FT3: Kipseli neighborhood

Multi-ethnic coexistence in a central neighborhood of Athens

Kypseli is one of the most densely populated and multicultural neighborhoods of Athens, located north-west of the city center. In the dominant public discourse, migrant residents of Kypseli have been accused of being collectively responsible for problems of urban and social decay and the neighborhood has been stigmatized as one of the most dangerous "ghettos" of the city. This xenophobic rhetoric favored many racist and violent practices against immigrants and cultivated a fertile ground for the increase of the political influence of the extreme right-wing party "Golden Dawn", especially after the outburst of the economic crisis. But, at the same time, local grassroots solidarity initiatives emerged, in order to confront intolerance and address a wide range of increasing socio-spatial problems, such as precarity, unemployment, impoverishment, homelessness, degradation of public infrastructure etc. The fieldtrip refers to the historic processes of urban development and social transformations in the neighborhood, and discusses the multiple effects of the current multi-faceted crisis, the difficulties with social cohesion, the current trends of regeneration and the "challenge" of multi-ethnic coexistence.