‹ go back






EXARCHIA ATHENA
Ola Koziol / 60 min

During our stay in Greece we lived in a speciall district of Athens. The city gathered in one place everyone with whom it could have any problem; that is the homeless, drug addicts, dealers, alcoholics, anarchists, freethinkers. This was something like „getto” with unwanted and ruled out.
A lot of posters everywhere, inscriptions and drawings on walls. From the beginning I was fascinated with them. Exarchia Square were I decided to perfom was the centre of this district. This wasn’t a safe place. When I wanted to make a photo of my friend from P.A.S. eating a sandwich on the square I was asked to hide the camera. On the other day my friend Mary was infested by the group of men, they threatened her, fortunately nothing happened.
This made me to think where we actually live in Athens, how does the crisis look like, and how the city „clean” the space from „inconvenient elements”.
When we were in Akropolis Museum I was fascinated by Athena. She looked like a strong, wise woman armed with spear, shield and helmet. In the ancient greek mythology she was the goddess of Athens, of wisdom, courage, war strategy, law and justice, the arts, crafts, and skill. She disliked fighting without purpose and preferred to use wisdom rather than anger and violence.
I wanted to appear as Athena from the Exarchia Square, as a goddess of forgotten and unwanted. I wanted to give a piece of heart, warmth and protection to those thrown away by the society.
I decided to perform on Sunday afternoon. My costume was made from glued posters from the street walls and from carton box. As a weapon I had a heart in my hand.
This was very strong experience.
The square accepted me! People met on my way started singing, as I was singing too. Greek rap, reggae, a man with the guitar played gently something with pulled style.
I was frightened that I’m so seriously treatened when Abraham from Ruanda said his prayers above me and kneeled down. His song „love and peace forever” was remarkable. He made people to catch contact with me, so that I could bless them with my heart-weapon. Some woman poured the wine out before me. It was like a ritual. Even punks accepted me and started roaring as goats.
I was safe, nothing bad could happen. I was really Athena.