TV Control Center, also known as KET, is an intimate creative space located in the diverse urban neighbourhood of Kypseli, in Athens, Greece. Founded in May 2012 as a non-profit association by Fotini Banou and Dimitris Alexakis, KET is dedicated to the performing arts, experimental music and documentary films. Angeliki Karampela joined the team in November 2015.
Formally an old television repair shop, KET has a unique spatial dimension in that the stage is situated in a sunken open basement. The space’s arrangement results in a room with high ceilings, and the ground floor as a balcony. This non-traditional layout allows the artists to explore more intimate ways of presenting and sharing their work.
The venue is open from early October to early June, 5, 6 or 7 days a week, and can host from 50 to 90 people.
As a multidisciplinary space, it welcomes a wide range of events, including: experimental music concerts (free jazz, improv, electronics, contemporary music); theatre and dance; spoken word evenings; workshops and public debates with local communities.
With performances and screenings focused on the history of the modern nation-state of Greece, the forgotten memories of the Greek Civil War, the collective memory of Chernobyl disaster, the experiences faced by sex-workers in the streets of Athens, testimonies of immigrant women in Greece working as cleaners or home carers, KET’s program reflects some major historical, social and political concerns of our time.
In the last few years, two theatre productions (“Guerre des Paysages” and “C’était un Samedi”), created at KET in collaboration with French director Irène Bonnaud, were hosted by prominent French theatres in Aubervilliers, Reims, Châteauvallon, Nice, Montpellier and Lyon. “C’était un Samedi”, a project dedicated to the history of Greek Jewish communities, will also be performed in September 2023 at La Cartoucherie (Théâtre du Soleil), a historical venue in eastern Paris.
After a two-year closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, KET has strived further to develop collaborations with Greek and foreign art venues, theatre companies and record labels.
As a venue for performing arts and politics, KET is part of a movement in support of new societal institutions in Greece; a place for creative exchanges and sharing, rather than simple cultural consumption. As a DIY venue managed by a small team, it thrives on the versatility of its members, who deal every day with technical, artistic, promotional and organisational issues. Its independent management implies a direct and intimate relationship with artists and audiences.
Since opening its doors in 2012, KET has received no public funding and keeps a cautious distance from the private institutions which, in recent years, have invested massively in the artistic sector. In conjunction with the State’s increasing disengagement from the shaping and implementation of cultural policies, the rise of corporate-endowed foundations raises significant questions concerning transparency, accountability, and impact on the artistic community, which deserve to be discussed further. KET’s main source of revenue is based on a box-office split with the artists. This has proven sustainable, despite the venue’s non-profit character.
Founded at a time of massive austerity cuts and structural changes in the cultural sector, KET has succeeded in presenting a model based on independence, a strong local network and international links. But nothing can be taken for granted and the venue must constantly explore new paths in order to continue to exist. This is why, after 11 years of activity, we have decided to engage in a permanent fundraising campaign. We believe in a living, organic relationship between artistic collectives and grassroots movements. We believe in the importance of the “third places” for supporting local communities. We are convinced that the independence of artistic venues is a major issue in the current period. Thus, we believe that our audience should continue to be our main source of funding.
Link to Fundraising Page: