Exarcheia: From Romance to Anarchy

Athens has a long history of escalating tension between protesting crowds and police forces, but nowhere more so than the district of Exarcheia. From the Polytechnic Uprising of 1973 to the anti-Prespa Agreement protest in January of 2019, the area of Exarcheia has notoriously been at the epicentre of the historic vendetta between discontented citizens and state apparatuses. No event in Greece’s recent history has established this district as a law-defying enclave than the outbreak of riots in 2008, following the death of the young Alexis Grigoropoulos at the hands of a police officer. His death was the catalyst lighting a fire out of the brewing anger and desperation amongst the people of Greece, which was fuelled by violent suppression and lasted for nearly a month. This podcast tells the turbulent story of Exarcheia, from then until now.

Special thanks to: 

  • Dr Illan rua Wall, Associate Professor at the School of Law, Warwick University
  • Dr Rosa Vasilaki, Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens
  • Pantelis Vatikiotis, Department of New Media, Kadir Has University, Istanbul
  • Cameron Barnfield, History Student, University of Warwick

SOURCES

  • Gerodimos R, ‘The Ideology of Far Left Populism in Greece: Blame,Victimhood and Revenge in the Discourse of Greek Anarchists’ (2015) 63(3) Political Studies, Political Studies Association
  • Kalyvas A, ‘An Anomaly? Some Reflections on the Greek December of 2008’ (2010) 17(2) Constellations
  • Sotiris P, ‘Reading revolt as deviance: Greek Intellectuals and the December 2008 revolt of Greek youth’ (2013) 5(2) Interface
  • Sotiris P, ‘Rebels with a Cause: The December 2008 Greek Youth Movement as the Condensation of Deeper Social and Political Contradictions’ (2010) 34(1) International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
  • Vasilaki R, ‘We are an image from the future: Reading back the Athens 2008 riots’ (2017) 39(2) Acta Scientarium, Education
  • Vatikiotis P, ‘Networking activism: implications for Greece’ (2011) 10 Estudos em Comunicação 

Books

  • Moran M and Waddington D, Riots: An International Comparison (Pallgrave Macmillan 2016)
  • Sagris T, Schwarz G and Void Network, We are an Image from the Future: The Greek Revolt of December 2008 (AK Press 2010)

Music and Sound Effects

  • 16mm RCA cine projector. Hand rewind
  • Alex Gross, Possession
  • Battle Crowd, men shouting angrily
  • Crowd of 40-50 men & women in a hall, angry shouting with occasional pauses
  • Deal the Villain, Off
  • Dive bomber attack with pom pom guns, bombs and machine guns – 1975 (500K)
  • Drake Stafford, Excogitate
  • General atmosphere of crowd at protest meeting. (6000 people, recorded outdoors in England.)
  • Heavy Explosion
  • New York – Police sirens, continuous burble
  • Open fire burning
  • Paris Riots, banging on shields, smoke grenades
  • Paris Riots, fire built up & started
  • Platoon marches past, right to left on parade ground, without spoken command. (Recorded at Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.) (NB Platoon = 24 Men)
  • Podington Bear, Sad Cyclops
  • Riot in Belfast – with breaking glass, rubber bullets, distant cries and chants
  • Rous, Eksaireseis
  • Rous, Voutia Sto Keno
  • Willbe, Wayback
  • Yan Terrien, Roxody Blues

(All music sources from the Free Music Archive and the BBC Sound Effects Resource)

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