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Clean City. Greece

Documentary theatre performance

7th, 8th October 7 pm
Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, Small Stage


 

Research, Text & Direction: Anestis Azas and Prodromos Tsinikoris
Dramaturgy: Margarita Tsomou
Producer: Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens

Duration: 1 hr 15 mins
Premiere: 3-14 February, 2016, Onassis Cultural Centre-Athens, Upper Stage


So who, in practice, cleans‐up this country?
Why are the majority of Athens’ cleaners women and immigrants? Were they ‘born’ cleaners? Maybe, in the end, we’re all subjects of history? And while we’re at it, why do we use the phrase ‘a clean sweep’ to describe police operations intended to rid public spaces of ‘undesirables’ (immigrants, the homeless, ‘deviants’)?
Azas and Tsinikoris explore the racism of ‘cleanliness’ and ‘purity’, the perils of fascism, female immigration to Greece, and the identity of the ‘cleaning lady’.
As a theatre of the real, Clean City traces and redefines stereotypes through the gaze and personal accounts of the real experts when it comes to cleanliness: cleaning ladies of Athens immigrants from Philipines, Moldova, Albania, South Africa, and Bulgaria.
“The idea for this project arose a few years ago, when at the peak of the economic crisis sounded the slogan "to clean up the place" and part of the Greek society which needed scapegoats targeted foreigners, immigrants or refugees who live in the country. Faced with this undisguised return of racist speech, we wanted to explore the use of the concept of "pure" and “clean” in the right‐wing rhetoric <…>. Clean City is a contemporary Greek narrative from the perspective of foreigners. After many months of research among migrant communities, we finally put the spotlight on female immigrants, a generally silent minority among immigrant populations, with minimal, if not non‐existent representation in the public sphere" – tells the directors of the performance.
But who are these people to whom we have entrusted access to our most private spaces, and how do
they view Greece after so many years? To what extent have they been affected by the current financial crisis? How far have they been assimilated into Greek society, and to what degree do they remain aliens? What stories lie hidden behind the biographical facts of these people's lives, and at what points do their personal narratives intersect with the tumult of world history?