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The Wake Up Call: political graffiti in times of crisis

 

"The Wake Up Call" is a short documentary on the political street art that has emerged in Athens during the course of the economic crisis.

The documentary follows four street artists in their attempt to leave an imprint on the urban landscape of Athens. Politics, satire and colours are merged together to create an outdoor manifestation of ideas, far from the dominant ideology.

By documenting the work of the four artivists, "The Wake Up Call" reveals an attempt to force a political awakening on crisis-stricken Greece through street art.

MaPet is a dentist in the morning. In his free time he cuts stencils with his dental wheel and at night he paints his own propaganda on the city's walls.

Absent has set up a makeshift printing press and carves his political satire on a piece of engraving. Since 2010, his handmade posters, printed on greaseproof paper, haven't gone unnoticed.

Pol, another stencil user, despises the bourgeois pretentiousness. His motto - "A clean wall hides a dirty consciousness". He criticises the role of the mainstream media and calls for an uprising with a great project in downtown Athens.

Last but not least, Bleeps, one of the most well known Greek street artists, creates for the documentary his latest work, a representation of "The Toll" that Greek people are paying as a result of the economic crisis.

Throughout last decade, the graffiti scene in Athens has become one of the most dynamic in Europe. Graffiti now decorates entire neighbourhoods in central Athens, including Exarchia, Kerameikos and Gazi to name but a few.
Over the last few years especially, the city's street art has been adopted as a tool to balance a stream of one-sided information and to make up for a lack of critical mainstream media.

At the same time, the emergence of the far-right on the Greek political scene has triggered even more criticism on what was is considered the freest part of Athens - its streets.

"The Wake Up Call" is a 'social diary on public display', as Bleeps calls it, temporarily posted on Athenian walls.

 

 

 

CREDITS:

Research – Script  :  Kostas Kallergis
Photography  :  Kostas Kallergis
   Dimitris Petalas
Editing  :  Kostas Christakopoulos
Music  :  Kleanthis Konstantinidis
   George Tsetikas
Web design  :  Manolis Kandanoleon