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The Lost Meaning of 'Κοινωνία'

2020 | Contribution to the exhibition 'A dialogue must take place' of Tbilisi Architecture Biennale
Authors: Eleni Katrini, Aristodimos Komninos | read more

'A dialogue must take place, precisely because we don’t speak the same language.' is an online exhibition curated by Stefan Gruber and Chun Zheng, as part of the 2020 Tbilisi Architecture Biennale. As part of the exhibition, we were invited to contribute with a text that reflects issues of spaces and and practices of commoning through notions and words in Greek, as way of opening up the discussion beyond the Anglosaxon context. The aim of the exhibition was to initiate a dialogue about spaces and practices of commoning, their situated histories and diverse etymologies, and the (im)possibility of translating them from one language or culture into another. If indeed other worlds are possible, they will emerge from a plurality of practices and viewpoints, old and new, indigenous and urban communities, feminist and environmental movements alike.


Our contribution included a reflection on the lost meaning of “κοινωνία” (kinonía), which in English means society. The contribution included a written text in English and a voice recorning in Greek, which showcased an imaginary dialogue taking place in a hot summer afternoon in Athens, between myself and Aristodimos. The text and conversation eluded to a Socratic dialectic process of finding the meaning of what society means today, how its notion has changed over the years, and what its relation is to the process of commoning. You can read and hear the whole discussion on the online exhibition's website.

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