Social Movements and Migrants in Transit: (In)visible and (im)mobile in post 2015 Athens

Authors: Hara Kouki*, University of Durham
Topics: Political Geography, Europe
Keywords: Athens, migration, social movements, crisis
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Galvez, , Marriott, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In post 2015 Greece, the official political discourse starts referring to a ‘post-crisis’ period while on the ground a perceived decline of anti-austerity mobilizations contributes to a feeling that ‘social movements have been defeated’. At the same time, the current urban landscape of Athens looks far from ‘normal’: the socioeconomic, political and refugee ‘crisis’ is ongoing, as also the ways people living in the city collectively experience and challenge it.

Focusing on those who participated in urban contention up to 2015, this paper explores the process through which they have been rendered immobile and invisible in the urban ordering of Athens in its current configuration; we also examine how they started sharing a similar lack of agency and visibility with those migrants and refugees being irregular and ‘out of place’ in the city already before the ‘crisis’. The second part of paper studies urban spaces where communities of migrants and contentious actors do not demand what they need and thus do not participate in the distribution of visibilities in the city; they organize instead their common life differently creating potential for an alternative political subjectivation.

Bridging two separate fields of research, social movements and migration studies, this paper reflects on issues of (im)mobility, (in)visibility and agency in neighborhoods of Athens as experienced after 2015.

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