Athens / by Cyrus Moussavi


I came to Greece to see my man Allan, Kurdish journalist extraordinaire. It's a short trip to Paris, where I need to be soon for our next film (more on that soon). Unfortunately, Allan was reassigned to Istanbul before I even arrived. A tragedy, but we move on. 

The whole "death-of-the-neo-liberal-capitalist-fantasy" scenario here has caused a lot of suffering. But it's also forced people to re-think how a society should function. Cheap housing, outdoor cafes, and a culture that values the art of living means there's plenty of time for figuring shit out. Cigarettes are waved. Arguments are heated. 

But there's also action.  The strong and organized anarchists of Athens have been taking over buildings and turning them into unofficial refugee housing.  For the past two days I accompanied (and sometimes translated for) a Brazilian husband - wife couple who came to perform shadow puppets for children at these makeshift squat housing camps.  This photo is from a huge hotel that the anarchists cracked. The previous owners left behind all the bedding, furniture, and silverware. It is now home to hundreds of Syrians, Iranians, Afghans, Iraqis. I'm jaded by my time in America, but it's good to see real, subversive, community action, even if it takes near-total economic collapse and a few wars to get it going.

At the Port of Pireaus, hundreds of tents sit under a highway next to cruise ships and ferries bound for the islands.  This is the first stop on the mainland for many refugees Some have been here for months.  The goal is Germany or Holland, though the powerful governments of the world seem to be working together to make sure that doesn't happen. For about half an hour one evening, there were shadow puppets.   Strange times.