HUFFINGTON POST

19 Pieces Of Athens Graffiti That Perfectly Sum Up The Attitude Of Young Greeks

The neighborhood of Exarcheia is different. That’s what several people told me when I first arrived in Athens. I knew that this neighborhood is Greece’s anarchist stronghold, a kind of ‘80s Berlin Kreuzberg in Athens.

In this place you’ll find anarchists, foreigners, families, students, intellectuals and artists living next to each other. Most houses aren’t renovated, many facades are crumbling. The police supposedly only dare to enter the neighborhood with a big force, because in previous years there were several violent anti-government protests (an exciting video report on Exarchia can be found here).

During my expedition through the neighborhood I couldn’t shake the feeling that it’s not simply just the frustration of a few left-wing long-term students that can be found here. The district is representative of many young Greeks, of the lifestyle of a generation that has already given up on politics. For university graduates who can’t find a job, for creative artists who want to make the best out of the crisis -- and for those who no longer see any future in their country.

Few things could better express the attitude of young Greeks better than the many inspiring graffiti paintings that can be found on almost every wall in Exarchia.

  • 1
    This graffiti doesn’t appear dangerous -- but behind many of the wall paintings lies a deep distrust of the state.
    Christoph Asche
    This graffiti doesn’t appear dangerous -- but behind many of the wall paintings lies a deep distrust of the state.
  • 2
    Christoph Asche
  • 3
    The debt crisis has torn the country apart. The state is the enemy. The European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fun
    Christoph Asche
    The debt crisis has torn the country apart. The state is the enemy. The European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission, together the Troika, aren’t getting a pass either.
  • 4
    Young Greeks and the EU have had a trying relationship. Again and again it has resulted in violent protests in Exarchia over
    Christoph Asche
    Young Greeks and the EU have had a trying relationship. Again and again it has resulted in violent protests in Exarchia over the past few years. What’s more, an exit from the eurozone would have serious consequences for them.
  • 5
    Exarchia is considered to be a stronghold for capitalism’s critics in the country.
    Christoph Asche
    Exarchia is considered to be a stronghold for capitalism’s critics in the country.
  • 6
    Christoph Asche
  • 7
    The European Central Bank in Frankfurt is perceived by many to be the very essence of what’s currently wrong with the EU.
    Christoph Asche
    The European Central Bank in Frankfurt is perceived by many to be the very essence of what’s currently wrong with the EU.
  • 8
    Christoph Asche
  • 9
    Despite all the criticism: A lot of the graffiti expresses a positive, optimistic attitude.
    Christoph Asche
    Despite all the criticism: A lot of the graffiti expresses a positive, optimistic attitude.
  • 10
    They are looking for answers to the question: How can we beat the crisis? Perhaps with humor.
    Christoph Asche
    They are looking for answers to the question: How can we beat the crisis? Perhaps with humor.
  • 11
    Is the world unfair? This is how many young Greeks see it.
    Christoph Asche
    Is the world unfair? This is how many young Greeks see it.
  • 12
    A macabre reference to the riot-happy residents of Exarchia...
    Christoph Asche
    A macabre reference to the riot-happy residents of Exarchia...
  • 13
    Some apparently aren’t sympathetic to Germany.
    Christoph Asche
    Some apparently aren’t sympathetic to Germany.
  • 14
    Christoph Asche
  • 15
    An oversized banknote displays the writing: “National Republic of World.”
    Christoph Asche
    An oversized banknote displays the writing: “National Republic of World.”
  • 16
    Christoph Asche
  • 17
    A home, a garden, potted plants: Is this what the secret dream of a generation that has nothing to lose looks like?
    Christoph Asche
    A home, a garden, potted plants: Is this what the secret dream of a generation that has nothing to lose looks like?
  • 18
    At the moment, reality for many is likely to be gloomy.
    Christoph Asche
    At the moment, reality for many is likely to be gloomy.
  • 19
    But one should still be able to dream.
    Christoph Asche
    But one should still be able to dream.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost Germany and was translated into English.

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