Yes, my next art journal is one that explains how I believe the garbage I saw in the streets of Greece this weekend, can be considered a form of art. Many people would consider a pile of garbage sitting on the side of the road, repulsive and sickening. In fact, the garbage I saw decorating the streets of downtown Thessaloniki was, indeed, just that. However, what many people wouldn’t consider is the meaning behind the mounds of rotten food, old tennis shoes, and dirty dippers. One of my goals for this class is to broaden my mind; to consider certain perspectives and ideas I would normally simply dismiss as nonsense. Seeing art in garbage is my first step to this process.
Upon walking onto the streets of the huge city, my first observation was the awful smell coming from the pile of garbage sitting next to me. As we continued our day, shopping, and site seeing, the piles would pop up around each street corner. I thought of how disgusting and unsanitary it was to have trash laying out on the streets for days on end. However, I quickly forgot the mess I saw, as I got sidetracked taking pictures, eating, and shopping. Once back to the hotel in bed, I recalled what I had done and seen that day. Suddenly, the piles of garbage I had seen that day popped into my head. Art- I thought instantly. I looked beyond the disgusting scene, and forgot about the awful smell, and I thought of the reasoning behind why the garbage was there in the first place. Yes, the sanitation workers had gone on strike, but why? So…what does any college student do when they want to know more about a certain topic…we Google it! After a little research, I came to understand, at least somewhat, the motive behind the strike. Yes…we all know Greece’s economy is in the hole, and I could go on for pages talking about why and how Greece needs to get out of its awful depression. However, that is not what I am interested in, what I am concerned with is the people. I will refer back to my definition of art I gave in my first journal:
“My definition of art: expressing my inner self, in whatever way I find best; that is being able to accurately communicate my essence to others, who I am as a person, and what I stand for, whether it is in what I draw, say, write, do, or even wear.”
Protesters sitting peacefully on the streets getting sprayed by teargas, men standing in front of Greek Parliament holding signs, while getting pummeled by riot police, rioters throwing tear gas canisters on police, sanitation workers going on strike, leaving all of Thessaloniki’s garbage out for the world to see, it is all a form of art. These people are trying to communicate their essence to the Greek government, they want a say, they want a voice, and they want to be heard. They are trying to express their inner selves and, although their methods may be objectionable to some, their opinions deserve to at least be acknowledged. Perhaps if more people kept an open mind, and came to recognize outbursts of deviance, such as this, as a form of art, the world would become more composed.