Requiem for a kiosk
In 1911 the very first kiosk appeared in Athens. A few years later the right to own a kiosk was granted only to casualties of war and their families. Initially it sold mainly tobacco, later selling such products as sweets, refreshments newspapers and magazines. There was a kiosk in every neighborhood – the kiosk owner knowing every person in the community; his brand of cigarettes, his newspaper of choice and his political persuasions. Not just a kiosk but an important meeting place, where people discussed, telephoned and even received messages. This temple-like booth – aptly called periptero – with its fish-eye view was conduit for information. Not only due to the practice of newspapers being spread around it but also being an orbit of social activity.
In 2012 the concept of the kiosk changed dramatically. Once a small recognisible social hive, it has been superseded by brightly lit modernised unit, resembling a small hyper-market usually controlled by a tobacco company. Often just ceases to exist. The death of the traditional kiosk was the motive behind this project. The human element which they used to embody is long gone – its demise marking the tombstone of a way of life. Its deterioration along with its multi-coloured graffiti symbolises a turbulent culture which revolves around it.