Athens in Trans-IT-ion? Scientists, Artists, and Theorists Gather to Discuss the City

By Eva Kekou, 4Humanities International Correspondent

On Saturday April 7, 2012, scientists, artists and theorists gathered at an art space in the historic center of Kotzia square to discuss the city of Athens, the emergency situation and the actions that have to be taken. Organized by Eva Kekou, art historian and cultural theorist for the Contemporary Art Meeting Point (CAMP), the aim of this event was to discuss the character of and various perspectives on the historic center. The aim was also to initiate dialogue about ideas, proposals and events that could contribute to the different experiences of the city and the Greek reality.

Artists, scientists, and theorists contributed their ideas about and their perspectives on a city and how we experience it daily. The event centered on the city of Athens as it is perceived through research and artistic events that help us to identify problems and propose new solutions for harmonious cohabitation.

The event started in the morning at Kotzia Square with a work of nomadic architecture by artist and architect Eleni Tzirtzilaki. It continued in the afternoon with talks from the participants, beginning with Tzirtzilaki, who gave a talk entitled “Between murder and threat: Supporting the common heritage in the center of the city.” Dimitris Alithinos, artist, spoke in his talk, “Untitled…with commentary,” about a live installation he carried out in different spots throughout Athens that featured him entombing and burying people as a way check people’s reactions and insensitivity to city happenings, Sociologist Dr. Nelli Kabouri from Panteion University gave a talk entitled, “Transnational immigration networks, new media, and the renegotiation of the city center,” and, lastly, writer Christos Chrysopoulos read from his novel Flashlight in Mouth and discussed wandering as an artistic practice in literature, using the specific case of Athens and his experiences in it. The event concluded with a panel and an open discussion, as the aim was to view the city of Athens through different views, experiences and aspects; to discuss or own ideas, thoughts and feelings; and to take action.

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