Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Friend and documentary-maker extraordinaire, Angelike Contis, has a new work-in-progress called Muttumentary, a mini-documentary about the lives of eight Athenian dogs.

This comes as Athens is learning to become more responsible about the stray dog population in the modern-ancient city.


Blogger Tom Saunders said...

Is there no fear of rabies in Athens?

10:38 pm  
Blogger kathryn said...

I don't know if there's fear of rabies, per se, but there is a lot of fear of dogs. Stray dogs have been poisoned en masse in Athens in the past. The Mayor has initiated a prgram to monitor, tag, etc etc, the stray dog population. I think the program is three years old now.

10:50 pm  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

I remember reading about the mass poisoning some years ago. I hope the tagging programme helps control the population without resorting to such drastic measures.

11:10 am  
Blogger Tom Saunders said...

What I meant was that most of the major cities in Europe and the States have controlled stray dogs for many decades now due to outbreaks of rabies and the fear of outbreaks of rabies. Obviously Athens hasn't had the problem so far.

4:02 pm  
Blogger kathryn said...

There are many elements to Greece and Greek life that are more reminiscent of the third world than 'Europe', and I don't mean that in a bad way at all. I was once chastised by an Australian journalist for saying Greece is a third world country with a first world makeover. Maybe it sounds simplistic, dunno. I think that the dog situation is probably one of those things. The city of Athens has changed so much in the last decade (lead up to olympics and now post) it is incredible. These sorts of 'civil safety' (?)measures are now becoming part of Greek life. All local change comes as a result of European Community programs and laws.

6:15 pm  
Blogger kathryn said...

Thalassa--those poisonings were done by Greek citizens, if we are talking about the same thing.

6:16 pm  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

I'm sure we are, though you're obviously better informed about this, as I don't remember the details of what I read.

I think it's a pity that change has to come with EU bureaucratic diktat, instead of local consensus. But perhaps this is inevitable with the relative inflexibility of the central government and the sort of political intrigue and collusion of interests that takes place at the local level.

A friend of mine worked on a project with the Santorini municipality last summer and was amazed at the political bickering, resistance to change and economic vested interests. It didn't feel too different from how local government is in India, which is not a compliment.

1:34 am  
Blogger kathryn said...

Yeah, but that's the beauty of Greece! Greeks are open to change and love the idea of becoming more European (they've hated been out of the loop for so long - from Turkish years), but there is so much old baggage to be unbacked and thrown out. It's happening though. It's amazing seeing some govt departments becoming computer literate right under your very eyes. Overwhelming process, but it's happening.

8:02 am  
Blogger Steph said...

Hey kathryn,

I noticed your post regarding the Muttumentary.

I am proud to say that Aris (the second star, in order of appearance) is my dog! And those are my mom's legs that you see in the film, walking by his side.

He got his 15 minutes of fame... I haven't yet. And that's cool!

9:49 pm  

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