4 episodes

Writer Sofka Zinovieff explores Athens in a quest to understand this complex, seductive city. She visits unusual places and meets Athenians, native and adopted: from singers, poets and graffiti writers to architects, journalists and chefs. This podcast is co-funded by Greece and the European Union.

Athens Unpacked This is Athens

    • News
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Writer Sofka Zinovieff explores Athens in a quest to understand this complex, seductive city. She visits unusual places and meets Athenians, native and adopted: from singers, poets and graffiti writers to architects, journalists and chefs. This podcast is co-funded by Greece and the European Union.

    Third episode: A city of villages

    Third episode: A city of villages

    Athens as a collection of villagers, refugees and outsiders. Few Athenians are so-called ‘True Athenians.’ Author and journalist Diane Shugart walks Sofka around the changing neighbourhood of Pangrati to discuss this, the ‘15-minute city’ and why the kiosk or periptero is so significant. Anthropologist Roxane Caftanzoglou reveals how Anafiotika, under the Acropolis, was built by islanders from Anafi. Refugees are nothing new in Athens. Historian Nikos Nikolaides unpacks the traumas of the Greek refugees fleeing Turkey in the 1922 ‘Catastrophe.’ From Armenians in Neos Kosmos to Syrians in Kypseli, where Marina Liakis discusses how she started the NGO Zaa’tar with its refuge and falafel café, Tastes of Damascus. At the Victoria Square Project there are community arts projects for all. Young director Niovi Zarambouka-Chatzimanou says, ‘We do not talk about refugees and migrants inside our space; we talk about neighbours.’

    • 30 min
    Second Episode: From dreams to demolition

    Second Episode: From dreams to demolition

    From Bavarian grand plans to “part-exchange” building schemes. When Greece became an independent nation state in the 1830s, King Otto arrived with his Bavarian entourage. They introduced beer… and planned a new Athens inspired by ancient aesthetics. Sofka meets architect Lazaris Zaoussis at the neoclassical Academy to discuss this city of dreams. During the 20th century most neoclassical buildings were destroyed. Architectural historian Ioanna Theocharopoulou unpacks the controversial ‘part exchange’ building system of antiparochi. Some people blame this for Athens’s chaotic collection of apartment blocks. ‘Athens is a city of the 20th century’. Famous journalist Nikos Vatopoulos shares his obsession with documenting the stories behind the buildings.

    • 31 min
    First Episode: Up above and down below

    First Episode: Up above and down below

    From a little-known hill to a hidden tunnel. Sofka introduces the series and herself: a British writer and one-time anthropologist, she’s an adopted Greek with a Russian name. We visit an unfamiliar hill – the Tourkovounia. Former US diplomat and archaeologist Brady Kiesling gives a sense of Athens’ geography - an urban sprawl surrounded by mountains and sea. Sofka goes down below for a taste of the remarkable riches lying underground and pays her respects to the city’s most famous skeleton. George Sachinis - a community artist and Water Board employee, leads us inside an aqueduct tunnel built by the Emperor Hadrian, which is still functioning after 2,000 years.

    • 31 min
    Trailer

    Trailer

    Writer Sofka Zinovieff explores Athens in a quest to understand this complex, seductive city. She visits unusual places and meets Athenians, native and adopted: from singers, poets and graffiti writers to architects, journalists and chefs.

    • 4 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

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You’re a constant reminder that people can be good.

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