Wednesday Jul 30, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Neos Cosmos reloaded

 Onassis center app offers fresh perspective on historical Athenian neighborhood
The app allows users to take a free tour, alone, through a part of the Greek capital that is somewhat neglected, maybe even ignored. The length of the walk can be adapted to suit your mood and how much time you have.

By Nikos Vatopoulos

After walking around for about an hour, mobile phone in hand and earphones plugged in, I was acutely aware of the fact that the Athenian neighborhood of Neos Cosmos was nothing like I had thought, even though I had been pretty sure I knew the district quite well.

My tour of the area lying between Kallirois Avenue and the foot of Mount Hymettus was part of a pilot program launched by the Onassis Cultural Center that uses an interactive application for smartphones and tablets. My fellow journalists and myself were sent out into the area with absolutely no idea of what to expect and returned having experienced something wonderful and gained a wealth of knowledge.

The app allows users to take a free tour, alone, through a part of the Greek capital that is somewhat neglected, maybe even ignored, yet without a doubt interesting in a bittersweet kind of way. The length of the tour can be adapted to suit your mood and how much time you have.

The Onassis Cultural Center’s long-term aim is to broaden the application to take in other parts of Athens – including that which will be subject to a revamp under the Rethink Athens initiative – and to have it in English and other languages too, offering a different perspective not just to visitors but also to residents.

Anyone with a smartphone or tablet can download the application (instructions are available at the OCC) or can otherwise be supplied with a mobile device to be returned after the tour. One tap on the “walking” button and you’re off.

The tour reveals Neos Cosmos in all its facets: a neighborhood settled by refugees from Asia Minor in the late 1920s and 30, developed on different scales in different parts, and then settled anew this century by a fresh wave of foreign migrants to Greece. The audiovisual tour uses images, text and sound, while the information is conveyed generously and in captivating ways. This soundscape-landscape was designed by Medea Electronique, a team of talented people from different creative disciplines who have designed an app that offers a full cerebral experience, playing to the viewer, the intellectual and the city aficionado. You can hear the sounds of children playing, birdsong, the hum of traffic, laughter, church bells, students coming out of class and the roar of nearby Syngrou Avenue in a tour that casts the neighborhood in bas-relief and immerses you in its everyday life.

The tour takes in landmarks such as a makeshift mosque set up by Neos Cosmos’s Muslim residents, the Sourp Garabed Armenian Orthodox Church, the playground, the Church of Analipseos, the Lagoumitzi Street pedestrian underpass, the old refugee quarter, local cafes and the balcony of a man who keeps finches, as well as the grand hotels Neos Cosmos is home to, its multiplex cinema and, of course, Syngrou, the big thoroughfare that links the city center with its southern suburbs. Special emphasis is placed on a monument commemorating a Nazi massacre of local residents on August 9, 1944.

Once downloaded, the application can be used as many times as the user wishes; there is so much information that no two tours will be exactly the same.

More than anything, what you’re left with after the tour is a sense of the place, of a locality with an identity, of a neighborhood standing still, slowly eroding, as time rushes by.

What is most touching about the initiative is that it was designed with the cooperation and contribution of local residents – Greeks, foreigners, young and old. The design team spent months building a relationship of trust with the neighborhood, cultivating ties. The tour includes lines of poetry, extracts of history and videos, crafting a micro-history composed of the testimonials seen on the walls, in the streets and in the homes of Neos Cosmos, making it truly interactive.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday June 21, 2014 (21:00)  
Greeks Gone West: Kristina Tremonti
Greeks Gone West: Greg Pappas
Gazi, from industrial backwater to urban hot spot
Greeks Gone West: Greg Yatanes
Doomful Placebo play southern Athens roof-top venue
Placebo’s fans in Greece are expected to welcome the brilliantly doomful band on Friday, August 8, as part of their international tour, for a one-time performance at the Peace and Friendship...
Thessaloniki producing a homegrown brand of manga
A group of writers (genshaku-sha), and cartoonists (mangaka) in the northern port city of Thessaloniki are making a splash with manga fans by producing their own online series, which has alr...
Inside Life
Inside Travel
Inside Gastronomy
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Deals reached for twin plot on Afandou, for 42 million
2. More delays and red tape for companies’ tax rebates
3. Greek shipowners continue to invest in fleet renewal
4. Trainose sale is not on track
5. Industry asks for gov’t intervention
6. Troika review in Athens unaffected by Paris meeting
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece names fifth privatization agency chief in four years
2. Archaeological council bans international climbers' gathering at Meteora
3. World’s largest solar boat on Greek mission
4. Venizelos to meet Nimetz in Athens
5. Tsipras discusses Cyprus with Anastasiades in Athens
6. More than 120,000 households to receive special benefit
Today
This Week
1. Unequal after death
2. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
3. Hedge fund Dromeus turns Greek tragedy to triumph with 160 pct gain
4. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
5. Front-line threats
6. Greek coast guard picks up 77 migrants off Myconos
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.