Written by Eleni Tzirtzilaki
Artistic research/actions that concern silent walking in Athens and elsewhere. By walking–traversing public space and the urban voids, we connect our body with the soil of the city. By exposing our bodies in the city, we politically exist and look for the voices of the city.
Our walking seen as a silent disobedience/non-violent protest, a nomadic corporal condition and an artistic act to understand the city, as well as an opposition to gentrification; to the violence towards immigrants within the public space; to the displacement, the construction of a mall, etc.
Various actions have taken places, like the ones in Elaionas; at Kifissos, river―now lost; in Plato’s Academy, to defend the park against the construction of a mall; in Menandrou st., for the difficult―sometimes impossible―voyage of the displaced men and women to approach the city, with the center of Athens, the immigrants been targeted, and with their further displacement in detention centers; in Panepistimiou bvd, a critique―through the city’s performativity and memory―of the ‘Rethink Athens’ project and the program of re-discovering the National Garden, which was the dominant narrative of that period, leaving aside the inhabitants of the city themselves; an action–critique to Documenta 14.
The bodies, fragile as they are, create―every time, from scratch―a transforming space/time, crossing all borders. The process takes place through the collaboration of nomadic subjects representing different disciplines; their interaction; their inter-relation with the inhabitants of each place and with the creation of ephemeral communities. During this voyage, following the steps of various subjectivities coming together, in search of the relation of the bodies with the social and territorial conditions, decisive are the concepts of community, experience, and nomadism. The silent walking actions include small gestures on the ground and the buildings; the public reciting of poems, texts; movements, performances, dancing…