Collect Document Map
For my final project I decided to concentrate my interest on maps as a means of documentation, symbolism, reference and representation. After focusing on my Visual Archive and previous works I realized that I usually act as a collector and story teller. I also work a lot with layers and lines. What is more one of my favorite collectives is Forensic Architecture, that research and document real sociopolitical events which remain hidden, by mapping and creating visual language to prove their cases. Considering all these aspects, I decided to map the area where I lived most of my years, named 'Exarchia' at the center of Athens. This area especially after 1973 became a symbol of rebellion, freedom, anarchy with great artistic and intellectual character. I could not talk about all the great events that took and still taking place in the area but I wanted to map some of the recent events that took place and shocked the country. Three of these events were: the Athens Polytechnic uprising in 1973, the murder of a 15 year old child by a policeman on December 2008 and the murder of the queer activist Zak/Zackie by the police, a shopkeeper and apathy of public. Those are events of protest conducted every year in memory of the deceased and as a cry out of anger against fascism and repression. The protests were violently suppressed this year by the government. Considering the Covid 19 situation people tried to peacefully protest complying with the measures when the police brutally suppressed them taking advantage of the power it gained with the current government. Police violent behavior and control over population in Greece ranked among the highest in EU this year.
My project deals with mapping the area by zooming in and out on google maps, cutting and layering places and streets. I walked the whole area collecting cigarette buts - people smoke a lot here - observing the streets and visually interpreting the 3 places of my interest. What is very common in Athens is the painted walls and the walls full of poster layers. Thus, I decided to also deal with walls and the fact that that the walls have voice, they document our lives on events and protests, they are full of history. I used my previous conservation experience with fresco technique to make some mortar layers and draw my symbolic interpretation of the places and streets. Then I took several old and new posters - some in situ from the walls and some found on the internet - I cut them and mixed them together creating a kind of paper pulp. I finally created four frescos combining drawing - mapping - and adding information of posters. Around the frescos I created several printed digital drawings I made by layering and editing photographs of the surfaces of the places of the murders. All the elements work complementary to each other as a puzzle of clues that document and map events and places.
At the top of the frescos there is an imprint of a digital drawing I made by layering different places. This drawing was imprinted on a flag fabric and hanged with a rope, hovering above the details of the same map. A flag is a state symbol, here hanged to remind the abjection of a country.