Omonoia Index


Athens, Greece
2015
Zine

             
          



a. ECOTONE

1. A region of rapidly changing species, between two ecosystems, for example between coniferous forest and tundra. Within the ecotone, local factors, such as soil, and groundwater conditions determine species. An ecotone usually marks a change in soil, in water supply, or in exposure to the elements.  2. An unstable region, a zone of mixing, confusion, or negotiation, highly diverse, the prowling ground of predators.
Domain edges | buffer zones | riverbed, seam, back of walls | inherent qualities of channels, networks, urban voids | purists, demolishers | aliens, hunters.

Crossroad
Arcade entrance: Dragatsaniou Str, exits: Stadiou Ave, Ministry of Labor, Aristeidou Str. 2 basements: Walls of Athens.

Diporto
Underground taverna. Specialty garbanzo soup. Sokratous 9  & Theatrou, Varvakeios. Tel. 2103211463.

KatrantzoSport
Completed 1974. Demolished 1980. Architect M. Photiades. Claim of Arson Responsibility 22/12/80: R.O. October 80. “ The two cases of arson of the ‘Katrantzos’ and ‘Minion’ shopping centers, as well as another four that followed, remain unsolved, and have now passed their statute of limitations.”

Klafthmonos
ex- Old Palace Garden, Mint, Ministry of Finance Garden, March 25th, Democracy Square. End 19th C: “Pausanians’ demonstrations (civil cervants fired by consecutive governments). 1878: Klafthmonos Square (D.G. Kambouroglou, Estia Magazine). 1911: decasualisation of civil servants (1911 constitutional revision, article 102). Fissure, tracing the Walls of Athens: gardens, national conciliation statue, underground parking.

Masked Athena
Ioannis Kossos: “Athens crowned with the Acropolis,” marble bust on urn, 1862. Copy, installed behind Athens Municipal Cultural Center, 1980. Grafitti intervention, 2012. Cleaned, 2015.

Menander
Athens 342-292BC. Son of Diopithus. Writer representing New Comedy, heir to large fortune. Student of Theophrastos. Served miliatry with Epicurus. Residence at Freatis. Drowned swimming off coast of Pireaus.

State General Accounting Bureau
Kaniggos 29, 10110 Athens. Main tel: 210 3329900. Dept Pension Regulation: Controller 2239324, Desk Α 3329238, B -240, -C -235, D -234. Pen.Reg. Empl.M.Ed. -125, -141, -120. Civic Pensioners -112, -118, -120, -123, -130-1, -134.

Turmeric
“ Spicy plant, anticancerous, intense yellow color. In India, used for therapeutic reasons for centuries. Recent data proves defence against tumor growth. Main ingredient of curries and english mustard.” 

Vathi
ex-Inependence Square. Vathi: a natural depression at the crossorads of the road to Menidi (Acharnes) with the Cycloboros riverbed (Marni).

Walls of Athens
Groundbreaking, Athens and Pireaus perimeter (Themistocles initiative): c. 479 BC. Completion, Long Walls (North and Phaleric): 455 BC. Intermediary fortifications (under Pericles): 432BC. Total fortification length (acc. Thucidides): 217 stadia. Budget: 6.000 talants. New walls (under Voevod Hadji Ali Hashek): 1778 AD. Acropolis - Koumoundourou Sq - Evripidou, Sokratous, Athenas Str - Klafthmonos Sq - Syntagma - Makrygianni.

b. GUT(TER)

1. Abdomen, stomach (and pertinent organs).  2. Clay or metal, cupped cooking vessel, placed on fire for baking food. 3. (a) vessel filled with earth for planting flowers; pot. 4.  MARINE. Ship’s area below water line SYN keel.
Body of the city | digestion, kenosis |  channel, network | anathema |  space of appearance | space of disappearance.

Arben Veziri
“The borders opened in 1990. They opened and we came inside. Once they opened, we came on foot. Set off from Kakavia, Kalpaki, Yannena. Took a bus. Got off at Omonoia at quarter past two. There I went crazy. I never knew such beauty. I looked at all the people, the lights, the things… It was a story that we knew nothing about.”  

Bacacos
Pharmacy. Founded 1919. A model business project. Largest pharmacy in pre-war Greece. Classic meeting point. Moved to Ag. Konstantinou 3 in 2002.

Channel
A natural or artificial corridor to a body of water, navigable; an appliance or radio signal transmission circuit; an instrument connecting a central unit to its peripherals; a communication, access method, or information channel. 

Cloacal Obsession
“He would bring back into the general picture of life aspects which modern drainage and modern decorum have taken out of ordinary intercourse and conversation. Coarse, unfamiliar words are scattered unpleasantly and [...] needlessly. His hero […] is swayed and shocked and disgusted by harsh and loud sounds, […] stirred to intense emotion by music and the rhythms of beautiful words. But no sort of smell offends him.” 

Dump
“3rd Septemeber Ave was, until the end of the 1870s, almost uninhabited. There was a gorge behind Omonoia Sq. where the few inhabitants of Hafteia dumped their garbage; and a bit further away run the Cycloboros, a torrent.”

Lost
“Noone turns to look at you, you must become a carnival in order to be noticed, never even recognized because, naturally, they’ve never seen you before, and yet they all seem familiar to you, if not as individuals then as some sort of folk, race, type, and with your own time and effort they fall into groups inside you, a small number of groups. The Chaos that prevailed in the beginning is now gone: so what.”

Public Works
Royal Palace Sq (orthogonal), Kleanthes Schaubert 1833, 1st Urban Plan of Athens (unbuilt). Othonos Sq (circular), von Klenze 1834 (unbuilt). Omonoia Sq (orthogonal), 1849, Royal Decree. Landscaping, trees, lighting, electric raiway end 19th C. ISAP Station, 8 Muses, flowershops (circular), 1930. Fountains (Bost’s mermaid) 1960. The Runner, Varotsos 1988. Omonoia Station 2000, Attic Metro S.A. Five Circles, Zogolopoulos 2001. New design (sidewalk), Desyllas Katsika Vozani Tsiatas 2004, EAHA. One Step Beyond (formless) OKRA, 2013, Rethink Athens (unbuilt).

Yorgos Ioannou
b. 1927 Thessaloniki. 1947-50 School of Philosophy AUTh. 1974 executive member of Primary School Anthology & Secondary Education text editor.  Our Blood 1980 (first state literature prize). Omonoia 1980 (with photographs from A. Belia). Sarcophagus, Deposits, Refugee Capital.

c. SUBTERRAIN (-1)

A solid, compact layer of the Earth’s upper crust, at relatively short depth below (farmable) ground, rich in minerals.
Underground | sewage | energy, conflict, encounter, feast, hiding or memory place | infrastructural archaeology | contemporary forms | outstanding characters.

Athenian Schist
“Open discontinuities, karstic incuses in schistolithic strata and fragmented material in compact strata.”

Cafe Chantant
1896, Baggas Mansion basement. Coloured slabs. Great hall, singing stage, piano, 3 percussion instruments. Small hall, faded pictures, mirrors, boarded compartments.

Chthonic
“from Greek χθόνιος «in, under, or beneath the earth», literally means «subterranean». Deities or spirits of the underworld, especially in Greek religion.
The Greek word khthon is one of several for «earth”; it typically refers to the interior of the soil, rather than the living surface of the land (as Gaia or Ge does), or the land as territory (as khora (χώρα) does). It evokes, simultaneously, abundance and the grave.”

Descent
Dragon. Gate. Academias 58a; Mavromichali 6.

Fissure
1999: a kiosk disappears under Panepistimiou 44. Two wells, an underground arcade and a buried river are uncovered. 2000: 600.000 m3 of fast curing concrete cover the tunnels of the Metro Diggers.

Plucked Nightingales
“Four Italian sisters, along with other aliens, were the fanfare of the Baggeion Cafe Chanant. They came and went through the great hall, singing and drinking, kissing each other provocatively, controling all “movement” from the great to the small hall. Two-three fat old ladies, the “mommies,” operated as movable cashiers and wardrobes for the “daughters.”

Streams
Stadiou (a.k.a. Shitriver). Panepistimiou. Voidopnichtis (two stream-beds, from Lycabettus to Arsakeion). Cycloboros (from Tourkovounia, via Field of Mars, to Vathi Sq).




d. OMPHALOS
1.  ΑΝΑΤ. part of infant’s abdomen, connecting organs to the mother via placenta, forming the umbilical cord. SYN (coll.) navel 2. (synechd.) characteristic depression remaining in the belly after exviation of umbilical cord 3. (met.) the central point in a body or surface SYN. center, heart; PHR. omphalos of the Earth, Delphi, understood by ancient Greeks to be the center of the Earth.
Ground zero | unbuilt visions | here demonstrations and measured distances | there decisions and street numbers.

Aliens
“Very few of the passersby, our own or alien, can discern something of the permanent secret life with which they rub elbows or touch course; and yet they know, especially our
own, how to speak with insults about the creatures that cloister themselves precariously in this guest house. And they carry their pityless words into their homes causing many housewives to picture themselves as mugging, if not rape victims, when they ever pass through Omonoia at night.”


Anathema

“I have seen the squares of Venice or Isfahan. If you have seen them too you would feel the void engulfing you when you reach Taksim. If someone told me that Taksim is a perfect square I would respond that it is the most horrible square in the world.”

Chaftas
The city’s first traditional cafe, serving coffee, desserts, lemonade and, later, ice cream. The owner was a Revolutionary fighter. The state presented him with plots of land in Chafteia, the area that later carried his name.

Coxcombs
Young men from well-to-do Athenian families, without pocket money due to their parents fear that they may stray from the right path.

Eight Muses
A ventilation system of the Electrical Railway S.A. built at Omonoia’s perimeter 1934, in the form of one functional and seven decorative concrete elements (in order to avoid the complaints of the Athenians). Each column was decked with a Muse. “Kalliope,” the ninth, was placed underground, in front of the entrance to the urinals.

Metoikoi
Permenant resident aliens, without full political rights, willingly departed from their homeland.

Monopoly
Land values: Vathi Sq: 100. Patission Str: 160. Omonoia Sq: 240. Syntagma Sq: 280. Amalias Ave: 400.


                                          








Text, Editing, Research:
Petros Babasikas, Chrissoula Voulgari, Anthi Rozi
©photos Panagiotis Deftereos
©collage Tassos Langis, Yiannis Hadjiaslanis
©drawing Petros Babasikas

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