Ένα φωτογραφικό αφιέρωμα στο Δεκέμβρη του 1944 με το φακό του Dmitri Kessel
Γράφει ο Πέτρος Γαϊτάνος, το Νοέμβρη του 1994, στην εισαγωγή του Λευκώματος “DMITRI KESSEL, ΕΛΛΑΔΑ ΤΟΥ ‘44″, Εκδόσεις ΑΜΜΟΣ
Ο Dmitri Kessel γεννήθηκε στην Ουκρανία στις αρχές του αιώνα. Μετανάστευσε στην Αμερική το 1923 και εργάστηκε σαν φωτογράφος στο περιοδικό LIFE. Ταξίδεψε σ’ ολόκληρο σχεδόν τον κόσμο και οι φωτογραφίες του –μολονότι προορίζονταν για ένα εφήμερο μέσο- άντεξαν στον χρόνο. Σήμερα ο Κέσελ θεωρείται ένας από τους σημαντικότερους φωτορεπόρτερ στον κόσμο. Η δουλειά του, κλασική πια, έχει παρουσιαστεί σε πολλά βιβλία. Οι φωτογραφίες όμως που ο Ντμίτρ Κέσελ έβγαλε στην Ελλάδα του 1944 έμειναν περισσότερο ανέκδοτες και παρουσιάζονται σήμερα για πρώτη φορά.
Τον Αύγουστο του 1994, πενήντα χρόνια μετά, ένας άλλος μεγάλος φωτογράφος του αιώνα μας, ο Ντέηβιντ Ντάνκαν, έφερε στην Αθήνα αυτό το πολύτιμο υλικό και μας το έδωσε λέγοντας. «Ο Ντμίτρ Κέσελ ήταν εδώ, κάτω από την Ακρόπολη, στις 3 Δεκεμβρίου 1944. Τότε που πολλά όνειρα έγιναν εφιάλτες και ο ηρωισμός, η αγωνία και το πάθος μάτωσαν αυτή την όμορφη χώρα. Σας στέλνει, μέσα απ’ την καρδιά του, όσα θραύσματα μάζεψε από εκείνα τα γεγονότα. Τη δική του φωτογραφική μαρτυρία». Read the rest of this entry »
ATHENS, Dec 3 2013 (IPS) - A Nov. 19 paper by the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU diplomatic corps, considers the possibility of the European military getting involved in the south Mediterranean in an effort to curb the influx of irregular migrants and refugees into Europe.
The idea for a military operation initially appeared in an Italian proposal set forth on Oct. 24, suggesting extraordinary measures after the recent tragic events at Lampedusa in Sicily, where a boat that departed from Libya on Oct. 3 sank before reaching the island, killing 360 immigrants.
The incident sent shock waves throughout Europe and triggered a civil society dialog about European migration policy’s human cost. But many of Europe’s leaders have seen the tragedy as a reason for further militarisation of the region. Read the rest of this entry »
Call for papers
Workshop: Social history of health and healthcare in Greece
University of Crete, Department of History and Archaeology, Rethymno, Greece March 29, 2014 | Submissions deadline: 15 December 2013
The history of health and healthcare, a well-established branch of historical studies and medical humanities in many countries, has been recently expanding to include relevant developments in modern Greece. This one-day workshop will bring together researchers who are currently working on the social history of health and healthcare with a particular focus on 20th-century Greece, in order to achieve two sets of aims: on the one hand, to record the state of research, underlining its thematic, methodological and theoretical directions; on the other hand, to investigate the opportunities for research in Greece and other countries and the possibilities for future research collaborations. Read the rest of this entry »
By Pat O’Malley , originally published at Vice.com
Enri Canaj is an Albanian photojournalist who migrated with his family to Athens when he was 11 years old. He’s grown up in and around adversity for most of his life and over the last couple years has been documenting Athens’s transformation from a prosperous city to a melting pot of fascists, antifascists, protests, poverty, and sex trafficiking. Enri’s photographs, which focus on the town’s immigrant population, are a compassionate look into the lives of a population stuck in terrible conditions. He was kind enough to send me these sometimes heartrending photos from his series, titled Shadows in Greece, and I talked to him about his subjects, the troubles his city is going through, and whether there is hope for the future.
VICE: What’s the inspiration behind these photos?
