Our aim is to weave together the city of Athens and its inhabitants into a vibrant multicolor network through an open embrace of its diverse communities by organising art-based projects, events and workshops.
(…) you find yourself lost in Elaionas, an urban wasteland just a few steps away from the centre of town. A seemingly grey zone: trucks and trucks drivers, a no man’s land, somewhere off the edge of our city’s consciousness. That is where, if you are lucky, you might stumble upon Souzy Tros. Driving through puddles bigger than imagination itself, and strips of urban dystopian landscape borrowed from any self-respecting road movie, you suddenly find spectres of life – a community coming together, otherwise displaced, rediscovering its place (off centre).
Souzy Tros is cinematic – a site where the imaginary double takes on reality. Its tongue-in-cheek name comes from a Greek mainstream comedy filmed in 1969, ‘La Parisienne”. It reveals a modern savvy Greece, full of short hemlines and references to Twiggy, a country in the throes of progress. In one of the film’s early scenes a seamstress suggests to her well-padded client that she has been overeating, “Souzy Tros!”. When her client dismisses this as unfair, she retorts, not only have you been eating but you have also been lying to yourself, “Souzy Tros kai Psevdese!”. A perfect parody of a Southern European realization, a place that literally does not fit ‘sur mesure’ into its Northern European cut. As the fat lady sighed, “I feel so sad watching other people eat.”
Souzy Tros also borrows heavily from American road movies with their wide lensed cinematic landscapes, their drive-thrus and clichés of urban and suburban decay. A filmic dystopia, a motel where mismatched couples sigh in dismay, a place for fleeting exchanges, standard furniture and a certain cleanliness. Souzy Tros borrows metaphors freely only to redirect the visitor straight back home, as if to say, the joke is on you: this is all we have, this is all we are left with – hot trahanas*, a poor man’s food.
Hot trahanas and beer are being served by Maria Papadimitriou. In full swing in her self-designated role as co-ordinator and hostess, she welcomes all the incomers with the nonchalant warmth of someone slightly weary of their trade. Souzy Tros follows a long list of Papadimitriou’s art projects that bring individuals and communities out of their place, to the displaced, to work together, eat together, share, commune and reorder and realign their differences through a level and very human exchange.
True to this spirit of democratic hospitality, Papadimitriou has worked on many temporary hotels, motels, places of rest, sites of exchange of personal values and relationships. Souzy Tros is however the first of these ‘motels’ that is literally rooted in place. The shared experience that constitutes the core of Souzy Tros may be temporary but the space is fixed, on-site, in permanence, very local. Souzy Tros offers itself as an arts centre that starts from scratch, ready to be inhabited, imagined and shared. Souzy Tros in turn redirects our gaze inwards to a city whose imaginary has been pummeled to the ground and covered in layers of cement.
At Souzy Tros, this organic, ever so simple communion of people becomes a radical praxis: an honest act. A space for people to rethink, reboot and relive, and maybe to re-imagine, whilst staying in tune with who they are.
*Trahanas is made from rolling wheat, milk and eggs together, boiled it makes a delicious soup.
Maria-Thalia Carras, art historian
THE NEW T.A.M.A. PLATFORM
Check-out the T.A.M.A book here.
COLLABORATORS / ΣΥΝΕΡΓΑΤΕΣ
Cathryn Drake | Elissavet Antapassi | Eftychis Efthimiou | Maria Halkias | Marina Vranopoulou | Lydia Matthews | Ivonne Senouf | Thalia Maria Carras | Maria Christou | Elias Karniaris | Michalis Maniatis | Tassos Vrettos | Alexandra Palanta | Neighbours: Irini Bakira | Dimitris Bakiras | Chryssoula | Arif
PARTICIPANTS to date / ΣΥΜΜΕΤΕΧΟΝΤΕΣ μέχρι τώρα
University of Thessaly students | Bou Brothers | Pelin Tan | Aslı K. İngin | Marc Charpentier | Eleni Efthimiou | Loukia Alavanou | Athina Fousteri | Eleni Zotou | Nadia Kalara | Catherine Economou | Thalia Melissa | Vaso Plavou | The Blind Adam | The Albanian Orchestra of Souzy Tros | Maria Pertselaki | Jannis Varelas | Vassilis H | Adelina Von Furstenberg | John G. Varsos | George J. Varsos | Theodoros Zafeiropoulos | Elaine Buckholtz | Floor van de Velde | The Unknown Participant