“Mapping the Commons, Athens”: A Cartography of Alternate Economies and Practices in Times of Crisis


Session Title:

  • Mapping and the User Experience

Presentation Title:

  • “Mapping the Commons, Athens”: A Cartography of Alternate Economies and Practices in Times of Crisis




  • The proposed paper will be based on a presentation of the concept, the process and the results of the workshop “Mapping the Commons, Athens” led by the spanish collective Hackitectura which was organized by and hosted in the National Museum of Contemporary Art from the 1st until the 8th of December 2010 .

    Mapping the Commons, Athens is a collective study, a contemporary reading and an online open cartography of Athens and its special dynamic. It is the result of a workshop that took place in a period in which the particular contemporary metropolis seemed restless and vulnerable at the same time.

    The Hackitectura collective with myself, as the curator and coordinator of the initiative, collaborated with an interdisciplinary group of young researchers and students from Athens in order to seek for, examine and document the areas where new forms of common wealth could be located.

    Seeing beyond the “public” and the “private”, different types of commons were mapped which were based on collectivity, sociability, open and free access, gift economy or peer to peer practices.

    The cartography gave birth to a different image of the city full of promises, but yet fluid and unstable. During the workshop many contradictions and questions such as the following occurred that is worth analyzing on the opportunity of this paper:

    1. Can the commons be secured?
    2. How do they sometimes serve the interests of a gentrified “creative” city?
    3. What role do they really play in times of a global financial crisis?
    4. Can the citizens re-appropriate the commons, and form a new type of resistance?

    The online collaborative maps and the blog that were created will  be presented highlighting the importance of collaborative practices to timely examine crucial notions. The need for a re-invention of a new common experience and memory, can possibly be born through collaboration and sharing.

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