Monday, October 5, 2015

Investigating FLANEUR #6 on Fokionos Negri in Athens


FLANEUR magazine picks one street per issue and collects it's fragments. Last spring we had an event in the store with the magazine's publisher and founder Ricarda Messner, she talked with Toine Donk from Das Magazin about how the magazine started and how they work. The report and recording of the talk is here.
The new issue is about the Fokionos Negri in Athens. We went to Athens to investigate the new issue on the street itself.


Earlier issues were sometimes raw (Berlin, Kantstrasse) or dark (Leipzig, Georg-Schwarz-Strasse). The Athens issue feels more nostalgic and melancholic, looking at the past of the street that was build in the 60's in the Kypseli neighbourhood. It used to be a rich neighborhood, but now a lot of immigrants live there though quite a few older ladies refuse to leave their beloved Kypseli and mingle in with the new inhabitants, still flourishing the street looking tip top as in the old days.
One of the most beautiful stories in the issue is about the entrance halls and the porters that used to work there behind desks. Walking up and down Fokionos you find many beautiful examples with unmanned desks, big plants and 60's architecture. Elina Axioti writes that she tried to reconstruct "a lost memory of their presence" with great photography by Yiannis Hadjiaslanis.


Another article that takes on Fokionos' history are the drawings of artist Antonakis who pays homage to the 1968 movie The Punk of Fokionos Negri and it's leading actor Alkis Yannakas.
There's a photo reportage by Eirini Vourloumis who sketches a dreamy portrait of the street with combined photographs.


There is a chapter called "The People of Fokionos Negri"; seven Fokionos residents are portrayed like restaurant owner Kosmas who looks back on how he started his restaurant Phaedra and how his brothers in other neighborhoods are doing better with their taverns. Then there's Giannis & Stavros and the special wine they serve at their Souvlakopolion Rigani at the beginning of the street, the artist Antonakis who we met earlier in the issue talks about his love for the street and Polly who is 80 years old talks about her time living on Fokionos.


Issue 6 ends with "Traces of Resistance" by editor Fabian Saul who wrote a manifesto about a list of famous people who are connected together and are connected by the street, which makes you look at the street from a different angle.

The magazine shows Fokionos Negri's ghost and soul by looking closely to the fragments the people that live there now provide. A fantastic new issue.

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