I owe my acquaintance with Marina—or rather her spraycan-wielding alter ego Galldindie—to the lucky coincidence of running into her while she was painting her carnival de la vida trio on a wall not far from my house in Exarcheia. It only took a few minutes of chatting to realize that this short girl from Barcelona was not just a talented artist but also really reflected on what she did in the streets. Naturally I sought her out as an interviewee. Being a student of both fine arts and architecture she had lots of interesting things to say about her creative interaction with urban space and also shared some thoughts on how Athens compares to her home city.
Sharing a deep enthusiasm for the equally beautiful and confusing neighborhood of Exarcheia, I was especially intrigued by marinas project “The Invisible Architectures,” a conceptual series of paste-ups capturing the landmarks that make up her personal geography of the city. Yet, this is not only an amazing love letter to Athens but also a profound interpretation of the many micro-transformations urban space undergoes on a daily basis. Her scope spans across a wide range of actors, spaces and practices—from the precarious migrant street vendor on Stournari to the corners and doorsteps that provide temporary shelter for the new class of homeless, from the old man transforming the sidewalk into his living room on a daily basis with just a chair, a fruit box and uncounted cups of coffee to the removing of the cities trash cans in anticipation of a demonstration. The eclectic compilation is exactly what makes this project so relevant for understanding the fragmented nature of Athens as a city in crisis.