Route: Free Self-managed Theatre Embros –Aristophanous –Evripidou -Athinas -Panepistimiou- Syntagma square – National Garden.
The action was part of the ten-day Body and Politics event.
It was a silent route- wandering through fragments-traces that concern the lost memory of the city, experiences – narrative poetry from its present – narratives of uprisings. The narratives were about the Theatrou Square and the Boukoura theater, the Municipal Theatre of Athens and its habitation by refugees from Asia Minor disaster, the occupation of the refugees’ quarters and the current residents, the events of December 2008 and the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos along with Memories from the Paris Commune, the Chiapas, the crosstalk at the police station with Electra Apostolou, the events of December ‘44 in Athens, ending up at the National Garden. There were poetry excerpts from Giorgos Ioannou, Mansour, Katerina Gogou, Pie Paolo Pasolini, live narratives about Panepistimiou Street by Nikos Kazeros, Constantina Theodorou, about REX Cinema, by Diana Sabri and Vasilis Spiropoulos about the route.
This action was a review through performativity, at Rethink Athens and at Reactivate as well as with the program “Discovering the National Garden” which was the dominant narrative for the center of the city, leaving aside, the residents, their intense problems, their rights regarding the city and their history. The action proposed another explanation of the route, through stops at specific locations associated with the collective memory of the city, with the common as well as with the struggles and riots in Athens and elsewhere. The participants followed the route in silence, making a stroll through the city. In these locations, we left small gifts which were pictures and stories. The action focused on the alertness and awareness of our senses in the city’s everyday life and our goal was to live as observers and as participants the shaping of its collective memory. If art speaks of life, then what does it do when life is threatened? Where is the uprising?
The route ended up in the National Garden, in a location of the city that expresses the peace and tranquility, where the idea of uprising, was expressed by a performance through the bodies, the rotation and reinvention of their relationship with nature, i.e. trees, soil and water. Red anemones were given out and a narrative was read.
Here’s an excerpt that may help in understanding..
“… Behind the phenomena a reality existed, and this reality was biological and not historical… The most powerful necessity for which we are aware endoscopically is the process of life that permeates our body and keeps it in a permanent change state, whose movements are automatic, independent of our activities and irresistible-that is absolutely mandatory. The less we do, the less active we are, the more intense this biological process will be confirmed, the more imperatively it will impose to us its intrinsic necessity and fatal automation »
– Les malheureux sont la puissance de la terre, Saint Just French Revolution, from the book of Hannah Arendt «On revolution.”
Inspiration of the action’s organization: Diana Sabri, Eleni Tzirtzilaki, we thank Vasilis Spyropoulos and the participants of the action in the National Garden, Omar Rashid, Abdul, Nikos Kazeros, Konstantina Theodorou, Stephanos Chandelis for the video and everyone that followed the route.