Vital Space – Athens is a video work comprising two films from the city of Athens. One film offers a bird eye’s view of different paths connecting order and disorder, centre and suburb, privilege and dispossession, formal and informal. The second film captures from ground level a sea of people coming toward the camera in sequences filmed in different city locations (e.g. train station, ferry boat terminal, busy streets and markets).
Part of the footage filmed for Vital Space – Athens will eventually become integrated within the wider project Vital Space – Humanity. Additional mega-cities from around the world are to be included in the broader project such as: Istanbul, Mexico City, Cairo, Paris, Seoul, New York, Lagos, Mumbai and Sao Paulo, etc.
The project is a response to the challenges posed by Globalisation and its discontents; by the plight of the environment; by the ebb and flow of massive migration movements. The project focuses on the contrast between, on the one hand, vast, empty, fragile, uninhabited spaces and, on the other, overpopulated, highly contested, urban environments. A momentous urban expansion is spawning the planet’s largest cities, as wave upon wave of migrants abandon the countryside and the periphery. Meanwhile, the surrounding economic wastelands are emptied of people and left in a state of ecological fragility