For a form of art so misunderstood as street art, it is only natural to find roof within a neighborhood equally - for many people- misunderstood. A lively area, constantly alerted and restless, mysterious and colorful. Known for promoting independence and respective values, such as freedom of expression, social awareness and the culture of resistance. Exarchia, located in the centre of Athens. Exarchia's walls and streets, interviews with art specialists, residents of Exarchia and of course street artists who talk with us about this subculture and controversial subject. A long but fast movie (42 minutes), dressed with underground greek music, which apart from the presentation of the participants' opinion, is an archive (2013-2015) of beautiful, ugly, imaginative and politically oriented graffiti in Exarchia.
Freedom of speech or vandalism?
THE MOVIE WITH ENGLISH SUBS
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Graffiti. An indispensable piece of the underground scene in an underground neighborhood. Which form does street art take on here? According to W.D., graffiti artist from Bali, who lives in Athens and is the creator of many recognizable artworks throughout the city, "graffiti is a form of free expression. In reality, street art bloom in places where people accept this type of expression."
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And Exarchia likes freedom. Draws one with us, Jobless Clown, which one can still see in Methonis street. Nikos Tranos, resident of Exarchia and professor of Sculpture in the Fine Arts School of Athens,believes that "graffiti is an exercise of freedom and in art you are completely free to commit as many murders as you like."
So what happens when graffiti enters the circles of art? B.(thisismybworld), the street artist who loves yellow, with his well-known artwork displayed in streets and galleries both in Greece and abroad, says that "it is good for us to remember where we started and keep it real. The street comes first, art comes after that." He tols us all this while drawing on a wall, at a pedestrian street in Exarchia. A few days after that, somebody wrote on top of B's graffti " FUCK STREETART", with the "A" in a circle. And after that, a new drawing on top of them all.
Thodoris, shop owner in Kallidromiou street and a resident who fights for the neighborhood, tells us that in Exarchia, graffiti always passed through social messages and today it is even more politicised. He adds that "You can see the quality, but you can also see artistic and intellectual rubbish." Where are the limits set and who sets them? We asked street artist cacao rocks, in the basement of Stigma Lab, whether he draws on the street in order to take back what belongs to him- the street itself. He replied "I do not want to anything back from anyone, they are taking it from us."
But we said enough, watch the video!
We thank the residents and street arists of Exarchia.
Direction/Filming: George Fiorakis
Filming/Editing: Alexander Haritakis
Graphics: Afroditi Bitzouni- Indivisuals Design Collective
Music selection: Manolis Fiorakis
Proofreading: Lila Tzamousi, Nana Kanakaki
English subs: Dimitra F.
Acid Baby Jesus-tomboy
The Last Drive - the bad roads, killhead therapy
Deus eΧ Μachina-execute
Dtaeys/ ft.Eni D - Μια παλιά φωτογραφία
FFC - πάρε λίγο φως
Fundracar - της γης τα τέρατα, είναι πολλές φορές, άνθρωπε
Κακό Συναπάντημα - απαγορεύεσαι
John Melik - blue flee
Monovine - jesus son
Soul Resistance - θέλω να μιλήσω, αφορμές
The Spaceguest - space kid
Tango with Lions-right from the start
Three Way Plane-let's pretend you don't exist
Vodka Juniors - king of the street, bong, rise up
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Streetart, one urban photo each day / streets of Athens