The Sounds of an Alive Space

From the moment I arrived in Romantso I could feel that it was a truly special place. Over the years, I’ve been lucky to travel a lot, exploring various spaces, colivings and offices, and this coworking struck me as unique from the very start. After wandering through many narrow streets covered with street art, in what I felt like a very alive and particular neighborhood, I entered the coworking space. Right from the beginning, I appreciated the corners filled with retro technology, TVs and consoles that surrounded the entrance.

I had the chance to have a chat with Vasilis and he explained the history of the space, also how multidisciplinary it is. I found it fascinating to learn that this space works as a coworking but also hosts live music and all types of art exhibitions. He shared with me all the film carried out within the building, a fact that amazed me given my involvement in the same industry. He then showed me the room that I would be sharing for the entire week with David, a Belgian artist and art book publisher who chose to make Athens his home a couple of years ago. I had the opportunity to go for lunch with both of them and taste my first Greek dishes. They ordered traditional food and even if I had big expectations, I was not disappointed at all. During this time I got to learn more about Greece and its people, including how sarcasm plays an important part in Greek culture, something that surprised me, and about all the initiatives happening at Romantso. It was sad to hear that I wouldn’t be able to get involved in a community event that week as it wasn’t taking place. Nevertheless, I set up the personal goal of being productive that week. I was finishing a documentary about Artificial Intelligence and art, and I found Romantso to be the perfect space to give it a final push and finalize the piece that week.

During those days it became evident to me that it is a place filled with creatives of different kinds, and that’s perhaps the most memorable aspect of my time there – the sense of artistic energy alive in the whole building, and using it as a source of creativity. I had a great time discovering the different objects that filled the space, art books scattered around, plants, an array of coffee machines, graphic messages and a myriad of other items in every corner. All these details really helped me to focus on my project and get connected to it. I also found the shared office with David to be very comfortable.

Normally I share a room with many people in my coworking in Pontevedra, so it opened my mind to observe the differences regarding my capacity for attention in these two different spaces, with very distinct vibes. It was extremely interesting to see how a place that is vibrant and full of life still provided this extreme focus to myself. I could still hear the noise of an alive city as Athens outside, and for someone that usually needs silence to work this was a very curious change that actually didn’t affect my concentration at all.

Another aspect I really liked was having the option to use the bar as a break or having some chill work there. I really like this space where you can meet coworkers but also people from outside who just come to have a drink or a coffee at the bar, where you can even see young actors waiting in line for a movie casting in front of the building. People from very different ages and countries passed through the place, and I loved that. I could feel I was in the middle of a lot going on, in a very vibrant place.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my time there was getting to appreciate how inspiring it is to work surrounded by workers connected to the artistic industry, even from different fields. I truly enjoy working day to day in my coworking in Pontevedra, but somehow I miss a more variety of roles, as I’m the only one who has to do creative work day to day. Sharing the space with David and seeing how passionate he is about the art books that he publishes was very enriching for me. He actually asked for my help, and I was a beta tester for one of his books, printed in Barcelona. I had a really unique
experience with this book called “Borderline visible”, that combines audio, texts and photographs. The way that you read the book is a very innovative one. You go through it guided by the voice of a man, in a very carefully edited audio that takes you through the non-linear pages of the book. Those couple of hours actually felt like a journey, starting as what looked like a simple road trip to end up in a very deep place talking about refugees, and I truly loved the experience. As a screenwriter I’m passionate about storytelling and being close to a new experience of this kind was very inspiring, and even brought some new ideas to me that I’m sure will manifest somehow in my future work.

Since I was a teenager, being one of the few in my high school who chose to study ancient Greek (we were only 3 in the class!) I wanted to visit Athens. Then life happened and I never took a plane to Greece, but it was definitely in my remaining things to live in life. Discovering Athens was both shocking and amazing. The initial mental image was a pretty different one, but I got to appreciate its contrasts so much through this week. It’s a very alive city full of history but also full of so much new stuff going on in every corner, so much to see, do and enjoy. I’m confident that I will return
whenever I have the chance. Not only was it enriching visiting a new country and learning about it, but also to be in contact with a very new and different coworking space and coworkers, and learn how that can affect my working days in many ways. I consider myself extremely lucky to be a community member of the Hubs Alliance, and I’m truly grateful for having had this unique experience.