Talk Real presents ‘Talk Real – Art Real,’ a series of episodes on artistic projects and social practices from grassroots movements that aim to counteract the dominant discourses of crisis and threat in the so-called “refugee crisis.”
In this first episode of the series, Talk Real travels to Athens, one of the places where the economic, political, social, and cultural dilemmas that Europe faces are expressed more broadly, to meet some of the local experiences that are working to create in the city a safe and welcoming place. How are art and artists changing perspectives on migration in the city? What local experiences are self-organising to give responses to the passivity of the institutions? What artistic projects and artists are tackling the refugee emergency through their work?
“Derived from the Latin refugium, a “refuge” is commonly understood as a place or state of safety. Those “seeking refuge” wish to withdraw into a protected space or environment. In colloquial language, the notion of refuge is used quite freely. It can refer to a holiday retreat, an ecological reserve, a place of hiding, a safe haven and so forth. Others instantly associate the notion of refuge with the refugee which, according to the narrow definition developed in the twentieth century for legal and humanitarian purposes, includes only forcefully displaced persons who have escaped to safety across a national boundary. The imprecision with which the notion of refuge is used is both confusing and thought provoking.”