Greece Dancing its way to Vision of a Shared Future - Image by Nadir Noori. On July 22nd, somewhere between 100 and 200 people gathered to celebrate Greek and Afghan dances, music, and culture at Kipaki, a small garden north of Platia Exarchia owned by Steki Metanaston Migrant Social Center in Athens, Greece.
Early in the evening, the celebration looked sparse, but at around 10:00pm, the square suddenly filled to bursting with members of the refugee community from City Plaza (a refugee housing opportunity close to Athens city center) and Elliniko Refugee Camp (refugee camp housed in Athens’ old airport), international neighbors from around Exarchia Square, Greek friends from Palaio Faliro, and a slew of curious passers by.
A brief moment of panic set in for the organizers when a microphone couldn’t be found, but thanks to help from the community, City Plaza’s attendees were able to quickly locate and share a microphone. Meanwhile, community members Abib Kamel, Shala Gafary, and Vicky Wang held the fort at the bar serving a wide range of juices (free), beer (one euro), and different potluck items that the community brought such as pasta salad, peaches, popcorn, chips, and other snacks.
Mohammad Mirzay, founder of refugee support group Generation Outside of Afghanistan, stepped up to the mic and welcomed the audience, introducing the evening’s coordinator, Angela Schöpke, and program of performances. Photographer Nadir Noori and videographer Panagiotis Andronikidis floated quietly in and out of sight, intently documenting the celebration.