VSP is glad to invite you to WE ARE CITY PLAZA, a collective photographic exhibition curated by Xiaofu Wang and Claude Somot, in collaboration with City Plaza.
City Plaza is a hotel in the centre of Athens. But it’s no ordinary hotel. It houses over 400 refugees, volunteers and activists who share the daily tasks of cooking, cleaning and security. Empty and in disrepair after its bankruptcy, a group of activists opened up the doors of City Plaza for a second time in April 2016, offering up it’s 100 plus rooms to refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan...
Since it opened almost two years ago, City Plaza has become the active heart of the struggle for refugee rights in Greece. It is a centre for discussion, organisation and action— and most importantly, a place that offers hope and dignity to those fleeing from war and poverty. It’s now an entirely self-organised space which provides its residents with three meals per day, language classes, workshops, a café, a medical clinic, everyday supplies and sometimes even a hairdresser.
Initiated by Xiaofu Wang and Claude Somot, “We Are City Plaza” is an ongoing photo-documentary project that commenced in February 2017. The two photographers ran a series of workshops teaching basic photography skills to residents of City Plaza Hotel after deciding that the best way to capture the unique spirit of the hotel was for the residents to document their own lives.