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