Article, Social Justice, Arts & Culture

‘Intersections, Athens’ — A workshop with Anne Marie Slater

October 16, 2019

Visual artist and photographer Anne Marie Slater shared her recent 2019 Artist Residency with the Victoria Square Project {Artist Rick Lowe (USA) Documenta 14 in collaboration with Artist, Maria Papadimitriou (GR)} in Athens, Greece in a workshop at SFU Woodward’s entitled Intersections, Athens. The workshop highlighted the place based context of social practice that considers people and context. 

In the case of Athens, political change, migration and the pressure of globalisation on cities led to recent protests in Athens against rent increases due to extensive AirBnBs in neighbourhoods.  Slater’s recent 2019 Artist Residency and research was with the Victoria Square Project located in the centre district of Athens a historic Athenian neighbourhood that currently is a hub for migrant families, and refugees waiting for papers, support, and new home destinations and is also experiencing an increase in street drugs and sex work.  

Ms. Slater’s residency with a focus on empowerment for youth, gender equity, and women’s voice in public spaces drew from her work in the inner city, Downtown Eastside (DTES) and other diverse neighbourhoods with vulnerable and multi-ethnic communities in Vancouver, Canada. Within the interdisciplinary urban matrix Slater’s field work identified similar and different situations in the inner city neighbourhoods of Athens. 

The 2019 Athens Residency produced a photographic exhibition “Neighbourhood Light, Local Beauty” (2019) which explores Victoria Square through the female gaze, women photographers, and gender equity in the public realm in collaboration with young women from the local Open Schools high school and other neighbourhood organizations. The project was presented by the Victoria Square Project and Neuron Village (Canada). Additionally Ms. Slater created a new photographic/ sound installation TI NAF TO exploring acoustic spaces and gender that was in the recent exhibition Emfylo-ποιείν / To Construct the Gender Exhibit s in Athens, Greece at and initiated a new project of conceptual photographic works “Basketball” and “Cafe” (Athens 2019) that is ongoing. Ms. Slater’s arts practice is located within her project studio Neuron Village a collaborative arts research space and draws from the small is beautiful movement in “opposition to the cult of bigness” (Leopold Kohr).

Anne Marie Slater during her social practice workshop at SFU Woodward’s in July 2019. Photo courtesy of Anne Marie Slater.

Anne Marie Slater

Anne Marie Slater (Scotland) is a Canadian photographer, installation, and social practice artist.

Slater’s social practice is interdisciplinary and research-based and incorporates her long term interests and practice in critically inspired Artist-led community engagement, aesthetics, participatory community planning, the public realm, and historical archives, Her fieldwork and site-specific projects consider unheard voices in the public realm. Her recent 2019 Artist in Residence with the Victoria Square Project {Artist Rick Lowe (USA) Documenta 14 in collaboration with Artist, Maria Papadimitriou (GR)} began in 2017 and recently completed a second research and production phase in the Spring of 2019.

Slater’s themes of Neighbourhood Light: Life in our neighbourhood references her long term interest in neighbourhoods and the small, local, beauty as the intersection of local economies and interdisciplinary connections that exist in contrast to global mega structures of cities and systems.

We thank Anne Marie Slater for coming to share her work and research with us in July and for writing this post for us! 

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