Saturday October 25, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
19o C
12o 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 Centers 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 youre 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 Cosmoss 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 youre 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)  
Rackets corner souvenir market at the foot of the Acropolis
Local businesses come together to raise Zagorochorias profile
After 20 years of cutting waste, feeding the needy, food bank keeps up good work during crisis
Gazi: One Athenian district that seems to be riding out the storm
TRAVEL
Galaxidi: Silent eloquence
When you arrive at Galaxidi the first thing that strikes you is the quiet. The road into the picturesque coastal village at the foot of Mount Parnassus leads you to Nikolaos Mamas Square n...
Acropolis Museum to put the daily lives of the ancients on display
Until now, visitors to the Acropolis Museum in Athens could only peer through the glass floors of the Bernard Tschumi-designed structure to get an idea of the ancient neighborhood lying amon...
Inside Life
Inside Travel
Inside Gastronomy
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. A win is a win is a win for Olympiakos
2. TAIPED waits for green light from Eurostat
3. Trade deficit shrinks on big drop in imports
4. SMEs unable to claim subsidies
5. Taxes kept growing in second quarter
6. Thessaloniki Port expects 2014 to be record year
more news
Today
This Week
1. Woman killed in tram accident in Floisvo, south of Athens
2. Clocks to go back 1 hour on Sunday
3. Venizelos slams Turkey for 'flagrant violation of international law' off Cyprus
4. ECB vies for third time lucky in European stress tests
5. Cyprus GDP upgrade seen as boosting bailout exit plans
6. ECB bank assessment to show 6-billion-euro capital gap, Citi says
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Greeces closed society is central to its current malaise
3. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
4. At least 11 banks to fail European stress tests, three in Greece, report says
5. Cyprus to block Turkey's EU talks after EEZ violation
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.