grigoropoulos by police.
Photos MK
To follow AEK antifa fans: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Αντιφασίστες-Oπαδοί-φίλαθλοι-της-ΑΕΚ-Antifa-Fans-Of-AEK/474011639295583

Image

This stencil refers to the famous photograph by Diane Arbus “Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park,” New York City (1962). Arbus captured this photograph by having the boy stand while moving around him, claiming she was trying to find the right angle. The boy became impatient and told her to “Take the picture already!” In other pictures on contact sheet, he is seen as a happy child. Arbus created images that criticized American culture. This is an example of how the power and symbolism of an image can be used by future artists to transfer a message. This way of communicating a message, by using iconic references is used in anti authoritarian Greek art, so this is also an example of the importance of the struggle in Greece to maintain free education for all, something the government is fighting against. 
Photo and caption by MK

Image

“Welcome to Athens”
Photo by MK

Image

“Always Antifa and Antisocial”
Photo by MK

A personal observation: There is an underlying tension within Athens that is incredibly clear. In recent years the number of refugees is said to have reached more than a MILLION in a country of only 10 MILLION. So, throw in that Greece is the epicenter of Europes “Economic Crisis”… Obviously this is going cause some serious hatred of the “other”.

As far as I can see, undocumented refugees  feel a certain sense of safety within Exarcheia that they don’t feel in most of Athens. This brings to light a broader point: if communities of struggle are not engaging (or not engaging more) with refugee populations, where and whom are they going to turn to?  In many instances the fascists of the Golden Dawn have used fear, intimidation, violence and murder to make undocumented refugees their robots, making the refugees their street level operatives of drug dealing, black market trading and prostitution- often times underage prostitution.

It has only been a week. The situation is fluid and it’s impossible to fully understand anything, let alone the complexity of a society rocked by austerity and the outcome of the Dublin accords that made Greece a “first entry” country – laws that practically make it impossible for refugees to move to their final destinations or simply try to begin a new life here in Greece.

Stay tuned. Much more to come…

2 thoughts on “[Photo Gallery/ Teaser] Exarcheia Neighborhood Athens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s