“Resilience of the city centre or an aggression towards the ‘other’: Fear and gentrification in Athens and the cinematic city scape of Alexis Alexiou’s Tale 52”.

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

Description of Activity

The paper discusses the vicious circles of gentrification of constant dislocations and relocations led by a need for safety and the generation of new fears. Gentrification, or its more recent manifestation as ‘urban renaissance’, is generated and promoted by the combinations of narratives, the social and material context of the city and a series of media texts, which affect the perception of urban space. The paper uses a parallel montage between the 2008 film Tale 52 and the discourse in media about the re-discovery of the city. As films express their time, the movie, which came out at the time of the recent financial crisis, provides a skeleton to discuss the competing forces over the Athenian centre: the need for security, the demand for an urban regeneration, the call for the creative class, the cosmopolitan view, the scapegoating and the exclusion of the ‘other’. As the financial crisis suspended various developments that promised a new ‘city centre’, the incomplete gentrification left a series of ‘terrified’ new residents, who start locking their doors. New residents arrive in the inner city and the discourse is about the revival of ‘forgotten’ neighbourhoods, but as these areas reappear in the real estate maps, there is an undesired interaction between the newly arrived middle and upper classes with the immigrants and lower classes that had found a refuge in the area. Is this call for reviving the city a centre a question of urban resilience, of another boom and bust cycle or just the imposing of a sub-urban way of life? What are the implications of the unavoidable encounters in the under gentrification areas?
Period8 Jun 20189 Jun 2018
Event titleDocumenting Resilience - Debating Resilience: A Critical Politics Worlshop
Event typeWorkshop
LocationDurham, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • Cinema
  • Urban Design
  • Resilience
  • Gentrification
  • Fear