Exposition: Athens vs. Athens – L’Heure d’Hiver Athènes – Cinema Galeries

Exposition: Athens vs. Athens – L’Heure d’Hiver Athènes


    Exhibition opening + drink : 13.03 – 18h

    The exhibition will be open throughout the festival from noon to 9 pm.


    Exhibition - Athens vs. Athens: as part of the "L'Heure d'Hiver Athènes" festival


    Exhibition opening + drink : 13.03 – 18h

    The exhibition will be open throughout the festival from noon to 9 pm.

    After years of consecutive crises, ‘the new Berlin’, ‘the city that never sleeps’, is now offering itself as a new imaginary ‘destination’ for tourists, investors and digital nomads: Airbnb and luxury hotels everywhere, ‘Golden visas’ at will, huge building projects and abandoned historic cinemas. This policy of ‘touristification’ of Athens goes hand in hand with a housing crisis, violent evictions, growing inequalities and recurrent police violence. Against this backdrop, this group exhibition looks at narratives against gentrification and in defense of the right to the city, as well as at gazes based on a lived relation, personal and political, to Athens.


    Despina Spyrou, a set photographer on several Greek films, takes an intimate look at the many facets of Athens. Her images present a daily portrait of the city that appears both sombre and playful.


    “The Square we inhabit”, a collective project set up by Mata Kastrisiou and Stefania Mizara, highlights the mobilisations to defend Exarheia, the historic district of resistance and solidarity movements in Athens. Seven photographers (Nicolas Georgiou, Olivia Dehez, Marc Lepson, Marios Lolos, Stefania Mizara, Tatiana Bolari, Yorgos Nounessis) document the unshakeable determination of local residents to save the district’s only square and its trees from the construction of the metro station planned by the government for the site. 


    Strefi Hill will remain free is a video celebrating the actions of the Open Assembly in Defence of Strefi Hill in Exarcheia. The hill is one of the last green spaces in the area threatened by privatisation. This self-organised community is an integral part of the movement to preserve the character of the neighborhood.


    Alexandros Katsis, photojournalist and activist, pays tribute to the streets of Athens during the crisis with the series of photos Traces, as well as to Ζak Kostopoulos, queer activist and drag queen (Zackie Oh), beaten to death in the city centre in 2018, to whom he dedicated the book Society doesn’t fit me, but my little black dress does. The book will be on sale in the bookshop ‘Tropismes’ during the festival.

    Participating artists see the city centre as a social, economic and ideological battleground. Athens vs. Athens asks what is really at stake in a city in the throes of transformation: What city policies, and by whom? Which redistribution of public space, and to whom? What value(s) for the city and for whom? Which life(s) in the city and how? 


    Which Athens vs. which Athens?

    Idea, texts and production: Yanis Stefanou

    Sound design: Manolis Lianis

    Photo credit: Despina Spyrou