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© Marios Fournaris

The first settlements in the area were created around the activities of the ferry, which began operating around the 17th century and allowed the transport of goods, animals and people to and from Salamina. This is also how the name of the place became Perama (i.e., from Perasma, meaning passage). But the existence of Perama really started from those who “choose”, out of necessity, to transform Perama from “passage” to “destination”. The Asia Minor events of 1922 played a key role here: in 1926, families originally from Fanari (province of Derkon) settled in, at first temporarily, then permanently, creating the settlement called the Fishing Refugee Settlement of Perama. At approximately the same period of time, the shipyards that operated in the area of ​​Agios Dionysios in Piraeus, due to the widening of the main port, were transferred to Perama and around them a new shipbuilding settlement emerged. In 1928, refugees from Ikonio and the wider area of ​​Smyrna settled further east. Perama became a city of seamanship: shipbuilders and fishermen were its first inhabitants and expatriates made this place their new homeland. Overcoming the nostalgia of their individual past and freeing themselves from history, they managed to forge a new collective experience.


© Marios Fournaris

Until the Second World War, the region was nothing like the industrial landscape of the present time. Prosperous merchants from Piraeus used to maintain their holiday homes on the tree-lined Mount Egaleo, while access to the sea was free as the commercial port had not yet moved its main activities to the area. During the war, the German occupiers built a timber factory in what is now Schistos, deforesting most of the mountain range. Later, the expansion of oil storage facilities and the development of buildings on most of the mountain front to the see further reduced the amount of greenery. Along with the rapid industrialization of the area, the commercial activities of the port and the shipyards expanded, and the free access of the inhabitants to the sea was largely lost. With its degraded natural landscape and the peculiar geographical tendency towards closure, Perama gained the reputation of a city of labor, a socially isolated popular neighborhood, which in the eyes of many was intertwined with an image of economic and social misery: a kind of naive identity linked to the social type of the worker, the popular residents of the neighborhood, and poverty in general. These kind of simplistic definitions grossly underestimate the potential of the city and its people, ignoring the creative character, the authentic aesthetic of the place, the spirit and the will of all those who out of necessity or due to circumstances found themselves in an unfavorable position. Therefore, when one refers to Perama, one also refers to every Perama of this world, all of them resulting from the expansion of economic globalization and pressure, and migration.


The role of contemporary art in dealing with these phenomena is particularly important not only because it can record or highlight such issues, but even more so because it has the ability to contribute creatively to possible solutions of problems that concern local communities.


© Kyriaki Goni

Regional conflict, climate crisis, depletion of natural resources and cultural segregation affect and threaten the future of humanity as a whole. These issues constantly reshape the necessity for redrafting humanistic values ​​in the context of the 21st century.


Can man today ensure the progress and sustainability of his existence without making the protection of the environment his priority? While nature is openly threatened by human society, could it be turned into an ally of man in his struggle for the abolition of social exploitation? Philosopher Herbert Marcuse first addressed these two parallel issues, with a strong will to challenge the domination of man over the elements of nature. The need to redefine the content of humanistic values is as urgent as ever. This “new humanism” includes the requirement for a sustainable development in the context of globalization, through cooperation and mutual understanding between people and cultures. Forming new ways of acting and thinking, it inspires societies and contributes to the flexible ability to maintain their creative powers, in the effort towards a holistic approach to human progress.


The main goals of this modern humanism are environmental protection, social development and economic sustainability. Emphasizing areas of development such as education, science, culture and communication, this humanism underlines the need for free access to knowledge, for action against the climate crisis and for the protection of the environment, while at the same time aiming for an equitable and socially oriented distribution of wealth. This framework, potentially a powerful basis for shaping current and future political decisions, includes “pluralism” (i.e., the diversity of identities) and probably represents the only way forward to live in the future in a world based on democratic and humanistic values​.


The works of the thirteen artists of the exhibition “The Green Path” focus on these very ideas and create a set of images in an expanded dialogue between art, the real, and ecology.

More about the Exhibitions and the Artits.

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