Rebellious graffiti, testimonial photography: Art against austerity in greece

Greece … is a laboratory in which the resistance of a population to authoritarian governance can be measured.

Maurizio Lazzarato, Governing by Debt

The task of art is not to change reality but to show and evoke it.
The mimetic power of art is the true power of art, its true task: reshuffling the sensible.
The performative in art is the sharing of the ‘common uncommon’ (from Oedipus to the present) as mediation between the private sphere (the space of hiding) and the public sphere (the space of appearance).

Lieven De Cauter, Theses on Art and Activism (Depression Era)

The greek elections of last Sunday, September 20th, brought Tsipras’ Syriza party back to power, but no longer with the old and now forgotten promises of putting an end to austerity measures and freeing the greek people from the dictatorship of the “Troika” (the european commission, the european central bank, the IMF).  Syriza can now only pathetically offer to apply the latest, third package of cuts and privatisations, which it voted through the nation’s parliament, more “humanely”.   As the irrelevance of parliamentary politics plays itself out (the largest number of votes went to a party that will not be represented, that of those who abstained), political life continues throughout the country in protests and in the activities of countless experiments of collective, self-managed mutual aid (click here).

It is of this dissidence, rebellion, insurrection that street art in greece speaks.  We share below some of this protest, alternating with photographic chronicles of the violence of “crisis” and “austerity government” from the collective Depression Era

Yiannis Hadjiaslanis

Kostas Kapsianis

Georges Salameh

Pavlos Fysakis

Harry Kakoulidis

Dimitris Michalakis

Dimitris Rapakousis

Georges Salameh

There is a great deal more street art that could be shared here.  And the excellent work of the Depression Era collective (photographs, video, text) all merit further exploration.  We conclude with a short documentary video by Kostas Kallergis, entitled The Wake Up Call on Athens political street art …



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