Graff: Athens

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I was recently in Athens with 3 hours between checking out of my overnight hotel in Plaka and catching the bus to the airport for my flight back at Syntagma Square. Most of that time was spent at the Acropolis and if there was graff up there I would weep, but I did manage a city tour by bus and a stroll down Ermou, a pedestrian thoroughfare lined with stores. Just enough time to snap a few samples of what the city’s graff scene looks like.

Text + Images Muna Noor

While the tourist bus rolled round the city giving me the chance to discover parts of the city I’d never reach on foot, it was frustating to whizz by some really amazing graff – there’s one piece that still haunts me til today. Sigh. This I snapped from pretty far away when we were stopped at a traffic light. It’s obviously a foreign monster since it’s not speaking Greek.

Hmm…this could be the entrance for the Earth-franchise of the Mos Eisley cantina.

Another one snapped from the bus. Shops are closed on Sunday making it ideal for graff spotters as a lot of work can be found on shop shutters. Having said that since this was my only day in the city I couldn’t really tell what impact the dismal economic situation was having on local businesses and whether the shops were closed for the day or permanently shut. This one was definitely boarded up though, as were many other places in the city’s centre.


On foot now. Saw a few of these. I’m guessing these are political in nature and is meant to be ironic. Things are definitely not all good in Athens.

A Banksy-style stencil.

Protest in common here. Syntagma Square (Constitution Square) was a flurry of banners, flags and loud hailers, protesting what I couldn’t tell cause I don’t read cyrillic, but when I arrived at 1am the riot police were out in full force. This particular sit-in was on a much smaller scale in comparison and took place in the city’s leather quarter. They are protesting the fur trade. I’m down with that.

Is this a stand on behalf of breastfeeding or a right to religious freedom? Can’t tell. But it reminds me of the work of France-based graff artist Princess Hijab, who spray paints muslim veils over the top of sexy ads in Paris. Check it out here.

One of my favourites and discovered just off from the New Acropolis Museum.

More political stencil art….

Not for the faint hearted! I thought it was a poster for an event but there aren’t any event details. Oh and if this makes you wince you should see the souvineer playing cards I bought which depict orgy scenes found on ancient Greek pottery. Brr….

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