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Giorgos Vozikas

Consumption and Identity in the City of Athens in a Time of Crisis

"We live in a time where all the social values which we thought that they were going to be unchangeable have been collapsed. We live in a time where we expect something new to be born. We live in a time which teaches us that this new that will become has to be created by us. We live in a time that even the smallest act creates history. […] We chose to fight against this difficult situation by means of developing our products and to compete with international monopolies by means of quality. We are sure that we will find the solution within the crisis relying on our strengths and on our love for our products." (Abstract from the Official Brochure of the Exhibition, Year 2010) "In the southeast edge of continental Greece, south of Sparta, a blessed sun covers our province and the sea makes the climate mild. The famous castle of Monemvasia was a commercial part, from which left the sweet fruits, especially wine and oil, for the whole Mediterranean. In the small society we live, in the southeast edge of Peloponnese, here in Molaoi in the province of Epidaurus Limiras, olive trees and their oil consist in our environment. An environment natural, economical and cultural yet, since it engrafts, from father to son, our life and behaviour with peace acts. Growing trees here is something special. They are not beaten, they are treated with care and affection and the tree remains beautiful and healthy. Olive oil. The chief product of our country, which is unbreakably bound up with our history, tradition and culture. Olive oil holds here the first position in economical activities as well as in nutritional value, whereas in people's conscience oil is something sacred, connected with religious ceremonies and with acts of peace and progress. Oranges. The mild dry climate does good to citrus trees. The experiment of biological agriculture has demolished the myth that fertilizers and pesticides are necessary, since we have to do with dynamic and delicate cultivations. Nature by itself, if you do not wish to use it up with overexploitation, develops wonderful mechanisms of balance. This way oranges become healthy, juicy and delicious." (Local Producer. Abstract from his Brochure, Year 2010)
This presentation focuses on the subject of crisis which the dweller of Athens capital experiences. We approach crisis more as a socio-cultural than as economic phenomenon. In this context crisis is expressed as a criticism in the condition of Western Societies and the way of life in Athens.
We consider the contemporary crisis as a result of the grand scale models we follow in the social organization of life, including production and distribution of goods. In the context of an increasing globalization where none knows where exactly goods are produced and who the producer is, there is a feeling of lack of participation in the organization and control of life. This contributes to an increasing feeling of a multilevel risk which accordingly feeds a feeling of insecurity and of constant threat for man's life and health. This causes a turn to smaller and simpler social forms of reference.

© EPLO 2017