Thursday, June 18, 2009
Day 10 June 17th Wednesday
Walk on the Acropolis: 8:00 a.m. We were met by Spyros Economoupoulos [Aesopos’ uncle] who then introduced us to Katerina Lambrinou. She gave us a walk inside the Parthenon and up the circular staircase to overlook the restoration work. We felt very privileged to be inside the monument while the hords of tourists began to ascend the Acroppolis hill. We next met Mr. Tanoulas who showed us the restoration work on the Erectheon.
Afternoon Day Ten June 17th Wednesday
The mid-day Nikos Xydakis from Kathimerini spoke to us about the G-Riots in Athens during Dec 2008 and briefly about other cultural events in the city. He offered us a multi-faceted view on how to interpret the ‘uprising’ of young high school students, precarious workers, immigrant sympathizers, anarchists, and others, after the police shot and killed Alexandros Grigoropoulos a 15 year old student. This was not an ordinary political protest, not to be compared to Paris riots in the banlieus, LA riots after Rodney King but a protest in the historical center of Athens, reclaiming public space, lighting up the city. It was from one point of view. The multitude were protesting the precariousness of the future, no jobs, no good jobs, having to pay an entry fee for everything, consumer fetishes of i-phones and mac-books, the weak and corrupt political system that offers no hope to succeed in an honest way. The effects of this protest were likened to Marx’s ‘ole mole’ – revolutionists that burrow through the underground, digging tunnels, slowly agitating the earth until it shakes. things to come’.
Xydakis also quoted Cavafy: events that are coming have a certain hum that one hears from a distance –the uprisings were like spasms, and fireworks flaring up and quickly distinguished. Only during the moment you see something, that is there value, a bright torch for little while, and afterwards a hardening, or thickening. Yet the ideas sleep for many months, years, nevertheless they are an essential part of the public’s collective memory.