chapter  10
12 Pages

Consumption in and of crisis-hit Athens 1

WithAndreas Chatzidakis

The transition of Athens into a city of consumption was pronounced not in the physical surroundings but in the everyday logics and practices of its residents. The city epitomised the Greek model of urban gentrification, the formation of new subjectivities akin to the neoliberal consumer-citizen began to manifest in all spheres of daily life. Consumerist society and atomised logics and practices were at the heart of critique in various other 'here and now' experimentations with doing things differently. For those with an alternative vision of public and community life, one less mediated by consumption, the crisis represented a threat but also a welcomed opportunity for the cultivation of new ways of doing and thinking politics. Present-day Athens is the world's 'failed' consumer city par excellence: comprising 'zombie' retailscapes for increasingly disempowered consumers who still mourn the dramatic decline of their spending power and unfulfilled consumer desires that seem all the more unreachable.