Emerging Voices

CMCI Emerging Voices: Meet the Panellists – Venia Polychronaki

The 29th of June 2022 saw nine emerging voices, from across the UK, present at the CMCI PGR Symposium at King’s College London.

At the symposium Venia presented her paper ‘The second generation of Afro-Greeks: The case of ‘Negros tou Moria’ and his contribution to a new cultural space’.

Biography

Born in Athens, Greece, I moved to London after graduating from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens with a degree in Political Science. Intrigued by fashion and deep sartorial interest, I continued studying at UAL, London College of Fashion. After years of being involved in the creative fashion process, I have realized that clothing can be a powerful tool for self-expression and resistance within society. Driven by a fascination for the various subcultures and youth movements, I was keen to study the topic further. I have recently graduated from the University of Westminster with an MA in Art and Visual Culture.

My goal is to conduct more comprehensive and organized research on subcultures. Popular elements such as clothing, music, social behaviour, and mannerisms form such influential images and are powerful enough to challenge existing gender, race, and class stereotypes

Abstract

The second generation of Afro-Greeks: The case of ‘Negros tou Moria’ and his contribution to a new cultural space.

The second-generation children of African descent had significant life experiences on issues concerning daily discrimination and exclusion while still in their teenage years. On becoming adults, the situation reached a boiling point due to a flaw in the Greek legal system that would not provide them with official documentation, and therefore they were rendered stateless.

Consequently, living in the margins resulted in the particular generation adopting an oppositional stance to the dominant order. Several young people of African descent developed their artistic flair based on the need to express their reality as the second generation of Afro-Greeks. Kevin Zans Ansong, better known by his stage name ‘Negros tou Moria’, is one of the several Afro-Greek hip-hop artists who brought about a creative revival in the Greek capital. The concepts of location and identity are of great significance to Ansong while addressing his personal experiences on issues of social exclusion and inequality.

He has initiated a positive dialogue on a platform where art functions as a powerful equaliser by utilising existing, often conflicting, multicultural elements. Together with the rest of the Afro-Greek hip-hop artists, they use music as an apparatus to create a new cultural space which stands against social exclusion. A vibrant, multilayered, diverse, hopeful, equal, and accessible space to all.

An extended version of the text is available here: