ŠTA MOŽEMO NAUČITI OD ATINE?


Već godinama, Grčka je bila sinonim za negativne trendove – ekonomija u padu sa visokim dugom, kriza unutar EU, visoka nezaposlenost i napuštanje mladih ljudi. Zemlje Zapadnog Balkana su u sličnom stanju već toliko dugo, tako da smo više iznenađeni razvojem ovakvih događaja u Evropi nego istim stanjem ispred naših vrata. Ali u ovome leži mogućnost odakle se može izvući pouka. Nova kretanja u Atini, koja je bila u istom zanemarenom stanju kao i veći gradovi u Bosni i Hercegovini, nose bitne lekcije. Ovakva situacija, nakon početnog šoka, poslužila je građanima i mladim ljudima Atine da iskažu svoje zahtjeve.

Iako je aktivizam, nažalost, kod većine u Bosni i Hercegovini  vrlo često okarakterisan kao nešto što pripada malim grupama ljudi (umjetnicima, NVO sektoru, ljevičarskim liberalima), aktivizam zapravo rezultira bitnim promjenama za sve. Od Atine možemo naučiti da ovo nefunkcionalno stanje, ako se uvidi i iskoristi, nudi priliku za drugačije postupanje i stvaranje prostora i aktivnosti koji nude izlaz iz ovakvog stanja. Možete, ako želite, ovo povezati sa nemilosrdnom željom glavnog grada da uništava kako bi mogao stvarati. U svakom slučaju od krucijalnog značaja je, ne samo zato što zauzima ili stvara određeni fizički prostor u gradu, već zato što stvara nove mentalne mape i nudi priliku mlađim generacijama da razviju samopouzdanje i kreativnost svojih generacija.

Uvod: Merdžana Mujkanović


Pouke iz Atine: Uspon inicijativa u vrijeme krize

Autorica: Marialena Kasimidi
Prevod: Edin Sarić

Atina – grčka metropola koja je dom pet miliona ljudi – nedavno je otkrivena kao prijestolnica „nezvaničnog urbanizma“ u Evropi. Nekoliko inicijativa su dokumentovane kao aktivne u gradu, dok je njihov broj polako rastao od početka ekonomske krize 2009. godine. Nizom aktivnosti, ciljeva i radnji, lokalne grupe su počele davati odgovor na propadajuće urbano tkivo Atine i ukazale potrebu za ponovno uspostavljanje veze sa svojim naseljima.

Napušteno pozorište, prazne opštinske kancelarije, zatvorena pijaca i nekoliko zatvorenih hotela su iskorišteni ponovo u pokušaju da se smjeste različite potrebe i ljudi. Danas, stanovnici naselja Exarchia uživaju u živahnom parku, gdje je nekad bio prostor za parkiranje. Mladi kreativni poduzetnici ponovo koriste prazne kancelarije „Panepistimiou 64“, u srcu Atine. Staro pozorište u Psiriju ponovo je otvorio svoja vrata kao samoorganizirajući scenski prostor kojim zajedno upravljaju glumci, muzičari i umjetnici. Nekad prazne sobe „City Plaza“ i „Oniro“ hotela sada pružaju smještaj porodicama sirijskih izbjeglica. Napuštena Kypseli pijaca povremeno se koristi kao prostor za razmjenjivanje i kulturne događaje, rukovođena od strane atinske Opštine. Grupa umjetnika otvorila je javnosti vrata vile iz 19.-og vijeka i dom je umjetničkim izložbama sa ambicijom da se proširi i na druge objekte. Za razliku od sjajnih, velikih kulturnih centara koji su nedavno izgrađeni po cijelom gradu, dobrotvorne institucije predstavljaju svoju viziju zajedničkih prostora. Njihov različit karakter ostavlja dosta prostora za diskusiju i mijenja fokus kada je u pitanju njihova održivost u budućnosti.

Od prostora za parking do živahnog parka

2009. godine grupa lokalnih i političkih aktivista udružili su se kako bi parking prostor transformirali u lokalni park. Kada su posađena prva drveća, park je postao tačka otpora u visoko ispolitiziranom prostoru, te je dobio snažnu društvenu podršku. Danas, ovdje se nalazi igralište, prikazuju se filmovi, proizvodi hrana, snažno pokazujući svu moć transformacije javnog prostora.

Park je prvobitno bio sjedište klinike iz 1907. Kada je klinika zatvorena početkom 1970.-ih, Grčka tehnička komora je kupila istu, te je srušila. Plan je bio smjestiti nove kancelarije tu; plan koji nikad nije izveden. Umjesto toga, prostor se iznajmljivao kao parking do 2008. Kada su počele ponovne špekulacije oko vlasništva. Postalo je očigledno da vlasnik želi izgraditi novi poslovni objekat na ovoj lokaciji. Građani su veoma brzo reagovali. Već su tražili od opštinske administracije da ovoga nastane zeleni prostor, te su konačno 7. marta 2009. preuzeli prostor i počeli kopati. Podrška je bila nevjerovatna i nije prošlo puno vremena otkad je lokacija postala prekrivena drvećem i zelenilom.

Danas, osam godina poslije, Navarinou park je lokalna zelena i društvena tačka koja privlači ljude iz cijele Atine. Parkom upravlja skupština, gdje se sve odluke donose nakon otvorene i razrađene diskusije. Park nikad nije isti. Prisutna je konstantna nadogradnja i transformacija prostora u koju su uključene dinamične grupe ljudi. Lokalno stanovništvo i grupe mogu koristiti prostor parka za organizovanje različitih događaja. Angažovanje i posvećenost je ključ uspjeha parka godinama, i izgleda da će podrška godinama samo da raste. Nakon svega, i ne čudi zašto više ne postoji interes za izgradnju poslovnih objekata na ovoj lokaciji.

Navarinou park_2009 start ©Nikos Kazeros


Prazne advokatske kancelarije su korištene od strane kreativne industrije

Kada je privremena izložba „Rooms to Art“ („Od soba do umjetnosti“, op.p.) 2012. otvorila svoja vrata na sedmom spratu zgrade „Panepistimou 64“, sve kancelarije su bile prazne. Objekat je postao izvor inspiracije grupi umjetnika koji su pozvani da naprave i predstave svoja djela unutar praznih prostorija. Ono što se desilo i što je tek uslijedilo, sada je postalo dio priče same Atine.

Pravnici, računovođe i savjetnici osiguranja koji su nekad bili zauzeti pričanjem na telefon i listanjem knjiga, bili su smješteni samo nekoliko minuta od trga Omonoia. Prvobitni stanovnici sedmog sprata su davno otišli, ali tragovi njihovog stanovanja su i dalje vidljivi: debele pravne knjige, kožni kauči, drveni kancelarijski namještaj i stari faks uređaji. Arhitektura objekta „Panepistimou 64“ tačno potvrđuje tu prošlost. Sagrađena 1957. ova osmospratna zgrada je izvanredan primjer svog vremena. Mramorni podovi, veliki koridori i detaljni zidni mozaici čine zajedničke prostore, dok dvorište iza objekta pruža pristup unutrašnjosti samog bloka. Ovo je objekat koji se mnogim generacijama čini kao da je oduvijek bio tu, iako je prisutna mnogo manja zvonjava telefona u posljednjoj deceniji.

Danas, 90% kancelarija na sedmom spratu su popunjene. Mladi kreativni poduzetnici su se uselili 2012. i mjesto je polako postao čvorište za kulturni biznis, umjetnike, novinare i dizajnere. Plan je bio jednostavan: novi korisnici su slobodni da koriste i održavaju prostor sve dok plaćaju komunalne račune i imovinske poreze. Sa toliko praznih objekata u centru Atine, vlasnici su bili ogorčeni stalnim porastom imovinskih poreza i neizbježnim padom cijena nekretnina usljed ekonomskih mjera. Mladi ljudi, s druge strane, nemaju podršku u samom početku. Tako da se ovaj novi vid useljenja nije desio preko noći; nije bio organizovan; te nisu postojale namjere inicijatora kako bi ovo pretvorili u biznis. Sve se desilo kao odgovor na potrebe vremena, inicirano isključivo od strane ljudi koji su ovo iskomunicirali i dogovorili „od usta do usta“. „Panepistimou 64“ je postao jedinstven eksperiment početne aktivacije napuštenih praznih prostora u centralnoj Atini. Novi restoran na prvom spratu je sljedeći korak.

Panepistimiou 64_shop window ©Dimitris Athinakis


Staro pozorište ponovo otvara svoja vrata javnosti

Posjeta radnika elektroprivrede kako bi isključili dovod električne energije pozorištu „Embros“ nije ništa neobično niti neočekivano. Posljednjih sedam godina stara štamparska zgrada je bila skučeno mjesto za umjetnike, koji su redovno ovdje besplatno održavali nastupe, radionice i događaje. Bez obzira na svoju neizvjesnu budućnost, novo pozorište je živahno mjesto za umjetničke razmjene i lokalno čvorište, poznato širom Atine po oštrim kulturnim eksperimentima.

Novo pozorište je smješteno u zgradi iz 1930.-ih, koje prvobitno izgrađena za potrebe izdavaštva i izdavanja novina „Embros“ – veliki znak sa imenom firme i dalje je ostao na krovu. 1985. godine objekat se nije koristio, kao i mnogi industrijski prostori u naselju Psiri. Nakon vala džentrifikacije (urbana obnova dijelova grada, op.p.), državna zgrada je iznajmljivana pozorišnoj kompaniji koja je zatvorena 2007. Od tad, nije se pojavio nijedan prijedlog za ponovnu upotrebu prostora, dok se područje punilo restoranima, barovima i noćnim klubovima. Nedavno, objekat je postavljen na listu državnih nekretnina koje će biti prodane ili preuređene pod strogim okom grčkih vlasnika istih.

Nakon što je bila napuštena pet godina, ova historijska zgrada je reaktivirana 2011. godine od strane umjetničkih inicijatora, uz podršku lokalnih stanovnika. Novoformirano pozorište „Embros“ je otvoreni, dinamični, samoorganizovani kulturni centar koji je domaćin mnogim kulturnim događajima i radionicama pokrenutim od strane različitih grupa umjetnika. Svake subote ljudi se sastaju kako bi se dogovorili oko održavanja, programa i aktivnosti. Cilj je ponuditi alternativne savremene nastupe i časove besplatno ili uz simboličnu participaciju. Teže ka tome da redefinišu ulogu umjetnosti u vremenu krize, i ponude prostor za različita mišljenja i umjetničke performanse. Svi su pozvani da učestvuju. Uprkos izostanku pravne zaštite centra, korisnici i posjetioci mogu računati na snažnu društvenu podršku kolega umjetnika, susjeda i građana kako bi nastavili nuditi nekomercijalnu umjetnost javnosti.

Embros theatre_entrace ©embros gr


Pouka od drugih

Gradovi su ponekad odraz njihovih građana. Visok procenat praznih prostora i izostanak održavanja na tržištu nekretnina u Atini zaista su odraz propadanja usljed dugotrajne ekonomske i socijalne krize. Sve već pomenute inicijative, s druge strane, otkrivaju drugu stranu priče. Možda imaju različitu pozadinu, ciljeve i buduće strategije, ali svakako pokazuju potencijal koji je bio tu i prije ekonomske krize. U pitanju je potencijal koji dolazi nakon što se ljudi organizuju kao odgovor okruženju, te se ponašaju kao učesnici u svojim gradovima. Te priče, prije svega, reflektuju promjenu. I ako se u određenom momentu sve vrati na „klasični biznis“, te inicijative su nam pružile vrijedna iskustva, i postavile snažne socijalne strukture koje mogu prevazići trenutnu krizu. Tek treba da se vidi da li je ovo zapravo istina. Nakon svega, promjene su sastavni dio naših društava. Jedina stvar koja je ovdje u pitanju je kojim smjerom će ići ta promjena.

Marialena Kasimidi je mlada arhitektica sa višestrukim međunarodnim iskustvom na akademskoj i stručnoj razini koji je oblikovao njen snažan interes za prilagodljivu ponovnu uporabu i transformaciju. Nakon arhitektonskih studija u Grčkoj, seli se u London gdje dvije godine radi kao arhitektica u Ash Sakuli i Burrell Foley Fisher Architects Na natječaju koji je organizovao grad Rotterdam u februaru 2017., njen prijedlog preobrazbe praznih trgovina u kuće, rađen u saradnji sa Architects For Urbanity, biva izabran među mnogima u konkurenciji. Više o radu autorice možete naći na linku.

Navarinou park_activities ©parkingparko blogspot

Embros theatre_sign ©embros gr

Panepistimiou 64_wall mosaic ©Angeliki Zervou


U nastavku možete pročitati tekst u originalu:

For years now, Greece has been thought of mostly in negative terms - failing economy with high debt, crisis within the EU, high unemployment and young people fleeing the country. Western Balkans countries have been in a similar state for so long, that we were more surprised with these new developments in Europe than same ones on our doorstep. But in this, lies opportunity for learning. New developments in Athens, that for some time now have been in the same derelict state as bigger cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, carry important lessons. This situation has been, after the initial shock, actually used by citizens and young people of Athens to create and make their claim.

Even though activism, unfortunately, is often associated in the minds of majority in BiH as something that belongs to small groups of people (artists, NGO groups, leftist liberals) it results in important changes for everybody. From Athens we can only learn that this state of un-functionality, if you learn to see it and use it, offers an opportunity to behave differently and to create spaces and activities that offer a new way out. You can, if you wish, associate it with the relentless desire of capital to destroy in order it could create. In any case it is crucial, not only because it creates or occupies certain physical space in the city, but because it creates new mind maps and offers opportunity for younger generations to develop the self confidence and creativity of their generation.

 

Learning from Athens:
The rise of bottom-up initiatives in the time of crisis

 


Athens -the Greek metropolis and the home of 5 million inhabitants- has been recently discovered as the new capital of “informal urbanism” in Europe. Several bottom-up initiatives are documented to be active in the city, while their number steadily rises since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2009. With a variety of activities, goals and practices, local groups respond to the decaying urban fabric of Athens and the need to re-establish a connection with their neighbourhoods.
An abandoned theatre, empty municipal offices, a locked down market place and a few closed hotels are occupied and reused in an effort to house diverse needs and people. Today, local residents of Exarchia enjoy a vibrant communal park, where once was a parking lot. Young creative entrepreneurs are reusing the empty offices at “Panepistimiou 64”, right in the heart of Athens. The old theatre in Psiri has reopened as a self-organized performance space run collectively by actors, musicians and artists. The once vacant rooms of the squatted “City Plaza” and “Oniro Hotel” accommodate Syrian refugee families. The abandoned Kypseli market is being periodically used for exchange markets and cultural events, run by the municipality of Athens. A group of artists has opened the doors of a 19th century villa to the public and hosts art exhibitions with the ambition to expand in other buildings. In a striking difference with the shiny large cultural centres built recently around the city -founded by private charitable institutions- those initiatives present their own interpretation of the commons. Their diverse character leaves plenty of space for discussion and shifts the focus in their ability to sustain in the future.

From a parking lot to a vibrant neighbourhood park

Back in 2009, a group of residents and political activists teamed up to transform a parking lot into a neighbourhood park. Once the first trees were planted, the place became a vocal point of resistance in a highly politicized area and gained strong social support. Today, there is a playground, movie screenings, food production and a local soup kitchen, fully demonstrating the power of bottom-up reclamation of public space.
The park was initially the home of a 1907 medical clinic. When the clinic closed down in the early 1970s, the Technical Chamber of Greece bought the property and demolished the building. The plan was to eventually house their new offices there; a plan that was never executed. Instead, the plot was rented out as a parking lot, and it was not until 2008 that speculation on the property started once again. It became evident that the owner wanted indeed to erect a new office building on site. The residents responded fast. They were already asking from the municipality to turn the plot to a dense green space, and finally on the 7th of March 2009 they took over the place and begun drilling. The support was so overwhelming that it didn’t take long after the space was covered up with trees and plants. 

Today - 8 years later- the Navarinou park is a well established local green and social hotspot that attracts people from all over Athens. It is run by a regular assembly, where all decisions are made after open and elaborate discussions.  The park is never the same. There is a constant upgrade and transformation of the space and a dynamic group of people involved. Local residents and solidarity groups can use the facilities of the park and organize their events. Engagement and commitment is very much the reason behind the park’s success over the years and it looks like that there is going to be plenty of support in the years to come. No wonder why there are no intentions of building offices after all.

Empty lawyers’ offices are reused by the creative industry.

When in 2012 the temporary art exhibition “Rooms to Art” opened its doors on the 7th floor of the building in “Panepistimiou 64”, all the offices were empty. The building became a source of inspiration for a group of artists who were invited to create and showcase their work inside the vacant rooms. What they found and what followed is now part of the story of Athens. 

Lawyers, accountants and insurance advisors were once busy talking on their phones and flipping through their books, situated just minutes away from Omonoia square. The initial residents of the 7th floor are long gone, but the traces of their occupancy are still very much visible: hardcover law books, leather couches, wooden office furniture, and old fax devices. The architecture of “Panepistimiou 64” meticulously confirms those past stories. Built in 1957, this 8-storey building is an outstanding example of its time. Marble floors, large corridors and detailed mosaics on the walls compose the communal areas, while a back yard gives access to the inner heart of the block. This is a building that for many generations seems to have always been there, even if there were less phones ringing for the past decade.
Today, 90% of the offices on the 7th floor are full. Young creative entrepreneurs have moved in since 2012 and the place has been slowly becoming a hub for cultural businesses, artists, journalists and designers. The plan was simple: the new tenants are free to use and maintain the space as long as they pay the energy bills and property taxes. With so many vacant buildings in central Athens owners feel overwhelmed by the steady increase of property taxes and the inevitable decrease of real estate values due to the economic policies. Young people, on the other hand, have no support when starting up. So this new type of tenancy didn’t happen overnight; it wasn’t organized; there was not a squat, nor were there clear intentions from the initiators to turn this into a business incubator. All this happened as a response to the needs of the time, exclusively initiated by private people and communicated through the word of mouth. “Panepistimiou 64” has grown to be a unique ongoing experiment of bottom-up activation of empty office spaces in central Athens. A new restaurant on the first floor is already the next step.

The old theatre that has opened again for the public

A visit from the electricity company workers in order to cut the energy supply at “Embros Theatre” is neither unusual nor unexpected. For the past 7 years the old press building has been squatted by artists, who regularly do performances, workshops and events for free. Despite the uncertainty of its future, the new theatre is a buzzing place of artistic exchange and a local community hub, known all over Athens for its edgy cultural experimentations.
The new theatre is hosted in an 1930’s listed building, which was initially built for press printing by the “Embros” newspaper - the large sign with the name still remains on the roof. In 1985, the building was out of use, like many of the industrial functions in the Psiri neighbourhood. Following the wave of gentrification, the state-owned building was rented out to a theatre company that closed down in 2007. Since then, there has not been any official proposal for the reuse of the space, while the area has grown with restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Recently, the property is included in the list of state-owned real estate that will be sold of redeveloped under the strict eye of Greece’s lenders. 
After 5 years of abandonment, the historic building was reactivated in 2011 by an artists’ initiative, with the support of the local residents’ group. The newly created “Embros Theatre” is an open, dynamic, self-organized cultural centre that hosts a variety of cultural events and workshops run by different groups of artists. Every Saturday people get together to decide on the maintenance, program and activities. The goal is to provide alternative contemporary performances and classes for free or with small donations. They strive to redefine the role of art in time of crisis and offer a podium to diverse opinions and artistic performances. Everyone is invited to participate. Despite the lack of legal protection of the centre, its users and visitors have gained strong social support from fellow artists, neighbours and citizens to continue providing non-commercialized art to the public.

Learning from others

Cities are sometimes the reflection of their citizens. The high rates of vacancy and the lack of maintenance of the building stock in Athens are indeed reflecting the decay caused by a long-lasting economic and social crisis. All the aforementioned bottom-up initiatives, on the other hand, reveal another side of the story. They may have different backgrounds, goals and future strategies, but they show a potential that was there even before the economic crisis. It is the potential that comes when people organize themselves in response to their environment and act as stakeholders of their own cities. Those stories therefore, reflect change. Even if things return at some point into “business as usual”, those initiatives have provided us with valuable experiences, and have set up strong social structures that could outgrow the current crisis. It is yet to see whether this turns out to be true. After all, change is integral part of our societies. The only thing here at stake is the direction of that change.

Datum objavljivanja: 04.07.2017.