Graffiti in Athens


It’s about time I wrote something about graffiti in Athens. There have been so many cool articles about it already, that it seems kind of redundant – yet, I felt like writing something about a new and very controversial graffiti which appeared on the Polytechnic University recently.

Just to give a brief background, the graffiti scene in Athens has become bigger and bigger in recent years. As I have met a few graffiti artists in Athens, I feel a little closer to the whole scene. But it’s not like graffiti is a new thing – far from it. There was graffiti in ancient times, and apparently graffiti was used in the 1930s to convey secret messages. After all, the word “graffiti” comes from a Greek word…

In my personal opinion, modern graffiti is a great addition to urbanscapes. It adds colour to the city, and gives an artistic touch. That said, not all graffiti is nice, and not all graffiti artists are talented. I personally dislike the so called “tagging”, irrespective of the message it conveys – obviously some mottos are clever, but still I don’t like what I personally classify as a smudge. Besides, much of the tagging is all about the person’s name, and I personally can’t see how this could convey an important message.

When the news broke out about a huge graffiti that covered the Polytechnic University, I knew that was something I had to go and see. Before going, I read a few articles with different people’s opinions – some people liked it, some people hated it.

And there I was, standing in front of it. Woah!


My first reactions – big, ugly, a “smudge”, “how the hell did they make it”.

My later reactions… Well – it’s not like I am an expert on social movement media. BUT, although I can clearly see the signification of such a massive graffiti on one of the most important buildings of Athens’ modern history (we are talking about the Polytechnic University after all!), I disagree with this particular building being “vandalised”. Plus, this “smudge” would have looked much better on a different type of building – like a word-down building falling to pieces. But then… the “message” wouldn’t have been the same.

For some academic views, you can check out pages 408-412 of this report 🙂


About Vanidio

I was born in Athens, Greece, and left at the not-so-tender age of 27 to go to London for a master's degree - or, rather, to go experience the city. I worked there for a while, and after four years I decided to move back to Athens, and got a really boring job with a decent (more than decent) salary. In December 2011 I took a year off work, and travelled to Latin America, Europe, Greece and the Middle East. When I came back, I spent quite a bit of time trying to fit in and organise my "normal" life - or decide that I don't really want a "normal" life. At that time, travelling was more important to me than almost anything else... And then things changed a bit, as I got an offer from a foreign company to organise tours for foreigners in Athens. Dream coming true? Yes! We've done a few tours so far, and hopefully more are coming... let's see! And then things changed even more, as I met a nice, handsome foreigner through one of these tours. And we are now living together, and planning our next trips together :) Life is strange, isn't it!

4 responses »

  1. ”In my personal opinion, modern graffiti is a great addition to urbanscapes”..absolutely agree!
    γαμάτη φωτο..ο τροπος που στέκεσαι και αυτά που φοράς ταιριάζουν απολυτα με το γκραφίτι!
    καποια στιγμή θα το δω απο κοντα..και το γκραφιτι και εσένα

  2. 😀 Πρέπει να έρθεις πολύ σύντομα τότε γιατί μάλλον θα το καθαρίσουν άμεσα!!! Έλα έλα 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s