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Alexandros Panagiotopoulos

2018/19 Messolonghi

Alexandros lives in Messolonghi, a small town in Western Greece. He recently graduated from the National and Kapodistrian University of Greece, where he studied economics. He currently works as a freelance photographer in his hometown, while at the same time participating in different local citizens’ initiatives that aim to change the city and protect the natural environment.

Alexandros is a young person who has returned to his hometown and wants to stay and work there despite the crisis and the difficulties. He believes in achieving change through participatory processes and this is what he aims to achieve with “Messolonghi by Locals”; his project about mapping and disseminating the culture of Messolonghi through a physical and digital “info hub”. Keen to make the most of his experience at Nellie Nashoru in Lorrach (as part of the START Fellowship Program in 2018) he aims to utilise the “know how” gained from his work with this German institution and put the new methods of sociocultural management learned there into practice in a different context, in Greece.

Project Progress Phase II Phase I

Phase II

Project implementation in Greece

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Dec - May

Project Title

Messolonghi By Locals

The "Messolonghi by Locals" initiative concerns the creation of a participatory city branding scheme for the city of Messolonghi through the creation of a digital and physical hub that will enable citizen engagement in mapping the identity of the city and will empower creativity and cultural diversity in the town of Messolonghi. Although Messolonghi has a rich culture it has never been fully mapped and disseminated neither inside nor outside the city’s walls. In order to do so, the question “What is Messolonghi for you?” addressed to the locals has to be answered. Making the locals the actual city branders through participatory processes and democratic methods of decision making including dialogue, consultations, partnerships and networks is the goal of this initiative. Phase II will be the first step towards realizing this idea.

Phase I

Capacity building in Germany

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Sep - Nov

Project Title

Participatory Photography Exhibition: “My Lörrach is.../ My Messolonghi is...”

The project is about mapping and disseminating the culture of Messolonghi through a physical and digital “info hub”.

The initiative includes a participatory city branding scheme and aims to create an authentic image for Messolonghi formed by the locals themselves. Messolonghi’s ecosystem, traditions, history and daily routine of the locals form a rich culture which has never been spread outside the city’s boundaries. As a result, the culture remains unknown to a large percentage of the world. What contributes to this is the fact that there is no info point in the city, nor is there an organized digital platform where one can see the beauties and admire the cultural context of the city. The mapping and the dissemination of the local culture of Messolonghi through a physical and digital “info hub” created in collaboration with the locals is the subject of this proposal.

Host Institution

Nellie Nashorn

The sociocultural center Nellie Nashorn in Lörrach has been in existence  for the past 30 years, located in a 19th century mansion.  The main building accommodates the office, two lecturing rooms and a tavern with a  stage.  An event hall and a  cinema is located in the adjoining buildings.

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