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Polyna Xiradakis

2018/19 Athens

Polyna was born in Cardiff (Wales) and grew up mostly in Athens (Greece). She is a conservator of Antiquities and Works of Art and has an MA in Cultural Informatics and Communication, with specialization in Museum Studies. Also, she is the co-founder of the (street art conservators) team; a volunteer group aiming for the preservation, documentation and conservation of street art, graffiti and public murals in Athens. In addition, she works as a conservator in the private sector in Greece and collaborates with the Museolab (University of the Aegean) in her research on exhibition design. Polyna uses experiences such as her 2018 START Fellowship in Berlin (Germany) to build up her skills for the management of projects and people in the sociocultural sector. She also develops a digital platform for 4-dimensional documentation of street art  worldwide. Her understanding of the impact and potentials of street art for society, motivates her to promote it through public projects and educational programs based on participation and new technologies. Her motto is: “Street art is free for everyone, all the hours of the day, so let’s deal with it”.

Project Progress Phase II Phase I

Phase II

Project implementation in Greece

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Dec - May

Project Title

Urban Layers

Street art and graffiti for everyone, everywhere. Urban Layers aspires to create a digital and physical community that raises awareness of street-art and graffiti through participation.

From the time that people started to put their thoughts out into the public sphere, public art has played an important role in human history. Have you ever realized that the “scratches” on the city’s walls are the history of now, and that they vanish day by day? Street art is the only kind of art available to everybody, twenty-four hours a day. It can make you think, laugh or feel. It might be pleasant or even disturbing.         
Urban Layers’ goal is to develop a community for the “survival” of the thoughts, ideas and anxieties of society that are depicted on the city’s walls. Urban Layers’ vision is the development of a digital platform for public art,  supported by community-based projects, to record street art pieces by their location, style and artist and also to document them through time. The Urban Layers project is trying to bring people closer together through this vivid art form, show its historical and sociopolitical background, and enhance critical thinking around it. Through this project, participants of all ages become more familiar with the broader social context of street art and renegotiate their relationships both with the urban landscape and with the other people.

Phase I

Capacity building in Germany

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Sep - Nov

Project Title

Street Art & Graffiti Workshop in RAW

The project is about creating a community based application for street art and graffiti.

The main goals of this application are the documentation and the promotion of street art as an important element of contemporary culture, emphasizing on its ephemeral character. An innovative feature of this app is the documentation of a street art piece in different time periods, giving the user the opportunity to watch street art pieces through time and how city’s walls change over the years. This dimension, which underlines this vivid and dynamic aspect of the urban environment, is a quite intriguing feature. The development of guided street art tours is also one of the main goals of this app. The application will provide information regarding graffiti pieces (artist, date, place etc.) and also information regarding the wider area (near by street art, museums, other attractions). Additionally the app will give the chance to the artists to promote new artworks or to find walls to create their pieces (through the section ‘I have a free wall, let’s paint it’). A section labeled ‘graffiti alert’ will point out pieces in danger, highlighting the ‘conservation-oriented’ dimension of the application. The platform is not aiming to a trouble-free delight of graffiti and street art. It will also provide information (through
texts and links) that provoke immerse and critical thinking regarding the various aspects of the phenomenon (historic, artistic, socio-political, economic etc.).

Host Institution

Drop In

Drop In e.V. combines educational and integrative work with attractive, easily accessible recreational offers. We were supported in this approach by our common passion for riding skateboards and by the experience that athletic youth culture and artistic activities are an excellent medium for working with young people. How can a political activist create a good group atmosphere before he deals with sensitive subjects? How can activities that create community offer a framework for a workshop on mobbing in schools?

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