Athens is slowly becoming a Mecca for street artists, with many critics referring to it as “the new Berlin”. Much of the graffiti in Athens, as in many other cities, has an obviously political motive, with many pieces referring to the economic crisis. The featured image here, (from http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/street-art-greece_n_6149098), depicts work by a French street artist known as Goin’ in central Athens, and highlights how the majority of Greeks view the current financial situation. This piece is known as ‘Death of the Euro’.
The Global Financial Crisis
Greece, a country that was already in debt with many other countries, was unable to repay its debt when the GFC reached it and other countries were no longer able to loan it money. Post-GFC, street art grew phenomenally due to the huge number of youths unemployed, who spent their time venting their feelings and frustrations through street art.
Street art such as ‘Death of the Euro’ allows locals to identify with personal feelings of loss and anger related to the financial crisis, as well as artistic loss as the government had to restrict funding for art. As the figures in the artwork are black and white and the faces are not visible, it ‘speaks’ to locals in an inclusive way, as it could be any one of them.
So while you may be going to Greece for the Islands (aren’t we all?), don’t forget to look for street art like this which has a powerful message and helps you understand what the locals are struggling with. It helps you engage better with the people of Greece on an emotional level. You will be able to interpret everyday life better if you have an understanding of what they are struggling with. You can visit to expand your cultural knowledge and to give you great Instagram opportunities.