Athens is Burning, 2015

Alfredo Brillemburg, Hubert Klumpner

Athens is burning. The time of firebombed buildings has passed, but the incendiary scent of conflict lingers. It is 2015, yet we are re-minded of the same scenes of unrest we once witnessed in Caracas when Urban-Think Tank began, navigating the simmering discontent of a lookback-in-anger generation. The open veins of a slash-and-burn globalized urbanity. Reactivate Athens is an initiative born of crisis, but energized by the potential of this ancient city to realize a new vision. Back then it was a chaotic carnival of caraquenos, the hedonism and tears of a system coming apart at the edges. In Caracas, the poor and the desperate descended from the barrios to the heart of the city and set it ablaze. The combustible trash-strewn alleys of an oil town run dry. El ciudad opened our eyes to the urgent language of a new kind of urban vernacular; a makeshift, popular poetics for the contemporary city. We were working for the university when we began a project called ‘Caracas 2005’, later ‘100 Ideas for Caracas’, and finally published as Informal City: Caracas Case. Ten years later we still believe in architecture and ideas, not ideology. 

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