Building safer spaces for all

Athens, Greece

Challenge team: Feminist Library, Feminist Autonomous Centre and MiQ

Population of Athens: 3.1 million

Summary: The Feminist Library in this diverse Athens neighbourhood is working with the local community to share people’s real-life stories that will help challenge stereotypes and create safer public spaces.

In the early 2000s, the Athens neighbourhood Agios Panteleimonas was the focus of attention for the Greek far-right party, Golden Dawn. Residents were attacked on the streets and today this has changed and the Feminist Library is a key actor in the reclamation of the space by people from different backgrounds and identities. 

The Feminist Autonomous Centre’s Feminist Library is working with MiQ and the local community to challenge these stereotypes by sharing real life oral histories and photographic documentation. 

The project is called ‘Anamesa/Ndërmjet’, which in Greek and Albanian means ‘In-Between’: the community is involved in participatory research methods in order to create narratives about migration in Greece which involve the community of migrants itself. The end result will be a book with oral histories and visual material.

The challenge team said: “Through the Europe Challenge, we want to solve the problem of social exclusion in our community. We want to counter fake news that portrays people in a certain way and instead engage with their life-stories and look at the world from their perspective.”

The challenge team has organised collaborative methodology workshops with the local community in order to give local residents the skills to carry out the project. 

Through acts of reclaiming public space, the challenge team is also creating safe spaces for exchange and putting the public square at the heart of a new public life. In the process, they hope to make public spaces safer for women, children and LGBTQI+ particularly from minorised and racialised groups.

Local solutions to change Europe

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