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>> Government budgets are very much restricted in

challenging times like these, but the issue goes deeper than a lack of available funds. There is a general distrust in anything related to government, politics, and bureaucracy. Although a sense of community seems to be the driving force behind many of Thessaloniki’s City Makers’ activities, collective action towards a common purpose seems to be a recent reality. Periklis Chatzinakos of the Svolou Neighbourhood Initiative experienced this first-hand when he initiated his first Spring Dinner in the Alexander Svolou neighbourhood in 2013, to increase social cohesion in the area. Together with his informal team of volunteers, they distributed flyers throughout the entire neighbourhood, only to find just twenty neighbours showing up at the table on the day of the dinner. Periklis explains: ‘The reason for the low turnout? The neighbours assumed a political party was behind the organisation of the event and had no interest in participating. It took quite some effort to convince neighbours of the non-partisan nature of the event before people started showing up to other activities.’

Spring Dinner is now a well-known phenomenon with an influence reaching far beyond just a yearly event. The square on which it is organised has been activated and revitalised and neighbours who connected at the dinner feel a stronger sense of community and ownership over the space around them. The troubled relationship with local government has taken on a visible result. When the original pedestrian crossings started to fade and requests for renewal were left unanswered, volunteers from the neighbourhood painted their own. The organisation was kindly requested by city officials to remove it, but since the team has no official registration or affiliation and works with an informal network of volunteers, no individual could be held responsible and the pedestrian crossing remains as is today. >>

APODEC THESSALONIKI ApoDec was founded in 2012 by two students finding their way around the mid-crisis Greek labour market after their graduation. Rather than giving up, they collaborated with other creatives and came up with a diversified business model to create ApoDec. It is a multifunctional space that combines various concepts and is open to all who are looking for possibilities to develop their own ideas. The co-working space and project-room, which extends over two floors, is an open environment for creative pioneers and hosts workshops, exhibitions, and book presentations as well. The initiative works with a team that organises open debates and also hosted the first two events of the crowd-funding initiative Feast Thessaloniki, an anti-narrative performance.


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...