Art is relevant to today’s social & moral challenges. Artists are actors of social change. Athens is a city that resists its multicultural identity. By bringing culturally diverse European artists together to collaborate with the locals, migrants & refugees a new space will be forged, both physical & mental. A space where human bonds will be cultivated & the acceptance & celebration of diversity will contribute greatly to social cohesion & the formation of a truly inclusive community.
Patisia, Athens, Greece. A culturally diverse area that has suffered greatly in the economic crisis.
Our idea promotes intercultural cooperation, freedom of expression, empathy, the sharing of knowledge & ultimately the overcoming of the fear of the Other. It shows that the people of Europe can have a positive, direct impact on the daily life of a community, in a country struggling to stay afloat.
Athens will boast the only multilingual library in Greece, a modern day “agora” where people will be citizens, despite their background & status, refugee or other; a space where people can challenge & accept each other, strengthening our society & actively fighting against discrimination.
Our partner Snehta will address a call to socially minded European artists with diverse backgrounds & expertise. Ten that will be selected will work with each other & the local community over a period of two months. In workshops where schools, craftsmen, refugees & migrants will participate, they will design & create the space that will host the 11.000 books collected so far for the multilingual library so that it visually & structurally reflects the ideals of inclusion & multiculturalism.
The idea comes from an EU citizen & a stateless refugee who believe that books & art have the power to transcend stereotypes & bring people together, exposing their similarities & celebrating their differences. We want more people to witness this as we have; the benefits are countless & are for all.
The city of Athens, the neighborhoods surrounding the library, schools, local artists, refugees, children, first & second generation migrants, book lovers, multiculturalists, polyglots. Ethnic minority EU artists whose work is socially mindful & emphasizes issues of integration & inclusion.
Recommendations of art organizations elsewhere in Europe that would be interested in this idea would be greatly appreciated, also the sharing of best practices for community outreach programmes, although all advice, comments & feedback are welcome.