In April 2019 Artists in Transit returned to Athens to run 8 days of workshops across 3 squats. We revisited 2nd and 5th School and Clandestina, where we hosted 2 workshops a day. rotating between the 3 locations.
We have come to get used to the bittersweet moment of seeing lots of old faces of young people and families who have resided in the communities for the last couple of years, unable to move forward to their desired destination. One girl exclaimed “You came back! You promised to come back and you did!”
Our trip started with a round of jewellery making, pot painting and watercress planting with lots of excitable young people. We worked with long term volunteers in 2nd school who were teaching the children about space. To celebrate the subject we hosted a workshop printing space-themed objects on one large group painting.
We decorated clouds and rainbow and sewn superman teddies at 5th School in the sunshine. We celebrated our end of the trip party with each squat with a bookbinding workshop and lots of Polaroids. We would like to say thank you for the big donation of products from Lush, which we shared with families across each location.
On our very last day, we presented large canvases for young people at 5th School to decorate within an image outline and work collaboratively with one another using multimedia materials, whilst eating bountiful cones of ice cream. A group of older kids got inspired and painted their own canvas
illustrating a mountain landscape by the sea.
Throughout our trip, we heard a lot about the unease of new anti-migration policies being introduced. Devastatingly a week after our departure, we watched the news hearing Clandestine was evicted with brut force. Followed shortly after by 5th School and 2nd School. These families have been moved to camps further out of Athens dotted around the country, losing access to services and networks they have come to rely on.
Our upcoming trips will compromise reaching out to the communities of families living in these camps and working in solidarity with communities who are still residing in hiding in Athens.
Laughter, Glitter, Banana Lots of banana.
Favourite Memory: I think probably the last day when we did the collective paintings at 5th school.Ice Cream stand and lots of sprinkles.
The bracelets, canvas bags!
And little Polaroid’s of all the masks they made for the theme of the party.