What brought me to Athens were things that many creative minds share: a never-ending curiosity, a need to broaden their understanding of the world, of their medium and of themselves. In addition, the love for a man who captured my heart long ago.
The next day upon arrival, May 2, 2010, much of the international media began with what I claim to be the media's unstoppable effort to portray the worst side of Greece and its people, as the "ugly ducklings" of Europe, something that continues until this day on some level.
But despite the interminable eruptions and demonstrations of civic disenchantment with an at times hostile and confusing European economic agreement, I remain in Athens.
Before leaving New York in 2010, I initiated a project in the intimacy of my bedroom called Bronx Blue Bedroom Project (BBBP); this project allowed me to witness and understand the power of creative collective efforts.
Expanding on my experience with BBBP in September 2010 I initiated 3///3... three walls on wednesdays...(3///3). This was a humble project intended to take art to areas lacking art spaces in Athens; with the support of an international artist, I moved around the city exhibiting art on three wooden portable panels that I placed in different points of the city every Wednesday for five hours. I didn't speak any Greek at that time, so to better communicate what I was doing, I handed out information both in Greek and English to explain the nature of the project and its exhibiting artists to anyone who stopped by and looked at the project; this idea garnered the support of the Mexican Embassy in Athens and it was through 3///3 that I became familiar with the city's layout and in so many ways, this is how I truly learned to understand it and love it.
In March of this year, I initiated "8 to 8: State of Creative Emergency," an initiative that invites creative minds to elaborate on a project that exists for only one day from 8am to 8pm, in a public space, while encouraging civic participation. I believe that with this initiative, the creators will invite the general public to engage in interesting actions that emphasize the positive creative aspects of the self, encourage dialogue within a social fabric that is in urgent need to view itself differently. This, after all, has been a society that has been through so much international/social antagonism in the last couple of years. I felt this was the only thing I could do: to invite people to reflect, to share, to create and to talk about the way they are feeling in hopes of changing the existing route of things, one person at a time.
Lastly, I believe that if we forget the value of Greece, we deny and begin to forget the essence of our western world, its history, its philosophy and its concept of beauty; as well as forgetting many more ideas that shape who we are as individuals living inside democratically structured societies. I believe it's time to remember what Greece represents for itself and for the world. This is why I am still here, because I need to be constantly reminded of this.