Hotel City Plaza

Hotel City Plaza

Hotel City Plaza

is located in central Athens. The hotel, under private ownership, had been closed due to the economic crisis. According to our interviews, it had become derelict and badly damaged due to the presence of homeless persons and drug dealing. In 2015 a group of activists took over the hotel, did some rehabilitation work, and shortly afterwards invited refugees to use it as a residence. Since then it has evolved into a cooperatively-run operation, where residents cook communally, but otherwise lead separate lives with a great deal of privacy. Whatever one’s political outlook, our interviews and visits gave us the impression the Hotel City Plaza  offers its refugee tenants a degree of autonomy and hope lacking in most refugee housing. However, the use of the site is currently being contested in court by the property owner, so the long-term outlook is uncertain, at best.

We visited Hotel City Plaza on May 16 for preliminary interviews and returned twice subsequently for a wide variety of interviews.

Blogs about Hotel City Plaza and its residents

City Plaza and Behfar

City Plaza is a squat that houses refugees. They don’t accept funding from governments or NGOs and they are entirely supported by donations and volunteers in solidarity, from Greece and around the world. It's a seven-story building in the middle of Athens that used to...

23 May- More City Plaza and George Moschos

We returned to City Plaza for a few hours shooting. Here are some scenes from the kitchen. After that, we went for an in-depth interview with George Moschos, Greek Ombudsman for Children’s Rights. He was one of the first people Zaphiris contacted at the beginning of...

Monday 22 May, Hotel City Plaza

After a bit of a regroup on Sunday in Athens, when we finally met Vicky Leontou (a journalist who has opened so many doors for us and is our Associate Producer) at a wonderful dinner at her home, we were back at it on Monday, at Hotel City Plaza. We will be going into...

May 15 Scouting and meeting

We prepped today for our first day of shooting tomorrow, which will be in Athens. We met with Katerina Poutou, a woman who founded the NGO Arsis that does excellent work with refugees and has a passionate and very capable young staff. We hope to film some of their...