INTERVIEW: SMALL STORIES OF ATHENS!

If you’ve ever been to Athens, not to mention if you’re living here, you must have noticed the great diversity in both its people and the city itself! Athens is more like a mosaic of small stories that come together and give the city its so unique character!  Alex (who’s is also behind the doors of Athens) is now on a mission to collect these stories in one place. Along with his friends (Haris -Kari Pidi-, Konstantina, Aggeliki & Dani), who help him with translation and more, he walks in the streets of Athens and brings in the foreground stories that would, otherwise, have been untold.

 

ssa“You should talk with the other one (the one with the hat – editors note), not me!”

 “Why?”

 “He is a director and one of his movies got a prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1968! It’s called “Kierion”. Google it up. He was a great director and did more than 20 documentaries as well. His name is Dimos Theos.”

“And who are you?”

“I’m his brother.”

“Θα έπρεπε να μιλήσεις με τον άλλον (τον κύριο με το καπέλο), όχι εμένα”

“Γιατί;”

“Είναι σκηνοθέτης και μία από τις ταινίες του είχε βραβευτεί στο φεστιβάλ κινηματογράφου της Βενετίας το 1968! Η ταινία λέγεται ‚Κιέριον‘ Ψάχτε το στο google. Ήταν σπουδαίος σκηνοθέτης και έχει κάνει πάνω απο 20 ντοκιμαντέρ. Ονομάζεται Δήμος Θέος.”

 “Και ποιος είσαι εσύ;”

“Είμαι ο αδερφός του.”


-So, why would you start such a project?

 Since I came to Athens, I tried to observe and document many different things, it’s an interesting city and I am always eager to find something new. I got inspired a little by the website “Humans of New York”, I think it is a great project that has the ability to raise the awareness that we are all humans after all, lovable, with our little flaws and edges. I called it  Small Stories of Athens – Μικρές Ιστορίες της Αθήνας   though, because other than humans I also think that art or places can tell or bear a story. And because Brandon Stanton (the creator of “Humans of New York”) is a single person and mostly active in New York, I kind of try to continue his legacy here, where I can, in Athens, because there are so many people and they all have stories and they never could be told by one person. I would be happy to get to know people from other cities, this way as well.



ss

“I don’t like normal things. I want aliens as friends or something like that, you know!”
-Nagia, Exarchia

“Δεν μου αρέσουν τα νορμαλ πραγματα. Θέλω εξωγήινους για φίλους η’ κάτι παρόμοιο!”



-What attracts you to the people you “interview”?
Even though I usually choose at random, I like different looking people. And it’s usually exactly those people that seem harder to approach at first, but in the end are much cooler with having their picture taken and everything. You know sometimes it feels like they appreciate being noticed.

From the stories that I have collected, a few are from people that I know, because at some point they might have dropped a funny, memorable quote, that made them somehow “them”. I like the unusual, though, I really want to try to add people from all kinds of backgrounds and I really would like to have diversity in the project.


-Do you think it is easy for someone to share his story publicly?

 First, I think it’s not always easy to share your story at all to someone that you have just met. I think it depends on the questions you ask and the safety you can provide to the person: that you can handle their story with care and respect. That’s why I prefer doing the stories while having a greek friend with me (I’m kind of blond & are sometimes mistaken for a tourist), not that I couldn’t handle to do them on my own, but I think, that if the people see that other greeks are already trusting me, they do too. Also it is true, that some people have a little bit of a problem with Facebook because they associate negative things with it. I can’t blame them but I assure them and you that my intentions are good and I’m doing this project to bring the people together and not apart.


σσασμ“Amity” by STMTS seen in Goudi
“With this artwork, I want to highlight the purity of a child that comes into contact with nature and the message of solidarity that it gives. Peaceful coexistence. Hope that comes from inner harmony.”
-STMTS, Street Artist

“Με το έργο αυτό θέλω να αναδείξω την αγνότητα ενός παιδιού που έρχεται σε επαφή με τη φύση και το μήνυμα αλληλεγγύης που δίνει. Ειρηνική συνύπαρξη. Ελπίδα που πηγάζει από την εσωτερική αρμονία.”


-Who had the most interesting story until now?

 Interesting is difficult to say, most of them are so different! Maybe the guy who had his movie at the Venice Film Festival, because you never would have guessed from how he looked! I liked the homeless guy with the obviously broken guitar, that said “I’m going to a lesson”- of course he was not going to a lesson, but that was him, you know, even one sentence can say a million things.


ημλ

“I’m on the way to a lesson right now!”

 “Παω για μάθημα!”

-Why we should talk more, share more etc?
 I think we should definitely talk & listen more to each other. I’m the last person qualified to talk about this because, I am checking my phone much more often than I should & than it’s needed., but I actually find a great joy in this project and also I have the feeling that some of the people were very happy that somebody listened & cared, and maybe if this all gets bigger it can become a thing, you know, the best would be, to be able to reach the public with the page and maybe if someone has a huge problem (which I am sure many people in Athens do) we can raise awareness for this cause.
I think the more stories I have the more meaningful the whole thing as a project will be in the end, so I’m gonna just continue 🙂
I believe humanity the last years is on the wrong path and I think every little thing that stands for humanity & tolerance, as well as, respecting each other, should be supported.
Probably, I should only advice you, to walk around our cities with your eyes and hearts wide open,
xx

Aristea!


P.S.  Follow these Athenian small stories on instagram & facebook and don’t forget to visit their main internet place: www.smallstoriesofathens.com
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Author: Aristea

I eat a lot. I travel often. I write about it. https://mydreamsmanifesto.wordpress.com/

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