This week at ALLEGRA’s TV we share an intriguing documentary on the current Greek crisis. Future Suspended by Ross Domoney poses numerous compelling, yet inconvenient questions: what happens to democracy in a state of crisis? Why and how do devaluation, violence and estrangement become the replacement of democratic values?
Through its cinematic traversal of today’s Athens, this 35′ film traces the rise of the authoritarian-financial complex and shows how this shrinks public space in the city, fuelling social despair and anger in return.
Future Suspended is divided in three sections: “Privatised” explores the legacy of mass privatisation projects that preceded the 2004 Olympics, placing them in the context of present day privatisation schemes. “Devalued” gazes at the ever-shrinking spaces of migrants in the city and the subsequent devaluation of their lives. “Militarised” illustrates how, in face of the crisis, this devaluation translates into a generalised condition.
Future Suspended is part of the ESRC-funded project Crisis-scape: the city at the time of crisis. Dimitris Dalakoglou, one of the venture’s participants, describes the documentary and its background as follows:
“In Future Suspended we decided to narrate three stories about the city of Athens and crisis. We talked about new infrastructure built in between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s and the consequent transfer of material and real-estate capital to private contractors. The results of these large infrastructural projects tranformed urban materialities, as well as values.
Yet these changes – both of real estate values and social values – were founded on a decade of economic growth that preceded the current crises. New forms of structural and physical violence were part of the new Athenian landscape, new spatial tactics and strategies emerged within new networks.
These transformations were, furthermore, accompanied by others. These included radically altered qualities, direction and speed of flows within the urban complex, all of which changed the city and the daily urban experience in profound ways. The new airport, new metro, new express-ways paved the way for the crisis, not only financially but also socially – Athens’ soul was simply no longer the same.
Thus rather than being merely the result of the immediate crisis – the ‘Crisis-scape’ already began two decades before the ‘systemic crisis’ of 2010 which seemingly started everything. Thus, what we saw during the crises of post-2010 was an intense and expanded form of a state of exception that had already been formed and rehearsed on the marginalised groups of the city.”
See also the Crisis-scapes: Athens and Beyond and the Crisis before the Crisis
The film is part of the research project at crisis-scape.net. The research team consists of Christos Filippidis, Antonis Vradis, Dimitris Dalakoglou, Ross Domoney and Jaya Klara Brekke. All music for Future Suspended was composed by Giorgos Triantafyllou.