press release

Fast Forward Festival 6
05.05.2019 - 19.05.2019

If you really want to know someone, you just need to ask him directly one single question: “What do you like?” The first spontaneous words will determine your common ground. Here is what we, at the Onassis Foundation, like; some of the words we live by: Athens, curiosity, cities, knowledge, art, the present, inspiration, stories, relationships, passion, commons, memory and inclination.

The 6th Onassis Fast Forward Festival has to do with these words, that come up over and over as constant, relevant questions: How to live together when we come from different social and cultural backgrounds? How do we coexist in the contemporary metropolis? How can we interact, and how can we talk about things that are foreign to us, unfamiliar, different?

The field lies around the city of Athens. The 6th Fast Forward Festival disrupts our certainties about art and life, exploring the notion of the commons and of solidarity initiatives from several perspectives and fields of knowledge with the tools of art and culture. Hybrid performances, installations and video works, which arise from monthslong collaboration with experts and local communities, while also exploring atypical public and private spaces, are presented for two weeks in the heart of the city. Through the Onassis FFF, the non-converted are invited to see and re-see spaces that are otherwise invisible on an everyday basis, and treat the public space as grounds to which they have ownership rights.

While focusing on the constant search for the Athenian reality, we at the Onassis Foundation are building the connections between local and global. Let’s find out our common ground. In Athens, our playground.

Afroditi Panagiotakou, Director of Culture, Onassis Foundation


Curatorial statement
The public discussion on commons and commoning practices emerged since the dawn of the 21st century as a key term in the growing global interest on solidarity and social justice against the background of rising nationalism, populism and xenophobia. As David Harvey argues, the revival of the urban commonalities especially after the 2008-2009 financial crisis, reflects the decline of state supplied public goods during the austerity years that led the population to self-organize to provide their own commons inhabiting new forms of social relations while empowering diverse migrant and feminists communities and trans/queer practices.

Based on an extended archival research, archaeological finds, historical sources and fieldwork in Athens, Lesvos, Thessaloniki and Volos, the 6th edition of the Onassis Fast Forward Festival invests on the field of cultural commons as a dynamic discursive platform where new, poetic forms of togetherness and emancipation could be commonly imagined and potentially built. Artists working at the intersection of aesthetic and civic practices were commissioned to explore collaborative models in education, health, ecology, culture and economy, while critically investigating politics of exclusion, surveillance and dispossession from various perspectives and heterogeneous fields of knowledge. Hybrid performances, site-specific installations, public gatherings, urban interventions and video works, which arise from months-long collaboration with experts, solidarity networks and local communities are taking place for two weeks in in Athens. What do we maintain as commons in the aftermath of crises and wars? Can we collectively imagine a common future?

Marwa Arsanios, Thomas Bellinck, Tania El Khouri, Petros Morris, Franziska Pierwoss & Sandra Teitge, Raqs Media Collective, Koki Tanaka, Wu Tsang

Curated by Katia Arfara, Curator of Theater and Dance, Onassis Stegi