SOCIETY

‘Mstories,’ a digital showcase of Athens’s urban culture

In the final week of February thousands of Athenians received a polite invitation on Facebook to watch a video, the duration of which was just over four minutes long. The video was titled ?Mstories,? and, in a magazine-like format, it?s main theme was Athens and its contemporary culture.

Four subjects were chosen for and hosted by the first edition of the video-magazine: writer Christos Chrysopoulos and his latest book ?Fakos sto Stoma?(Lens Mouth: A time for Athens), Daphne Zoumboulakis of the esteemed gallery group and the exhibition ?Large City,? a live show at the Gagarin venue by up-and-coming band Yianneis, and Argyris Xafis playing Shakespeare?s Macbeth on the stage of the Onassis Cultural Center.

The first scene of the first edition of ?Mstories? showed writer Chrysopoulos walking along Aeolou Street in downtown Athens, with filmmaker Dimitris Nakos following closely behind with his camera until they reached the Polis publishing house on Aghias Irinis Square in Monastiraki. The final sequence is of Xafis pondering whether Macbeth can resonate in the modern era.

In the months that have followed, the showcase of short films describing life in the Greek capital today has expanded. One episode was of a discussion between urban activists Atenistas and singer Natasha Bofilou, another showed Dimitris Kalantzis?s quartet playing jazz renditions of pieces by Manos Hadjidakis, while in another, the Friends of the Tatoi Estate Society met with composer Marietta Fafouti, actors Lena Papaligoura and Yiannis Stankoglou, and musician Gautier Velissaris.

From February and through to the second half of July different ?Mstories? were prepared and distributed through social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc., most of which consisted of a variety of different subjects (up to 11 different stories) but also a respectable amount that were of a singular thematic nature, for example four referring to the Greek Festival and another on the winners of a competition organized by the National Bank for Technology and Innovation.

With increasing momentum, the initiative of ?Mstories? — which currently deals with short Athenian stories — has acquired a steadily expanding audience, the majority of which are young Athenians that are passionate about contemporary forms of artistic expression or who are involved in movements and initiatives that help cultivate and further develop the capital?s urban cultural scene.

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New ?Mstories? are broadcast at least once a week on the website www.metropolispress.gr, on Youtube (www.youtube.com/MetropolisPress) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com /MetropolisFreePress).