Monday, July 11, 2011

Athens,Athènes,Athen,アテネ,Atene,Афины,Atina,Athinë (English Version)

Η φίλη του ιστολογίου open eyed dreamer πήρε την πρωτοβουλία να μεταφράσει την αρχική ανάρτηση, με την προσδοκία το αγγλικό κείμενο στο ηλεκτρονικό ταξίδι του να βοηθήσει φίλους εκτός Ελλάδας να καταλάβουν την συγκυρία

Translation by open eyed dreamer

The police operation in Syntagma square, Athens, during the days when the middle-term adjustment programme was to be ‘discussed’ in the Greek parliament had one sole purpose: to bring to an end the camp of indignant citizens. The operation failed, and the Greek police operational standards converged with those of the Assad forces, while Athens is competing on equal terms with Sana’a and Damascus in the journalist contest “the most violent capital”.

On the other hand, Syntagma square is being transformed into a spot where the ongoing ‘Greek condition’ is fully represented: violence and destruction as the aesthetic nutshell of a genuine expression of discontent, which for the moment is flirting with direct democracy, where political parties are masked as individuals. Syntagma square has turned into Hyde Park; 5-star hotels offer a view to the sui generis Greek camp, but discontent is genuine, and its settling at the centre of the city seems to be the sole option.

In a sense, Athens is being transformed into a touristic sight only for the ‘conscious’. Classic monuments and contemporary dissent are offered in the same tourist packet at low cost.

At the same time the city lives multiple lives. The underground artist movement has taken off. Dozens of music scenes, hybrid artist performances, and theatrical vanguard are gathered in spaces and conditions of negative, no or at most low budget. In ten years from now, those missing the current ‘Athenian condition’ will be stunned to discover that 2011 was the year when the masterpieces of the 21st century were born; masterpieces are born in the underground in times of unfolding crises.

Political tension, social energy, activity, classicism and avant guarde converge to comprise the multi-faceted symbol of cosmopolitan Athens.

Of course, conformists (the genre essentially transcends political parties and classes) would be probably envy of actually dozy and ‘comme il faut’ central European cities where the sheerest accomplishment is represented in the skillful performance of an honest jazz clarinet player and the braids of a folklore singer from Benin. How else can we demonstrate our inherent cosmopolitan net?

Athens is a tremendous city only when we look at it as it is: vivid, contradictory, energetic, multi-faceted, incomprehensive, multiply unwise and intensely self-destructive. A city producing living art.

If this city symbolizes a society, then probabilities are high that we shall not fail. We witness a historic explosion, during which a few things become explicit: people in Athens uncover piled stocks of courage, energy, surpluses of life and overflowing desires.

It is only a matter of months, until a new positivity will come to light, and we will have not figured out how. This is not necessarily bad, for there is no recipe for success, only desire. And I rest assured that such desire exists.

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