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Artists’ Exchange

Yannis Papapetrou

Architecture and Building Sciences student
Coexistence in modern day Europe

This project strand offers short residency opportunities in partner cities for 30 emerging artists. Each UEO city partner will send two artists on a residency to another partner’s city of a different art form, thereby seeking to enrich their professional practice through inter-disciplinary residencies. Artists are chosen on the basis of having demonstrated an interest in the hosting city’s Arts & Society contemporary European theme. They must also practice a different art form from that of the hosting city’s public event. The project offers the emerging artists the opportunity to travel without the pressure to produce work and ideally to experience UEO’s public events.

Yannis Papapetrou will travel to Istanbul

Eleusis’s other artist Danae Christoudi will travel to Oulu

Artists’ Statement

Yannis Papapetrou (he/him) Coexistence is essential to our lives. In an era of growing inequalities and cultural diversity, one asks oneself if we are able to live together. Europe, as expected, has to face the same question and we, as Europeans, have to answer it. As European identity is shedding its old religious and narrow cultural layers, we must imagine a space (literal as well as social and cultural) where people can experience life together while being different in any kind of way and still feel like they belong in the European family.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have seen how being “different” can somehow influence the way you are being treated, and sometimes that influence is negative. However, I have seen that it is possible to overcome those differences and create a community where we can have a sense of belonging, no matter our religious background, ethnic ancestry or even sexuality and gender identity. I’ve seen it happen in my learning environment, my hometown and even my own neighbourhood. In Istanbul, I think, like every other metropolis, the question is more about how we connect with each other rather than how we accept our differences.

As far as Istanbul goes, the city has proven itself through millennia that it can be a “salad bowl”, as some would call it, where difference enriches it without tearing it apart. As I hinted before, Togetherness in modern day Europe, beside being a social issue is also a spatial one and Architecture is the science and art of how we deal with spaces. As an architect in the making, I am intrigued by how, in a place that has enjoyed such a rich history, coexistence can not only be achieved but flourish in the future.

Artists’ Biography

Yannis Papapetrou is 24 years old and currently studying Architecture and Building Sciences at the National Technical University of Athens. In 2021 alongside a team of other students, under the guidance of architect Tilemachos Andrianopoulos (Tense Architecture Network), his work was publicised at the Greek Pavilion of the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale with the project “ARISTOTELOUS ANÁBASIS” under the general theme “Boulevard de la Société des Nations”, a.k.a. the Aristotle Axis in Thessaloniki”.

In 2019 he participated in the International Summer School at Kaunas, named “Future Retreat”, organised by the Bartlett School of Architecture and Office De Architectura, where young professionals and students of architecture, history and heritage protection, sociology and related fields were invited to explore the historical significance, cultural identity, and development potential of ‘the retreat’. In the summer of 2019 he worked as an intern architect at the Doukas Construction Company in Eleusis. He has also been both a member of the organising committee and a volunteer at the Aeschylia Festival, the annual artistic festival of the city of Eleusis. In addition he has been a member of the team “Cultterra” (ex. Youth Labs) of Eleusis, which aims to highlight, through actions and cultural events, the talent of the creative young people of Eleusis, as well as the cultural potential of the city itself. Finally, Yannis is also an active Scout leader and fluent in English and French as well as his native Greek.

More info

Link Artist’s website

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Artist’s artstation

Artist’s Portfolio