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Letter from the inhabitants of Psyrri

To the Public Properties Company of Greece

 

In response to your order for the immediate closing of the Embros theater we would like to inform you that for the entire period that Embros remained open it has been a very important public, cultural and social space, the equivalent to cultural community spaces which European capitals have. Throughout this period it accommodated the meetings of the Psyrri Residents Movement which have as their goal to deal with the problems that the neighborhood and the center of Athens are faced with.

There have been theatrical and dance performances and other art and architecture presentations and events from Greek and foreign groups on topics that address urban issues, a Christmas dinner for the community was also held, as well as meetings concerning the creation of community gardens in the city. Works produced by students of architecture, several discussions, presentations and workshops for the city center and other activities also took place.

For all this time that Embros remained open, it was a breath of fresh air, a hub of life and of creation, in a district with persistent social problems, mired with abandon and bouzouki music. This year there has been a number of activities planned and meetings continue being held there.

In addition, you should be aware of the fact that for more than three years we have been trying through legal procedures to open up Embros  a cultural and social space in the center of the city. We attach herewith all correspondence with the previous state agency responsible for State property, as well as with the Greek Ministry of Culture. The District Council has decided in favor of the use of Embros by the community. Taking the decision to seal the space, or renting it out with a use that we have no information of, you are driving the area to further deterioration. It comes as a surprise to us just how arbitrarily and with no prior contact with us you are about to proceed in this move.

Let us remind you then what you state in your founding declaration:

Priority of the [ETAD] company is the property development with contemporary management, with environmental protection in mind, in cooperation with local communities and with the use of funding means which generate cooperation between the public and private sector.

Therefore, we ask you to put in action the aforementioned cooperation with the local community, especially in the downtown which is suffering. We invite you to rethink the option of the continuation of the space with the character it possesses until now as an important cultural and community space and to discuss with us, along with Kinisi Mavili so as to find ways which will permit and strengthen this direction benefiting the Psyrri

 

‘Kinisi Katoikon Psyrri’ (Inhabitants of Psyrri)

psyrri.blogspot.com.

 

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Mavilli Collective

Mavili Collective was formed during summer 2010 as an autonomous collective structure for emergent practitioners and came together in order to re-think and re-imagine the current Greek cultural landscape and propose structures, platforms collaborations, projects that produce new alternatives. Mavili Collective is committed to produce nomadic, autonomous collective cultural zones that appear and disappear beyond the logics of the market.