Civic Voices, Empowerment and Media Literacy in the Digital Era
Chapter 6 – Reclaiming the Urban Landscape, Rebuilding the Civic Culture: Online Mobilization, Community Building, and Public Space in Athens, Greece
~ Chapter 6 ~
RECLAIMING THE URBAN LANDSCAPE, REBUILDING THE CIVIC CULTURE: ONLINE MOBILIZATION, COMMUNITY BUILDING, AND PUBLIC SPACE IN ATHENS, GREECE
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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