Creative Map Reveals Grassroots Groups in Greece

Grassroots Groups in GreeceOmikron Project – a volunteer group from Greece working to tackle the country’s international image crisis – has released a new map of all the grassroots groups in the country.

The map, which can be found on Omikron Project’s website, lists 412 citizens’ initiatives across the country, working on some of Greece’s important systemic problems in areas like healthcare, education and the environment. The page also includes links to the websites of these groups, for anyone that wants to learn more about them.

“The map has two goals,” says Mehran Khalili, one of the founding members of Omikron Project. “We want to bash the stereotype that Greeks are helpless victims of the crisis, and give these groups much-needed exposure.”

This is the second edition of the grassroots map. The first, published in May 2013, contained 238 groups; this one has 70% more. “When we released the first map, many other groups across Greece wrote to us and asked to be included,” Khalili explains. “We were really surprised at the amount of activity out there, and we’re probably only scratching the surface.” He says the map is “a constant work in progress” and encourages people to write in with edits or omissions.

Omikron Project numbers 30-40 people, mostly based in Athens, but with a core group of just five. They are best known for their production “Alex the Lazy Greek”, a two-minute animated video released in November 2012 which went viral with over a quarter of a million views and was shown on national TV in France and Germany. The video introduced the problem of Greece’s image crisis in a playful way – though with a serious message.

The group, which has more productions in the works, meets regularly in Athens and is open to anyone that wants to join. Omikron Project is also keen to expand their network to people outside Greece who want to help their cause.