Othon Alexandrakis, “Radical Resilience: Athenian Topographies of Precarity and Possibility” (Cornell UP, 2022)

Radical Resilience: Athenian Topographies of Precarity and Possibility (Cornell UP, 2022) relates narratives of Athenians struggling to survive the impoverishment of relentless austerity measures, compounding emergencies, and human disasters of successive national crises in Greece since 2010. 

Drawing on eight years of fieldwork, Othon Alexandrakis examines the effects of injury, erosion, and upheaval on individuals already pushed beyond their limits but holding on against all odds. Through analysis of everyday scenes across different social locations in the city, he documents the often slow, difficult work of picking up the pieces of one’s life and moving them around—and the worlds that fade and the ones that become visible in the process. He shares the stories of a disillusioned anarchist organizer, an exhausted nurse helping a father search for his lost daughter, a misunderstood Romani man rejected by his friends and family, and an undocumented migrant who discovers hope in the trash—stories of individuals finding solace and possibility within, with, and against the tragedies of their lives. Alexandrakis shows how these stories lead to a potentially transformative coming to resilience. In Radical Resilience, Alexandrakis traces the bare edges of radical possibility from within the efforts of those continuing on beyond their limits.

Othon Alexandrakis is Associate Professor of Anthropology at York University. He is the editor of Impulse to Act.

Alize Arıcan is an anthropologist whose research focuses on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work has been featured in Current AnthropologyCity & SocietyJOTSARadical Housing Journal, and entanglements. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican

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