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Mediated Communities

Civic Voices, Empowerment and Media Literacy in the Digital Era

Edited By Moses Shumow

Mediated Communities brings together a diverse, global cohort of academics and professional communicators to assess the current state of democratic mobilizing around the world and the ways in which protest movements are being transformed in the midst of a communication revolution. Contributors draw on a variety of international settings – from Greece to Lebanon, China to Argentina – to demonstrate the ways in which community organizing in the digital age relies increasingly on digital media to communicate, help participants find common ground, and fight for change. Contributors acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead for creating real and lasting democratic change, but at the same time are able to draw attention to the potential that digital media hold for strengthening citizen voices around the globe.
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Chapter 6 – Reclaiming the Urban Landscape, Rebuilding the Civic Culture: Online Mobilization, Community Building, and Public Space in Athens, Greece


~ Chapter 6 ~


Roman Gerodimos

The greatest promise of a new language of space resides in offering communities new ways to deliberate about and forge communal identities around reimagined visions of space…Place can function as the most powerful organizing theme of shared meaning. Street corners and neighbourhoods, parks and schools, monuments and memorials— these are not just spots on a map. They are what hold the abstraction of social life together (Gordon & Koo, 2008, p. 205).

DURING THE last few years, Greece has experienced an economic, social and political decline the velocity of which is possibly unprecedented. Since 2010, successive Greek governments have implemented radical austerity measures as part of bailout agreements with international lenders. With soaring taxation, unemployment and poverty on top of pre-existing problems—such as increased crime rates and the lack of an effective mechanism for the controlled entry and integration of immigrants and asylum-seekers—the social fabric of urban communities in Athens has faced repeated ruptures.

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