The new Souzy Tros canteen will serve fresh, cheap food—such as Greek trahanas and Middle Eastern hummus—to reflect the ethnic mix of the city’s population today as a seed for cultural exchange and re-constructive creativity. It is a project by Greek artist Maria Papadimitriou, in collaboration with American writer Cathryn Drake. Inspired by a famous scene in the 1969 film La Parisienne, in which a Greek tailor’s chubby client claims to be dieting to fit into a new dress but is only getting bigger: “Souzy eats—and lies” can be seen as a metaphor for the Greek state’s denial in the face of the economic crisis, as well as a general global refusal to reform our unsustainable modern lifestyle.
Activating the void of an abandoned industrial space, Souzy Tros is a re-creation of the communal space in the old Greek courtyard houses, where neighbors shared their everyday lives. A community forum sorely lacking in contemporary society, it promoted collective survival and action, as well as simple information exchange, especially crucial in times of hardship. Crises and other disasters tend to fracture populations into defensive groups defined by tribal common denominators, be it religious or ethnic, and Greece has proven this by becoming increasingly polarized as things have worsened.
The latest platform in Papadimitriou’s T.A.M.A. (Temporary Autonomous Museum for All), Souzy Tros will be a long-term project providing vocational training and creative inspiration for both Greek and non-Greek residents through a time-bank system and forums for the expression of ideas by invited guests from various fields. By hosting creative workshops, film screenings, performances, and music that encourage participation from the community, the canteen will serve as a catalyst for bringing creative people together to share their resources.
Summer warm-up events:
On July 18, we will screen La Parisienne and initiate a two-day “Tear-and-Repair” fashion workshop. Instead of buying a movie ticket, people will be asked to contribute a chair to sit on and be left as a donation to the space, as well as cast-off clothes to be hung around the courtyard. The evening will begin at 6pm with a reception and music by DJ Eftihis Eftimiou, followed by the film at 9pm.
The next day, from 6pm to 2am, a team including tailors and designers, artists and friends, and architecture students from the University of Thessaly will be armed with sewing machines and people will be invited to deconstruct the garments and create new styles. Meanwhile the installation The Emperor’s Clothes, a series of gorgeous, evocative haute couture skeletons by artist and former fashion editor Thanos Kyriakides, will be displayed in the Souzy Tros “Situation Room.”
Organizational team: Elisavet Antapassi, Eftihis Eftimiou, Catherine Economou, Maria Halkias, Nadia Kalara, Dinos Bakounakis, and filmmaker Constantine Giannaris.
ATHENIAN BREWERY S.A.