Enri Canaj: Shadows in Greece is a personal project that I started two years ago. The series documents everyday life in Athens in the wake of the tremendous tourist influx during the Olympics in 2004 and subsequent outflow. These are places that were once the city’s busiest districts and now rot in abandonment. People creep through the streets like shadows, heads down, stiff shoulders, sealed lips. While the stock market falls, suicide is on a steady rise. Each photograph depicts a person with a story to tell.
What were you looking for when you started?
At the beginning this project, I was focused only on the smaller economic and social crises that were spreading on a personal level day after day. Things immediately changed, though. Big strikes, demonstrations, angry people protesting, and burning shops and buildings became the norm in Athens. At first, I was photographing without a clear purpose. It was unbelievable even for me what all of us were going through. Then suddenly my photographs took me down another path.
The center of Athens, as I first remember it, was full of life. During the period before the Olympics there was great development. But after they all left, the city started deteriorating and gradually recovered its previous character: the junkies, street merchants, immigrants, and prostitutes. But for me, those people were always there. I saw all of that when I first arrived to Athens as an 11-year-old child.
I began to focus on the immigrants, living in small rented rooms, many of them without much hope. The women prostitute themselves for five euros Hanging around them has become my daily routine. They are sensitive people with a lot of family problems, but they were the ones who were friendly to me when I first arrived in Athens, an immigrant myself. They came to Greece for a better future but found poverty and racism. Some of them suffered physical violence and some even lost their lives. These are the people my project talks about. The images I have selected are powerful to me on a personal level, because I knew the story behind them. When others look at those pictures I want them to feel respect for and dignity of the subjects like I do.
Could you tell me a bit about how you came to Greece as a kid?
I was born in Tirana, Albania, in 1980. My family migrated to Greece in 1991, when the borders opened. I didn’t understand why we were leaving; I thought Albania was beautiful. We sold most of what we owned. We took some old family photos in black and white and a bag with our clothes and got on a bus. All of this seemed confusing and scary to me, until the moment I saw a road full of shining lights, commercial posters, shops, and bars where I would taste my first Coca-Cola.
For the first two months, our home was a cheap hotel room in the center of Athens. We lived on the third floor, but my favorite was the second floor because of the young, beautiful Greek girls who stayed there and worked as prostitutes. They were my first friends. They let me into their rooms and I was fascinated with staring at their faces through the mirror, as they were putting on their makeup. Those girls helped me learn Greek. The images are still very strong in my memory.
Greece was hard on my family. We thought we’d return home quickly, but the years passed and we encountered so many problems, sacrifices, difficulties, and even racism. Now, after 22 years, Greece is the place where I encountered both good and evil. This is my home and my war.
You said these people are living in Athens “without much hope.” Is that what your images depict, or do you feel like there is room for optimism?
As everyone knows, the situation in Greece has become a very difficult one in the last six years. Things are getting progressively worse and people are in very difficult times. They feel lost and without much hope. They are suffering and in my images, I want to show this. I don’t want to hide it.
This is also why I think there is hope. Confronting and seeing the reality, even when it’s hard, makes us find hope. Even while some of us are more lucky, we have to be sensitive and compassionate to the pain of the others. I want to make people stop for a minute so they can feel and think.
More on Greece:
originally posted at Chronos Mag
Political scientist Giorgos Katsambekis talks with distinguished professor at UCL,
Philippe Marlière, who specializes in European and French politics
Giorgos Katsambekis: You have devoted a large part of your research and writing to the European Social Democracy. How would you assess today the role of Social Democratic parties in the ongoing crisis? Are they a part of the European problem or a part of the solution?
Philippe Marlière: Social Democracy in Europe is clearly part of the problem given that over the past thirty years or so it has progressively abandoned its traditional aims of redistributive justice. What is more, it has turned its back on the idea that Capitalism needs to be tamed or constrained. (Bearing in mind that it had for long given up on overthrowing Capitalism altogether) Post-War Social Democracy was about the belief that market societies could work for the benefit of the majority, and not of a minority. At the heart of the social democratic philosophy was the idea of compromise between Capital and Work. This is no longer on the social democratic agenda. Social Democracy has now almost totally capitulated – and in many countries the adverb ‘almost’ is redundant – to the forces of globalised Capitalism. From the 1980s onward, the project of constructing ‘Socialism in Europe’ was short-lived and turned out to be an illusion. European integration – sometimes piloted by a majority of social democratic member states – has indeed increased the process of economic competition and social dumping in Europe. This has been the new face of the European Union since the Single European Act of 1986. Since then, the trend has been dramatically amplified. This being said – the Greek situation apart – Social Democracy, as a partisan force, is only weakened, but it is not dead yet. No one knows at present whether its future in other European countries will be similar to PASOK’s or whether it will benefit from the discredit of conservatives to get back to power. After all, France is currently run by a social democratic government and in a year time, Britain and Portugal might also have new social democratic governments. The death of Social Democracy has been announced so many times since the Bolshevik revolution! But so far, it has proved a very adaptable and resilient political force.
