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[titles: a cyber-eco-feminist goat path—towards the periphery, my hometown]

[xenia: voice over]

how to start? ok
this is a relationship between sisters
not by blood but by heart

good girls don't cry
provincial life, uncles, aunts, and cousins

big girls don't cry
bin your family and leave the rental
this is about us

public squares, fists
Theater Square, tears
fake gold chains, bruises
this is about us

handbrake turn, three

handbrake turn, two
I know it's her too
this is about us two

memes, blahdy-blah
dancing, nah nah nah
red lips, la la la
this is about us

cosmos locked, for so long
breath gone, for so long
care, like saboteur
this is about us

grabbing hands, fold
love letters, love/d
this is about us

how to start? ok
this is between sisters
not by blood but by heart
this is about us

[exterior: attica—day]

[agios dimitrios metro station: traffic, lots of people, city noise, wide shot]

Mary (Pegy's sister) is parked on the corner. She is driving us, neither Pegy nor I know how. Coffees (black), cigarettes (still quitting), water (forgot), hats (forgot), camera (phones, the other is heavy). Music on the radio, lower down windows and drive. It's September and it's nice, we are outside and it's been a while.

[the cosco bridge: cars, highway traffic, sunlight, heights, passers-by, dogs, a barricade, panning (camera), the bridge from afar]

This bridge is a key link in the Land Sea Express, a chain of logistics connections that runs from Piraeus Port, a main gateway for China to access the European continent. In March 2015 a newspaper called me to comment on the notorious intervention of graffiti artists on the facades of the National Technical University of Athens' (NTUA) Stournani Street building. I remember politely declining, only to see several “cultural producers” condemning the graffiti as vandalism in the next day's paper. (I know it's theirs, I'm upset they don't say.)

We park and start walking. We pass by a simulation of a neighborhood, a new housing development with street names from Greek mythology. Is Gaia already here? We reach a low cement barricade, we cross it. There is a nice path towards the bridge: locals take their guard dogs out for a walk or they exercise. We reach the bridge and walk along the train rail. “Are you sure the train only passes twice a day?” I ask Pegy. She laughs. I look down, trying to photograph the graffiti that we have come to see. I get dizzy but I feel safe. There is heavy traffic below but I feel safe; it's hot, we are wearing black. I ask: “How did they do this?” “Holding each other,” she replies.

The railway line continues into a tunnel. I can barely see the black hole that cuts through the hill. The locals spoke and wrote about the ecological damage.

Pegy holds some sheets of A4 paper with a printed text. We place it on the rails with a rock on the top, it’s windy, and Pegy takes a picture. What is common? A male artist recently gave us the third degree with persistent questions about joint authorship. He said: “Yes, OK, but who wrote the text? Everybody? Really, who?” (I know it's theirs, I'm upset I don't say.)

[elefsina: the port, the ship cemetery, the swimmer, the factories, the breeze, construction work, our shadows, panning (camera)]

During the 1980s the magazine Gaia was published by the House of Women of Thessaloniki (my hometown) while the magazine Women's Whispers by the Women's Group of Elefsina. Two, three issues were published: now collected, scanned, QR codes by heart.

Mary is happy to stop for lunch; it's hot, she has been driving. We share food, time and some personal stuff. Then she takes notes of our star signs and the times of births; she has a friend in town who “knows about these things.” It's about us.

[the stop that's not: a pin on google map, no photos, no cameras]

It's like a whole city! There is a security booth with a nice old guy. We say: “Can we come in, we are artists and would like to take a look around.” He picks up the receiver, he dials, he speaks. [inaudible for audience] “Who are you again?,” he asks I lie: “Ministry of Culture, blahdy-blah, site specific artwork, blah blah blah.” He goes back on the phone. [inaudible conversation for audience] He comes out, apologetically. He says no: “Another time maybe, you need to call first, you know.” The Thriasio Logistics Center is the largest logistics center in Greece and Southeastern Europe; it connects Elefsina with three continents, as well as with the huge Chinese infrastructure project known as the New Silk Road.

[megara (passing by): hand held phone camera, mary's cellphone rings, mary speaks, sound off, wind on]

There is a mini air force there; is it part of the plan? We wonder. Could it be Elefsina port, Megara airport? We are getting better, closer- really. The locals have recently been talking about the rise of real estate prices in the area, mainly fields. The prices go up, but who's buying? We are getting better, closer- really. Mary drives us by the coast. “Aha!,” she says to her sister. “Remember? This is the spot where everybody used to make out.”

[peiraiki-patraiki: wide angle shot via fence, abandoned building, garbage, a doll's head, trees, cars, highway noise, birds, sunset]

This is about our stay-at-home-till-your-kids-grow-up mothers, the-do-the-housework-at-4am-and-head-to-work-at-the-factory grandmothers. This is about deadlines, rules and regulations, smart machines, and company fiction.


[alepochori: black screen]

In spring 2021, 70,000 acres of forest around Alepochori was lost to fires. We walk up onto a hillside of burnt pine trees. This used to be a big forest, but now it's not.

[megara (back to): assorted shots from previous locations, maybe voice over, maybe]

Mary drives us back to Megara. She will stay at the family house; her friend, the one who knows about the stars, is there already. There's a gathering tomorrow, somebody's christening, so she doesn't need to return to the city. Pegy and I walk to the bus stop. It's on the side of a square. We bump into some of Pegy's friends from school. One of them owns the fancy café/bar on the corner. We order cocktails while we wait, and I upload images on Facebook. We enjoy the view from where we are, right now. And she comforts me, always.

