Last time we met Athens via Outer Space artist Aphty Khéa she was surveying the wreckage of the just dismantled ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais, a place she described in our interview as “a horrible yet very special place, where cultures and religions and people merged into this special little community built on suffering”. The music she was making at the time, a luscious sort of space-age trip-hop, did what all the best sci-fi does – avoid simple escapism and instead allow us to analyse humanity from a new perspective.
Now back in her native Greece, Aphty Khéa is once again at the heart of the refugee crisis, volunteering at the Refugee Accommodation Space City Plaza, an autonomous community space in the heart of Athens. As you can discover by visiting the tongue-in-cheek URL best-hotel-in-europe.eu (the building was formerly a hotel), the centre offers shelter to refugees and resistance to intolerance, operating entirely without funding from any government or NGO.
As such, the project relies on support from well-wishers in the city and beyond. Thus, in order to help raise the €1 per day needed to cover the basic needs of a single refugee, Aphty Khéa has released a new fundraising track via Bandcamp. Called ‘You Can’t Evict A Movement (City Plaza)’, it sees seemingly hundreds of cut-up samples melted into the music, resulting in a track that manages to incorporate joy, discord, chaos and invention. Perhaps this contrasting concoction reflects life at City Plaza itself; either way, the use of residents’ voices throughout takes you into the heart of the community.
Aphty Khéa describes City Plaza as “a beacon of hope in today’s world. The track was inspired and kickstarted by the words of some of the youngest members of our community, recorded in our music classes during the summer of ’17. ‘You Can’t Evict a Movement’ is an ode to all the beautiful people that comprise our massive and diverse family, and the collective effort of everyone ever involved.”
Head here to download ‘You Can’t Evict a Movement’ and support the project.
Aphty Khea photo: Barbora Mrazkova
City Plaza photo: Jack Rawlings
Words: Kier Wiater Carnihan