- President of ETAD, Greek Minister of Culture, Greek Prime Minister
On the 11 November 2011 Mavili Collective – a group of artists and theatre makers - occupied the disused building of Embros theatre and proposed an intense programme of activities.
The occupancy installed itself as a “re-activation” and proposed initially an intense twelve-day programme of activities bringing together artists, theoreticians, dance/theatre makers, architects and the general public. As Mavili Collective (2011) states in the manifesto that was sent to press and public: ‘This re-activation is not a proposition of a “better” model of production and management but is a proposition of re-thinking, responding and re-making.
This model emerges from the current lacks and shortfalls of our system and attempts to interrogate the global changing landscape at this moment in time.’ During the last year in Embros, in Athens over 500 artists, theoreticians and practitioners presented work; ranging from emerging artists and students to university professors and established practitioners, working across multiple disciplines.
In November 2011, Mavili Collective reactivated the historical disused theatre building of Embros and proposed an intense programme of cultural activities.
In the year since the re-activation over 500 Greek and foreign artists, academics, theorists and activists have presented work that drew large audiences. All these events were free to the public. The occupation re-constituted Embros as a public space for exchange, research, debate, meeting and re-thinking.
The company retained by the new Greek goverment with the purpose of "reforming" the use of national assets in order to "modernise" the Greek economy, has demanded Mavili evacuate Embros immediately. Their intention is to rent the building privately for an as yet unspecified use.
The termination of a free cultural space and community centre appears particularly questionable at a moment when the Greek state seems unable to financially support cultural practices or to create social structures to support it's citizens through the current crisis.
A letter of support has already been countersigned by over 780 people from the Greek cultural sector and other fields but in order to save Embros we need your help.
Please sign the petition here or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name and your profession.
Embros is still open.
On Thursday 25th October 2012 Mavili Collective refused to hand over the site to the bailiffs of ETAD. A large group of people gathered outside from early morning and successfully stopped the closing of the space by the police and ETAD. The Embros general assembly that followed on the same day created working groups and the Embros Occupancy has now opened up to an extended collective of artists, architects and the general public.
On Tuesday, October 30th 2012, ETAD sent a new eviction order. This time personally to Mavili Collective members as responsible for the occupancy. According to our lawyers opinion the bailiffs and the police can come with orders and close the space at any point from now on.
Despite the fact that there is no statement of interest from any public or private enterprise regarding taking over the running of Embros and although ETAD declares that it is “sensitive to the needs of the local communities” (23/10/12 reply to letter of inhabitants and Mavili collective). ETAD has declined any form of dialogue with inhabitants, mavili collective or other artists about the future of this space.
The general assembly on October 30, 2012, decided that EMBROS would remain open and November will be a transitional period towards a new participatory model of a cultural production space open to diverse groups and collectives.
We continue the petition and attempts of open a dialogue with Municipality of Athens and other public sectors.
Your presence and support in the new programme of concerts, discussions and activities is more vital than ever to ensure that EMBROS can continue as a space for research, arts and social practice – making a space for common good in our city.
Thank you very much
The EMBROS Community, Mavili Collective // www.mavilicollective.wordpress.com
For Official Public letter of response (in Greek) go here: http://epistoli-prosupografes.blogspot.co.uk/