How an idea became a QR road campaign, a campaign became an exhibition, the exhibition became a book that became a virtual tour.
“X them out! The Black Map of Racist Violence” initiative arose from the need to reveal the organised hate crimes connected with the Golden Dawn neo Nazi organisation in order for the wider public to realise the extent of its criminal activity. In order to render it visible and precise, we decided to map racist violence right where it happens: in the streets. So, at the exact spot of each attack we placed stickers with
QR codes, through which people can navigate the black map of racist violence on their phones. After we tracked down, through documented reports, the gravest incidents, we asked Greek visual graphic artists to capture them and to create images for neo Nazi’s attacks that took place in Athens
The artists sometimes acted as “photojournalists” in accurately recording the incident while, at other times, they were like expressionist painters who tried to comprehend, interpret and imprint their own “scream” against racist violence.
When after the first exhibition in Athens we saw the interest of other cities to exhibit the attacks we understood that X them out – The Black Map of Athens must expand in order to include more parts of the country who have faced the nightmare of racist violence, and with the 100 racist attacks we created “X them out – The Black Map of Racist Violence”. So we placed each attack along with the corresponding picture and description on the map of Greece, and uploaded it to the valtousx.gr website. By clicking on the points on the map, the visitor realises that each place name is the scene of a bloody attack – that often went unpunished.
Finally, we asked visual artists, nationally and internationally, to sketch the main defendants in the courtroom of the Golden Dawn trial, thus providing fascinating visual material of proceedings that seem to have gone unnoticed by the national and international media.
This multidimensional and collective attempt constitutes the backbone of the “X them out! The Black Map of Racist Violence” initiative. After the first successful exhibition in Athens (March 2019 which attracted more than 3.000 visitors ) Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Office in Greece and HumanRights360, with the crucial support of Topos Books, decided to publish a book (released November 2019) as a documentation of the history of racist violence in Greece, but also as the smallest contribution to the yearlong struggle of the civil action lawyers in the Golden Dawn trial, since all the proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to them.
The book publication was followed by more exhibitions now showing not only 100 racist attacks but also images from the courtroom: Athens January-February 2020, Thessaloniki March to June 2020 at the MOMus Museum of Contemporary Art, Volos March 2020 with the collaboration of the University of Thessaly and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
When on 7 October 2020 the neo Nazi leaders of Golden Dawn were sentenced for up to 13 years at the end of this long historic hearing, the Municipality of Athens expressed the will to host for the third time “X them out” at its cultural hub of Technopolis in the historic center of Athens on November 2020. And since we had learned our lesson from the first Greek lockdown on March 2020 we decided that in case another lockdown will disrupt this exhibition also (as it did with Volos and Thessaloniki), we must create simultaneously with the set-up (which now had additional images from the court’s decision day), a 3D Virtual Tour of the exhibition in order for this chronicle of racism, violence, litigation and victory of justice over hate to be fully present through a modern technology tool in order to remind us what we must avoid reliving and why.
Dimitra Adamopoulou, Tasos Anastasiou, Evangelos Androutsopoulos, John Antono, Aspalax, Marios Boras, George Botsos, Bratimoto, George Chalkias, Chrispy Shift, Molly Crabapple, Spiros Derveniotis, Vasco Gargalo, Dimitris Georgopalis, Tomek Giovanis, Giorgos Gousis, Kanellos COB, Valia Kapadai, Louiza Karageorgiou, Thanasis Karampalios, Thomas Kefalas, Stavros Kioutsioukis, Kostas Kiriakakis, Michael Kountouris, Aris Labos, Leandros, Stephen Livanos, Panos Maragos, Dimitris Mastoros, George Micalef, Panagiotis Mitsobonos, Dimitra Nikolaidi, No Budget Epics, Noir Captain, Alexia Othonaiou, Gabriel Pagonis, Panagos, Panayiotis Pantazis, Vangelis Papavasiliou, Pavlos Pavlidis, Thanassis Petropoulos, Thanasis Petrou, Piotr, Kianoush Ramezani, Tjeerd Royaards, Soloup, Stella Stergiou, Maria Stoian, Tasmar, Savvas “The Pack” Ampatzidis, Efi Theodoropoulou, Antonis Vavagiannis, Xanthos Venizelou, Lefteris Yakoumakis, Geοrgia Zachari.