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Alexandros Panagiotopoulos

2018/19 Messolonghi

Alexandros Panagiotopoulos 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, work and develop socio-culture there despite the crisis and the difficulties. He believes in achieving change through participatory processes. His project aims to map and disseminate the culture of Messolonghi through a physical and digital “local hub” and through a participatory city branding scheme.His background and goals let him entitle as an aspiring and skilled cultural manager.

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 branding scheme for the city of Messolonghi; enabling citizen engagement in the mapping of the identity of the city and empowering creativity and cultural diversity. Although Messolonghi has a rich culture, it has never been fully mapped and disseminated - neither inside nor outside the city walls. In order to do so, the question “What is Messolonghi for you?” is addressed to the locals and answered by them. Enabling the locals to become the branders of their own city, through participatory processes and democratic methods of decision-making (including dialogue, consultations, partnerships and networks) is this initiative’s primary goal. In order to understand and then map the identity of Messolonghi, local enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds collect information regarding the heritage of the city. The collected information is then used to create thematic itineraries, or paths, presented in the form of an interactive map of Messolonghi. The “Local Hub”, a meeting point for the project, has been created in the centre of the city. The “Hub” is a sociocultural centre where people can express themselves, enrich their knowledge, co-create and connect; it is a space of creation, expression, education and networking.

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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