Monday Jul 28, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The nihilistic game of the taggers

By Tasoula Karaiskaki

Aris fans celebrated the centennial of the soccer club’s establishment in Thessaloniki last week by vandalizing almost every important monument in the center of the northern port city. They spray-painted slogans on the White Tower, the Vassiliko Theater, the headquarters of the Young Men’s Christian Association (HANTH), the statue of Alexander the Great, the Society for Macedonian Studies, and, as one scrawl boasted, “all along Tsimiski [Street].”

Thessaloniki Mayor Yiannis Boutaris accused the vandals of “anti-social, shameless and uncivilized behavior.”

“What if we’re relegated? Will they tear down the White Tower?” he commented.

The mayor has spoken out against such vandalism in the past, a frequent and ongoing occurrence along the seafront, on signs informing visitors of the city’s history, at the Holocaust Memorial and elsewhere. He said that the city was in a constant state of war with the vandals: “They scrawl, we clean and whoever gets tired first wins.”

The same battle is raging in Athens, where municipal crews scrubbed Syntagma Square clean ahead of the Independence Day parade on March 25 only to find the marble marred by spray paint and markers again before it had a chance to shine.

The most worrying aspect of this issue is widespread acceptance of this game, which does not scandalize but is, rather, viewed in the same way as the trash thrown at the side of the road and the layers of grime that coat bus stops. The vandals probably see their actions as a resounding statement of their presence or maybe as an expression of ideology, or even an expression of aesthetics, a kind of dadaist intervention. Authorities view it as a costly annoyance, yet nevertheless part and parcel of the job.

In fact, vandalism is an act of oppression, in which the collective ego of the group of vandals puts its destructive mark on things that as individuals they should be helping preserve: clean, functional public space, works of art, monuments celebrating history and collective memory, the relics of tradition and so on. Whether an expression of hooliganism or reaction against society, whether done lightly or unconsciously under peer pressure or completely consciously, the result is the same: ruining something that belongs to everyone.

This vandalism of public property is a cultural problem that been largely underestimated in Greece. Behind the disdain shown for the things created by bygone eras and present-day society, behind the abuse of the symbols of culture and history, seen as elements that need to be shed, there may lie the rejection of historical identity. Maybe they are denying their collective and individual existence within society by ruining the depictions of institutions and values, but not in a battle toward a new collective conscience; rather in an act of nihilism. Maybe they are expressing an anxiety that defies definitions, codes or morals. An absolute. And like any absolute, it is a way to ignore the real problem and, of course, the root of the problem itself.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday March 29, 2014 (17:50)  
Weighing all the factors
Clear rules, for everyone
Concrete measures
Education needs skills
Appeal over legality of civil servants´ strike to be ruled Friday
The Appeals Court in Athens is not expected to rule before Friday on an appeal by civil servants’ union ADEDY against a recent decision by the First Instance Court that deemed illegal a stri...
Two arrested for attempted rape against 15-year-old in western Greece
Two men aged 25 and 29 have been arrested in Aitoloakarnania, western Greece, on suspicion of trying to rape a 15-year-old girl. The teenager’s father, 45, has also been arrested on charges ...
Inside News
Parliament’s Budget Office says third bailout may be needed
Parliament’s State Budget Office has ruffled some feathers again after claiming that is appears likely Greece will require a third bailout package to avoid a default. In its quarterly report...
Ryanair ‘not particularly interested’ in Cyprus Air
LONDON – Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said on Monday that the airline was not particularly interested in acquiring troubled Cypriot carrier Cyprus Airways, which he said had huge legacy issu...
Inside Business
VOLLEYBALL
Volleyball national team second in European League
Much as the national volleyball team tried to repeat in the finals of the European League the feat it had achieved in the semifinals, it failed to overturn the advantage Montenegro had got f...
SOCCER
Ranieri says he has little to change in Greek national team
The Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) presented Claudio Ranieri as the new Greece coach for the next couple of years, after the Italian manager signed his contract in Athens on Friday. “I l...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Appeal over legality of civil servants´ strike to be ruled Friday
2. Two arrested for attempted rape against 15-year-old in western Greece
3. Parliament’s Budget Office says third bailout may be needed
4. Ryanair ‘not particularly interested’ in Cyprus Air
5. August 2 expected to be Greek tourism’s D-day
6. Investors took Monday off as bourse turnover struggled
more news
Today
This Week
1. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
2. Euro inflation seen testing ECB patience as stimulus takes time
3. Tree collapses in village square, killing nine-year-old boy
4. Maziotis moved to Diavata Prison in Thessaloniki
5. Multi-bill containing prior actions ready for Parliament
6. Minister mulls fixing food and drink prices at non-private beaches
Today
This Week
1. Climber dies in Mount Olympus fall
2. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
3. Unequal after death
4. Hedge fund Dromeus turns Greek tragedy to triumph with 160 pct gain
5. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
6. Front-line threats
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.