A Tourist’s Guide to Anarchism

Skoros: Anti-Consumption in Crisis

Skoros Collective (2015)

Film Review

This film is about the Skoros collective in Exarcheia,* Athens’ infamous fascist-free zone. Skoros operates a secondhand store in rented space, unlike many Exarcheia businesses, run as squats in abandoned buildings. Skoros formed during the 2008 global economic crisis, which (owing to skullduggery by Goldman Sachs, the IMF and the European Central Bank) hit Greece especially hard. See The Real Cause of Greece’s Economic Crisis. Customers, which include many refugees housed in Exarcheia squats, are allowed to select three items per visit. The store is staffed by collective members as unpaid volunteers. Since the film was released in 2015, the store has become a tourist attraction – listed in A Guide to Shopping in Athens and featured in the Independent travel section.


*Exarcheia is a self-governing anarchist community spanning four decades. There is a recent effort by Greek authorities to evict squatters from Exarcheia’s abandoned public buildings, but it looks to be an extended process. See

Greece: Exarcheia under police occupation!

and

Ministry Issues Ultimatum

and

Airb Bnb Exarcheia

Greeks Fight Back Against Austerity and Fascism

Love and Revolution

Directed by Yannis Youlountis (2018)

Film Review

Love and Revolution is about the growing anarchist movement fighting Greece’s deepening austerity cuts (which have cut salaries and pensions in half and ended health care access for a million patients). The film consists mainly of interviews with anarchists over the specific projects they are organizing. The documentary emphatically challenges the recent announcement by the IMF and the European Central Bank that Greek austerity has ended. After years of brutal austerity resulting in thousands of deaths, the Greek government is further than ever from repaying its debt to European bankers.

Among the projects that most impressed me are

  • a social kitchen that regular provides free meals on the street.
  • an anti-eviction movement that has been by occupying and shutting down eviction hearings at the District Court.
  • an ongoing squat that has provided accommodation to more than 6,000 refugees in the last five years.
  • an antifascist campaign that has shut down Golden Dawn* offices in Athens and established Exarcheia, a fascist-free zone that also effectively excludes Greek police.
  • a campaign to block the construction of a new airport in a pristine rural/agricultural area.
  • a YouTube channel dedicated to Greek news from the viewpoint of anti-austerity activists, rather than police and banks.

*See Greek Austerity and the Rise of Fascism