Yes, Athens is in crisis, but it has never been so alive. Despite the daily spectacle of the poor going through the garbage, the endless recession, and the thousands of refugees crammed into its streets, a disillusioned creative energy has seized its artistic world and continues to thrive.  In recent years, Athens has become a leading performance landmark and a European street art capital. Street artists are not to be outdone. They are no longer considered as vandals, some are even commissioned by the town hall. Some works have become emblematic and as famous as the pieces in the Acropolis Museum.

The practice and dissemination of street art and graffiti are essentially the opposite of any form of confinement. They are the expression of the emancipation of a youth suffocated by austerity or traditions. These works explain how urban youth engage in a changing socio-political context. It is sometimes a protest, an expression of frustration, but mainly a form of dialogue. They express their point of view through a mixture of visual art, words and messages. They leave their mark, thus appropriating the walls of their city and its identity. 

These years of economic disaster and political frivolity have instilled in its inhabitants an almost heroic fatalism and in its young people the will to do their part to build the city that is theirs: free, dynamic and enterprising. Athenian graffiti could provide proof that it is not only a symptom of the crisis in contemporary Greece, but also the collective expression of a free urban culture that seeks to transform the image of its city.

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