The African dust arriving from the South covers the city of Athens, once again. Every few years, the phenomenon reoccurs hiding the city from the face of the earth leaving behind a sence of uneasiness, as if we have lost our way, our sense of direction.
It so happens that for long time now this is exactly how we feel. Lost.
For many years anger has been alternating with grief, shame with fear, while the horror of imminent disaster leaves us empty, staring into a void. It has been quite some time that our lives are regulated by sophisticated financial terms: recession, inflation, IMF, sustainable economic growth, spreads… Each and every one of us watches events unfold, silently, in front of the TV screen, or loudly, in the streets outside.
Yet, there comes a moment when one wonders how did we come to this? How were we so mistaken in thinking that our future could be better, our children would have the same opportunities we had and live a better life than their parents? It appears that this is not the case anymore. Obvious as it may seem now, we were caught off guard, and life changed on us while we were not paying any attention.
Located between East and West, literally as well as metaphorically, we permitted our cities to expand in order to accommodate people coming from all over the country to seek a better future in the capital. Nearly half the population gradually gathered in Athens forcing the city to spread towards all directions. We created a private home with little regard for public space. We silently accepted illicit construction only because it was deemed “democratic”. We bent the rules, took certain liberties and once the final outcome was out there for us to grasp, we remained in awe of how chaotic it really looked.