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Practices of solidarity in Athens: reconfigurations of public space and urban citizenship

Vaiou, D and Kalandides, A (2017) Practices of solidarity in Athens: reconfigurations of public space and urban citizenship. Citizenship Studies, 21 (4). pp. 440-454. ISSN 1362-1025

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Abstract

The multi-faceted crisis that has hit Greece and other (southern) European countries has had severe consequences on people’s everyday lives. In an attempt to cope with, but also resist, dramatic changes in lifestyles, incomes and welfare, several initiatives have sprung up all over the country at many different scales, with diverse targets, varying actors and outcomes. Many people have abandoned their privacy to participate in public actions of solidarity, in initiatives that often involve new or alternative uses of urban space. It seems that practices of solidarity and claims around material spaces are becoming an important ‘laboratory’ for shaping a different public sphere. Drawing from relevant examples in Athens, the paper aims to reflect on the ways in which such practices and claims arise and develop; how different types of rights and forms of doing politics are enacted in situations of crisis and deprivation; and finally how such practices reconfigure public space and shape notions of belonging, which ultimately (re)define urban citizenship

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