A project first presented in Athens during of PLATFORMA VIDEO_04 (1-4 October 2004).
In summer 2004, Athens and its residents vibrate in the highly awaited Olympic rhythm. Everyone shall give out his/her own ex ante or ex post interpretation.
Beyond temporary euphoria or discomfort of Athenians and the permanent infrastructure and operations dowry improving life in the city, Athens - during, before and after the Olympics - remains the same city of problems and rapid changes from one place to another and from one moment to another.
The everyday Athenian reality during the last years was decisively signified by an unusual surge of foreigners in the country. Economic immigrants, refugees or members of foreign missions, the city's new alien metics replaced the herds of natives who were coming from the province in former decades to embark at Omonia Square, in search of a better life in the capital. Carriers of the special culture of their place, often even externally differing from the indigenous population, they became often discrimination targets, connected with many of the country's social problems; yet, in their majority included in the city, they managed to establish their brand new life here.
The NEW ATHENIANS project is the sequel of the transathenae audiovisual exhibition, an event of the PLATFORMA VIDEO_03 presenting cinemas in the city that changed use. Objective of that exhibition has been to light up an aspect of the Athens' continuous transition process, in an optimistic and creative way.
The objective of our new effort is, through the flowing and often adversative words of the city's native and alien metics, to present the disparate charm of both old and new "Athenians", comprising nowadays the city's lively cell and making everyone more tolerant to difference.
The exhibition is comprised by two parts based upon the same starting point, while coexisting as independent entities and interacting accordingly.
The audiovisual part consists of two 20-minute videos, simultaneously projected in a dialectic context. The material composition is based on approx. 25 interviews, shot during April-July 2004 in diverse public and private spaces in the Athens centre, without any former preparation of the interviewed persons. The final presentation comprises abstracts from free shots of the urban environment on a car and on foot specially made for the project, photography exhibition excerpts as well as archive video and photograph footage.
The photography exhibition comprises a number of multi-sized photographs, documenting the project's audiovisual part. While also using stills from video shootings, it individually observes the city's metics and their environment.
Who are the NEW ATHENIANS?
Siham AL MOHAMED, Palestine • Lindsay PALAIMA, USA • Salauddin GAZI, Bangladesh • Ali Reza SAJUGHI, Iran • Daniel LEONAS, Romania • Giorgos DALIANIS, Kalamata, Greece • Nicolae SIEVACOV, Moldova • Marian URSORU, Romania • Elderdim M. FADUL, Sudan • Martin OLOFSSON, Sweden • Christos MAKRIS, Gargaliani, Greece • Idayana, Indonesia • Lucy, The Philippines • Daniel, Romania • Nikitas, Syros, Greece • Anthi, Argolis, Greece • Aravinda, Sri Lanka • Filippos, Lefkas, Greece • Angeliki, Naxos, Greece • Stephen DE VASCONCELLOS - SHARPE, Scotland
Video editing, animation graphics & direction: Sofia MARAKI
Photography exhibition: Effie FOTAKI
Logo & print-out artwork: Eleonora XANTHOPOULOU, Nicholas MARKOPOULOS
Original music tracks: Α.Η2Ο, DJ Guru-Ni, DJ Εverlast
Venue music installation: Diamantis KAZOURIS
Production coordination: Giorgos AMARANTIDIS