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Thessaloniki Allios

THESSALONIKI ALLIOS THESSALONIKI One of Thessaloniki’s most important free-press magazines since 1989 has been Parallaxi. In 2010, Parallaxi decided to put their motto ‘Ideas, Stories, Trends, People, the City’ into practice by organising Thessaloniki Allios (Thessaloniki Otherwise), one of the biggest urban festivals in the city. It involved a great deal of the city’s creative initiatives in order to bring attention to the public and open space, to buildings that remain vacant and to the people ready to take on action. Thessaloniki Allios developed into a network of creative practices and an active movement influencing the city.

>> Thessaloniki as a city in transition was a recurring theme

throughout the programme of the Metropolitan Field Trip and became most apparent through conversations with locals who are actively engaged in neighbourhood initiatives and community projects. An excellent example of the potential of Thessaloniki’s City Maker movement is George Toulas. He is the director of Parallaxi Magazine, a free-press magazine started in 1989, which grew out to be an organisation involved in urban festivals, projects in public space, transformation of Thessaloniki’s many vacant buildings, and arranging housing for refugees and Roma in the city. George and the Parallaxi network combine the free-press magazine and their local activities to engage the city and its inhabitants in finding collaborative, bottom-up solutions to Thessaloniki’s challenges. Their relationship with the Municipality is difficult, as they attempt to maintain a certain distance while writing critical articles about local governance daily.


This cautious attitude and often outright aversion of municipal involvement was emphasised by many of the City Makers involved in this Metropolitan Field Trip. A young girl named Vasiliki Soultani’s reaction to the question if she ever considered being politically active is telling. Vasiliki is involved in a youth collective formed by the volunteers of Thessaloniki European Youth Capital 2014 (EYC2014), and now organises a wide range of projects and traineeships throughout the city that help young students develop their skills and network. She has strong ideas about how youth can influence Thessaloniki. ‘Politically active? Here it sounds really bad. We try to avoid it!’, she says. ‘We try to change things around here as a non-governmental organisation, without politicians.’ Olympia Datsi, co-founder of the Creativity Platform, a non-profit, collective, interdisciplinary platform of exchanging creative ideas, actions, research and applications, and mentor of the EYC2014 youth collective adds: ‘I guess we have to reimagine the meaning and role of politicians. Even today politicians still pass their jobs on to family members, and there are no structures for young people to socialise and organise their own activities.’ >>


Profile for Pakhuis de Zwijger

New Amsterdam #10  

New Democracy | 10 years Pakhuis de Zwijger | Maakplaats 021 | FabCity Movement | Global Parliament of Mayors | Equal Access | Humans of Ams...

New Amsterdam #10  

New Democracy | 10 years Pakhuis de Zwijger | Maakplaats 021 | FabCity Movement | Global Parliament of Mayors | Equal Access | Humans of Ams...