Den 2:a juni arrangerades ett seminarium på Mittuniversitetets campus Östersund med titeln ”Athens: State of Flux”. Konst och kreativitet i en stad i förändring.

On June 2, 2015, a two-hour, multi-speaker seminar took place within the RCR spring seminar series titled: Athens, State of Flux. The speakers included Todd Lowery and Panos Leventis of Drury University, U.S.A., and Dimitri Ioannides and Evangelia Petridou of Mid-Sweden University.

The seminar provided a narrative of Athens beyond the maudlin headlines; the city was presented as an urban space inspiring creativity even in the midst of a demoralizing economic crisis. The story told by the seminar participants also deviates from the iconic and abused image of a glorious past with the splendid Acropolis and the cold marble of Athens’ lost grandeur.

Instead, the speakers talked about Euro-trash pop, street art, in-between spaces abandoned by capital, a crisis that does not seem to let up, a downtown battered by Molotov cocktails and swat teams and at the same time an urban fabric that inspires great art to the “ in-between others” who occupy it. Todd Lowery’s artist statement for his work “Styn Pyra” (Into the Fire) says it quite succinctly:

Frappé Culture on the ruins.
A new mythology of Greece that can’t seem to coalesce
Escapes to the sea in a wash of traffic
Theater, Dance, Music and trashy pop culture
Song lyric quotes and a complete lack of faith in government
The fewest smiles in Europe: melancholy, baby
Individuality and dissatisfaction
Claustrophobic angles and graffiti

Fire and fragments

Todd Lowery and Panos Leventis of Drury University, U.S.A., Evangelia Petridou and Dimitri Ioannides of Mid-Sweden University.