Karaiskaki Square, Piraeus

Karaiskaki Square, Piraeus, photo: Yiannis Hadjiaslanis

The central square at the port of Piraeus takes its name from one of the most famous leaders in the Greek War of Independence, General Georgios Karaiskakis. The square became well-known in 1922 when many of the Greek refugees from Asia Minor found shelter here. Around the same time, it also served as the refuge for many famous rebetes (performers of rebetiko), the great Markos Vamvakaris among them. In January 1929, the square was devastated by a large fire that coincided with the state’s decision to remove the temporary settlements. Negros Tou Moria, the well-known Greek-African rapper, performs a concert on Karaiskaki Square as part of his project Black Odyssey for documenta 14. Based on the tradition of the rebetes and the legacy of hip-hop, the performance draws a number of parallels between this site’s histories of immigrants and expressions of underground music, past and present.

Posted in Public Exhibition