G. Katsambekis: Coming now to the main ‘laboratory’ of the European crisis, Greece, how would you comment on the recent call by 58 Greek centre-left and liberal-centrist intellectuals to create a new centre-left formation –a ‘third pole’– in order to oppose the new two-partyism of New Democracy and SYRIZA? Their aspiration, as noted in their declaration, is to represent those that don’t feel represented by the Greek ‘Right nor by the neo-communist national-populist Left’. Read the rest of this entry »
originally posted at Chronos Mag
The hero of the Greek Revolution in Dionyssis Savopoulos’ music.
In late 1969 Dionyssis Savopoulos released his second album with the title A Fool’s Garden (ΤοΠεριβόλιτουΤρελού). Savopoulos had already emerged as a composer since 1966, when the release of his first album (The Van) established him as one of the foremost representatives of his generation in Greece. Savopoulos was a prominent member of the group that created the New Wave (Νέο Κύμα) scene in Greece, however in contrast to other representatives of this scene, he appeared to follow a path we could say more personal. His influences seemed to be closer to the trail which had been blazed in Europe and the United States by lonely troubadours, who combined political protest with a new style of interpretation. As a member of the democratic (1-1-4) generation Savopoulos perceived the messages of his times, so The Van is a kaleidoscope of its era, with the songs connected with the big political and social problems of the era, such as the Vietnam War or the defense of democracy.
From 1966 and the Van, to 1969 and the release of A Fool’s Garden, many things had changed in Greece, but also in what we might call “youthful music”. The most important of course, was the overthrow of democracy in the April of 1967. The dictatorship of the colonels had dissolved the youth organizations and political expression was a significant risk to any citizen and to a composer who wanted to convey clear messages through his work. Apart from the political situation however, in 1969 many things had changed in what we might call “songs of the youth” or “youth culture” in general. Savopoulos of 1966 is trying to be a Greek “Bob Dylan”, but Savopoulos of 1969 is influenced by the hippie culture, which is already evident from the album cover, a true work of pop art created by his friend from Thessaloniki, Stergios Delialis. Read the rest of this entry »
originally posted at Chronos Mag http://www.chronosmag.eu
Aspects of their Discourse between Albanian and Greek
National Narratives (late 19th – early 20th centuries)
Elias G. Skoulidas
Bearing in mind the methodological proposal of Miroslav Hroch related to the role of the intellectuals in the process of the national movements and the extraordinary work of Nathalie Clayer about the Albanian national movement, our paper is an attempt to detect aspects of the discourse of Albanian Greek-Orthodox intellectuals. It should be mentioned that according to Hroch’s proposal the goals of the national movements are: a. the growth of a national culture based on a language which will be used in administration, education and economic life. b. the gain of political rights, in a first phase autonomy and finally independence. c. a new social structure with new elites, bureaucracy and so on. Mainly, three phases can be described: phase A, the «intellectuals», who invent the idea of the nation, through their researches, phase B, the «patriots», activists who use the patriotic propaganda to gain more believers and finally phase C, characterized by the massive support of the movement by the people and later on the division in wings, such as conservatives, radicals etc. It is questionable whether the intellectuals can cause revolutions but as Grandits claims their role can be regarded in a bigger context.
To describe better the context, Albanian Orthodoxes consist one of the major religion groups in Albanian society, which includes Albanians, Greeks, Aromanians, Slav-speaking and Roma communities. After the abolition of the Patriarchate of Peć and the Archbishopric of Ohrid in the late 18th century, all the Albanian Orthodoxes became members of the rum-millet. The rise of different national movements and the establishment of nation-states in the Balkans influenced these Orthodox communities, who had to rethink themselves with terms of national consciousness, social-economic status and religious identities. During the period of tanzimat, and especially in the 1860s, these communities had to deal mainly with religious and educational issues. For the newly established Greek state and during the phase of its expansion, these communities were mostly regarded as the «other» Greek, while the influence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the educational network of the Greek schools affected their identities. More over it should be noted that the Greek language was alingua franca for these communities and a necessity to their economical life in the small cities and the local merchants. Read the rest of this entry »