Hotel City Plaza: The City as Site Of Solidarity

A discussion on the occasion of the recently published book: Die Stadt als Stätte der Solidarität

The Hotel City Plaza in Exarcheia, Athens was left abandoned after a disorderly bankruptcy in 2010. Six years later, new life was breathed into the building when it was squatted and became a self-organized structure for hosting refugees and migrants. Between 2016 and 2019, City Plaza became more than a housing project for refugees: It became counterexample to dominant migration policies, to prevailing ways of managing and ranking migrants, and to refugee camps themselves, as an acceptable model for housing displaced peoples and migrants.

City Plaza formed a political project at many levels: from collectively organising social production in everyday life, to resistance in the face of policies that aim to control and subjugate migrants. Common everyday experiences in City Plaza offered the experience of organising a different life, a very different type of cohabitation, as well as the power and the optimism of a community. 

On the occasion of the recently published book ‘Die Stadt als Stätte der Solidarität‘ (’the city as site of solidarity’) Mosaik-Podcast is delighted to present the recording of a discussion between Olga Lafazani, Niki Kubaczek, and Monika Mokre. Olga is a contributing author to the book. Her piece is entitled At home in City Plaza: questioning the divide between hosts and guests. Together with the editors of the book, Niki and Monika, she will discuss the experiences of City Plaza in the context of solidarity cities. Specifically, the discussion will cover the possibilities, as well as challenges, of building transnational and antiracist commons in the city and against the nation form. 

As an introduction to the debate, Niki offers brief insights on the topic of Asylum in Austria and recent acts of resistance to deportations, before being joined by Monika in speaking out for the relevance of the concept of cities as a site of solidarity.

More information on the book (German Language), as well as open access to the digital version can be found here.


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