How does a global financial crisis permeate the spaces of the everyday in a city? Our documentary Future Suspended, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, traces the multiple transformations of crisis-ridden Athenian public space and those who traverse it.
In three parts, Future Suspended navigates its way through the past and the present of the crisis as it gets inscribed in Athens dwellers’ minds, and as it plays out in their everyday lives. The first section, Privatised, explores the legacy of mass privatisation projects that preceded the 2004 Olympics, placing them in the context of present-day privatisation schemes.
Part two, Devalued, examines the ever-shrinking spaces of migrants in the city and the violent devaluation that comes as a result. The final third, Militarised, explains how, at the exact moment when the state recedes from its welfare functions, this devaluation of Athenian lives becomes a generalised condition
Link to video: Future Suspended: the legacy of the Athens OlympicsFuture Suspended is part of The City at a Time of Crisis, a collective research project funded by the ESRC to trace the effects of the financial crisis on public space in Athens.
Combining geography, anthropology, urban theory and research with visual research methods and digital design, the project has attempted to read the enormous (and often devastating) social and political change playing out before our eyes through the marks it leaves on spaces of the everyday.
The rise of racism and xenophobia and the establishment of unprecedented policing are viewed through supposedly prosaic urban sites: the Athenian metro, the city’s old and new airports, its highways, squares and streets.
Our organisation, Crisis-Scape, has also produced a crowd-sourced map of racist attacks in Athens and the rest of Greece; a five-part series of mini-documentaries; and provided weekly updates. We will organisean end-of-project conference in Athens in early May and publish our findings by the end of the year.
View the documentary in full here.
The Crisis-Scape team is Jaya Klara Brekke, Christos Filippidis, Antonis Vradis, Ross Domoney and Dimitris Dalakoglou. All music for Future Suspended was composed and performed by Giorgos Triantafyllou.