[end credits, song]


COSCO RAILWAY BRIDGE: THE REMAINS OF SABOTAGE Driving along Athinon Avenue, which starts in Athens city center and heads to the western suburbs, you pass under this bridge, a portal into the region of West Attica. The bridge carries a railroad for container transportation, part of the Chinese-interest infrastructural project which connects Cosco's piers at Piraeus Port to the Balkans via the Logistics Center in Elefsina. The Piraeus Port project is a successful prototype for China's New Silk Road.

An incident occurred on the inaugural journey on this line in 2010. Soon after the bridge, the railway enters a tunnel. According to its driver, the train collided with an improvised barricade: a stack composed of a huge cable coil, lighting tubes, and piled metallic trays that had been ripped off from the inside of the tunnel. The mysterious sabotage was repeated on the train's return journey. The same people that built up the stack in the first place were probably the ones that reinstalled it, more-or-less in the same spot as before. As the train driver reported, the result each time was the delay of the service, in order for the tunnel to be cleared.

A second incident also occurred at this bridge; its two sides were entirely covered with painted black marks, what could possibly be described as a mural. A perplexing chaos that nevertheless looked like the residue of organically orchestrated movements. Like traces of processes and conflicts. These illegible inscriptions seemed to have sprung up from the landscape in the same mysterious way as the surrounding hills, trees, and impressive infrastructure. At the point where the bridge touches the slope of the hill there is a sprayed inscription consisting of three letters: "OFK."

"CLOUDS" SURROUNDING THE BRIDGE The central node of Greece's marine internet fiber-optic cables is at Piraeus Port. Worldwide, 97% of internet traffic and $10 trillion in daily financial transactions pass through undersea cables; only 0.3% of international traffic is carried via satellites.

Marine cables follow the same paths as capital flows and geopolitical futures that are being developed between states. The network of infrastructure running between countries comprises oil, gas pipelines, and undersea internet cables. The internet cables that lie at the bottom of the sea are the backbones of world politics: communication and data protection relies on them, and the locations of their landing points are expressions of economic power. Piraeus' marine cables connect Greece with Cyprus, Israel, Turkey, and Italy.

Both internet companies and states have created and invested in their own marine internet cables; China is also seeking to build a Digital Silk Road, including undersea cables, while financing a new global internet infrastructure. According to a recent Pentagon report, China will "enable politically motivated censorship" with the Digital Silk Road; that is, be able to manage and redirect data flow routes as it expands its presence in the Mediterranean.

ELEFSINA: CYBER-ECO-FEMINIST TRACES OF GAIA Elefsina supports a big part of Greek heavy industry through its shipyards, refineries, steel factories, and the Thriasio Logistics Centre. Despite heavy air pollution, Elefsina is also the home of the worship of the goddess Demeter, a symbol of Mother Nature and the mythical evolution of Gaia.

Gaia has been claimed by cyberfeminists and ecofeminists alike as the embodiment of a cyborg goddess. In A Cyborg Manifesto (1991), Donna Haraway writes of the Earth as "itself a cyborg, a complex auto-poietic system that terminally blurred the boundaries among the geological, the organic, and the technological." Gaias' myth is offered for projecting a cosmos in which humans and technology will abolish patriarchal narratives, and where mind, body, and nature will be one inseparable whole cosmos.

PEIRAIKI-PATRAIKI FACTORY: THE FLESHY INHABITATION OF MECHANICS Peiraiki-Patraiki in Megalo Pefko was the first factory to be built after the Greek Civil War (1946–49). It is well known in Greece due to the strikes against its imminent closure, which finally came in 1992 as its demise became a tool for partisan interests and a stepping stone for the deindustrialization of the country.

Peiraiki-Patraiki was a textile and readymade garment factory, and was mainly run by women workers living in West Attica (Elefsina, Mandra, Megalo Pefko, and Megara). For uneducated girls, a job at the factory was a deliverance from either getting married or working as a maid.

My mother once told me a story about Marina, a worker whose name in Greek means boatyard. She operated a machine that needed a specific hand movement. For years, recursively, with her right hand, she would make three movements: down, pull, and push. During those years the machine had carefully and permanently choreographed Marina’s hand. She embodied the machines’ operation, her hand couldn’t stop this down-pull-push even when she had left the factory: she had become a cyborg logistical subject. Marinas’ nervous system synchronizes to capital flow; the human rhythm has been sabotaged.

ALEPOCHORI & MEGARA: WOLVES AND SHARKS In May 2021 an enormous wildfire burned more than 70,000 acres of forest around the seaside area of Alepochori, on the Gulf of Corinth. During the winter of the same year the locals stated that due to the summer fires, wolves had appeared in residential areas of Megara, their lengthy wanderings caused by unusual damage to the land and the city's ecology.

As wolves stalked the land, another predator appeared in the water. During the last few years an increased presence of sharks has been noticed in coastal areas. In past centuries, sharks followed slave ships across the sea and feasted on bodies thrown overboard. A contemporary myth speaks of sharks that bite and destroy submarine cables, somehow maintaining an enslavement metaphor as the prey is now logistics: networks controlled by the captains of industry for the circulation of capital.

In 2011 a woman in the Georgian village of Ksani caused an internet incident. While scavenging for copper she cut a major internet cable and caused all network services in Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan to crash. News of the incident traveled around the world and the media gave her the nickname "spade hacker." Spades are not only gardening tools but also an offensive appellation for Βlack people. Many people living in the periphery and disrupting capital flows have a nickname.

Gaia is an avenger of injustice; on ancient jars she is depicted as a goddess sitting between fire and water. On other jars she takes the form of a large female head emerging from the ground, while satyrs, standing on top of her, hit the ground to awaken her spirit. Gaia's mystic symbols are the torch, marjoram, the sword, and the vulva. With these symbols we will perform on burned soil, until we wake her up.