Battles for Socio‐Spatial Hegemony in the Exilic Space of Exarcheia
Wiley: Antipode: Table of Contents
John Ryan Karlin
2022 03 26
The neighbourhood of Exarcheia in Athens, Greece has long been recognised as the socio-spatial epicentre of the Athenian anarchist and anti-authoritarian milieu wherein several self-organised spaces, groups, and initiatives have thrived. In this paper, I characterise Exarcheia as an exilic space within the capitalist world-system. Exilic spaces are paradoxical spaces of relative and precarious autonomy grounded in the principles of self-organisation, solidarity, and mutual aid. While I highlight Exarcheia’s exilic status, I also investigate significant internal problematics and tensions. Specifically, I investigate the construction and implementation of a hegemonic project at the exilic scale revolving around the perception that certain anti-social actors were gaining ground in the neighbourhood whose behaviours constituted a direct threat to Exarcheia’s exilic status. I then problematise the hegemonic consensus and identify a counter-hegemonic response consisting of marginalised voices opposed to the hegemonic project in both theory and practice, signalling a crisis of exilic hegemony.