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Street stories: Alison who built on her own the wonderland

11 April 2010 / 10:04:25  GRReporter
5322 reads

Victoria Mindova

The young designer of Alison Dinianou is the creator of the Greek version of the free art bazaar The Meet Market in Greece. Her mother is English and her father is Greek – the result is a remarkable young woman with a vision of the future which has enough courage to be true to her dreams and follow them. She is only 28 years old and her presence is notable even in a room full of people. Her motto is “everybody builds his own destiny” and being true to it she is a self-made success. Alison has graduated exterior design in London, however her love for the art is in the beautiful hand made earrings After three years of life in San Francisco she decides to go back to her Greek roots and comes to live in Athens.

Designers, artists, actors, craftsmen and liberal traders now have their new home under the initiative of The Meet Market. There everybody could exhibit their artworks or goods for the wide audience. People of all ages and interests could visit this magical place where they will find jewelry, clothes, accessories, paintings, records and many other things as well as look they could look and enjoy the many colors and positive energy. The alternative bazaar is organized one weekend a month in a different place about which the visitors could get informed on the internet page of the event.

Alison talks about the beginning:

“When I was living abroad I was earning my money by selling jewelry at the free art markets. First I was selling in Spitafields Market and Porto Bello in London and they I left for San Francisco. When I came to live in Athens I expected find similar alternative bazaars here as well, however it turned out to be difficult. I found the people’s markets for vegetables, a life market in Monastiraki, the souvenir markets of Tisio and Plaka, however no art markets. In the beginning I started to give my earrings in different stores. In this way I met a lot of people from these fields of work. About a year later I decided to create my own company through which to organize The Meet Market.”

The first steps of Alison and the team behind the magical world of The Meet Market:

“The first event was a Christmas bazaar in 2007 where we united all our friends from the art circles and it turned out to be a success. This set the beginning of the bazaar as at first everything in the organization was a bit improvised. Since then the things changed a lot. With each event that passes we grow more and more. At the event before the last one for two days of work over two thousand people stopped by having in mind that most of the advertising is done via the internet and through the word of mouth. The company of the exhibition is comprised of a group of people, each one of them has his contribution to the activity – Yannis is responsible for the technical problems (sound, placement etc.) Catherina is our legal advisor, Yonas is dealing with the graphic design and Georgios is our photographer.

The entire team of Alison is comprised of only five people, each one of whom has embraced the idea about the creation of an alternative place for all people who wish to create or own something different than the brand names settled on the market.

Greece – a new land:

“Greece is a country of the second world. It is not developed like the USA and most of the west European countries, however it is definitely not a third world country as the African and some of the south American countries (she laughs). Here there is a lot of place still to create and invent new things. Greece currently gives the opportunity for many things to happen for the first time and for new ideas to grow. In America and England everything is already oversaturated by all kinds of things which the human mind can think of and there is no place for new peaks. Here for example if you wish to become a Dub DJ you will be one of the five DJs in the entire country (in the best case scenario). If however you have the same ambition in London you will have to compete with another five thousand others like you, regardless of the fact we are talking about underground. From this point of view there are still many unrevealed fields for action which could be developed in Greece. Besides my observations show that the young people here are thirsty for new things, for the alternative in all of its aspects. The new generation has really had it with the old system and they want to see a new, fresh and as a whole different Greece which has a statute of a world wide capital. The people at our age are filled with energy and ideas and wish for Athens to grow to a higher level as a cultural capital of Europe.

The locations of The Meet Market and the public authorities as the sleeping beauty

“Technopolis is one of the places who have sheltered us in the last two years. The people managing Technopolis are really very nice, however it is a fact that until now we have not received any cooperation from the municipal authorities which are the actual owners of this “Cultural center”. Currently in Athens there aren’t too many places where we can make the exhibition. In most cases you just go to a specific place and if you can pay the rent of the hall everything’s fine. The government and the public authorities in Greece as a whole are not making your life easier. It even seems that they are just not doing anything. Another problem we often have are the laws and regulations which in stead of making our work easier, they are actually making it harder. This is true about the cash registers, we want to be legal and correct before the law and that is why every time we move the bazaar we register the change also on the cash register.”

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