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Rosie Scribble

Athens street art tour with Dopios

in Art, Athens, Greece, Travel

Graffiti cans

Street art isn’t something I ever thought I’d be writing about on this blog, yet I’ve become intrigued by it since my recent visit to Athens. Not to the extent that I’ll be picking up a spray can any time soon, you understand, but I’d certainly like to get my camera out and capture some more images.

Athens Street Art

Street Art in Athens, Greece

I find the whole subject fascinating – its origins, its use as a form of expression by youngsters wanting to be heard, and as a form of political communication.

Street Art Athens

Athens Street Art

Clearly in Athens during the recent economic crisis and recession, graffiti and street art have become communication channels for unemployed and underemployed youngsters looking to express their anger and hopelessness.

There’s obvious talent here and a high degree of creativity. A little research reveals that many street artists in Greece trained at the Athens School of Fine Art, which offers lessons in street painting.

Madonna Street Art in Athens

You can’t help but stop and look.

Athens Street Art

Athens Street Art

Yet at times you can’t help thinking that it’s gone too far. Graffiti on newly opened cafes and bars that are helping attract tourists and drive the economic recovery, and on the fencing of a beautiful church strike as less positive chord.

Athens Graffiti

Graffiti on Church walls Athens

We were taken on a street art tour during my time in Athens organised by tech start-up Dopios. The idea behind the company is genius. They connect you with locals in the city you’re visiting who can then offer you personalised tours, information and advice.

Athens Street Art Tour

Athens Street art

Our guide Manolis Iliopoulos was an expert in street art and was able to show us many hidden gems around the city and tell us more about the artists behind the work, their backgrounds and the specific techniques they use.

Athens Street Art

Athens Street Art

Athens Street Art

Apparently the police typically turn a blind eye to street artists, which is why so many new pieces keep appearing around the city. There is also the belief in Athens, we were told, that public spaces belong to no body, which is why you’ll find street art and graffiti on store fronts, telephone kiosks, market stalls, abandoned properties and on virtually every available surface.

Graffiti on car in Athens

Athens Street Art

Not all visitors to Athens will appreciate it, but I’d highly recommend a street art tour if you’re interested in finding out more about it. Easy to dismiss it as mindless vandalism, it’s worth withholding judgement and taking some time to understand it a little more.

Athens Street Art

Athens Street Art

I travelled to Greece with Marketing Greece for a 4-night stay as part of the BlogTrotters Greece tour. You can find out more about street art tours offered by Dopios on their blog. Prices start at £38 for two people. Also worth looking at is ASAF for information about the Athens Street Art Festival. 

6 comments… add one
  • SO disappointed I missed this tour! Great post – love the funny little Monsters inc (is it?) character at the end….Lx

    • RosieS

      It was an awesome tour Lucy. I found it fascinating, and great if you like photography! Also love the fact that it was something a little different. I hadn’t really heard of street art before let alone tours!

      I think it’s a minion 🙂 x

  • Suexx

    Wow! What amazing Artwork, random yet amazing. Sounds like you have an amazing time, very jealous. Will definitely visit in the next couple of years. xx

  • I recognise that first graffiti shot!

    Right outside the main entrance to the new gastonomy museum, am I right? 🙂

    Also pictured on my blog here:
    http://www.aluxurytravelblog.com/2014/05/23/8-things-i-saw-on-my-trip-to-athens/

    I wonder if they’ll tidy it up when the museum opens…

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