Society for the Study of Human Sciences and Topika 2014 Conference

Topika 2014 Conference Theme : Desire http://www.nissos.gr/en/

topika

Εταιρεια Μελετης των Επιστημων του Ανθρωπου

τοπικά ιστ΄

Εργαστήριο Πύργου Τήνου

28 – 30 Αυγούστου 2014

Πνευματικό Εκπολιτιστικό Κέντρο

Κοινότητας Πανόρμου «Γιαννούλης Χαλεπάς»

Υπό την αιγίδα του Πνευματικού Εκπολιτιστικού Κέντρου

Κοινότητας Πανόρμου – Δήμου Τήνου

Επιθυμία

Προγραμμα

Πέμπτη 28 Αυγουστου

14.00-17.30

Γιώργος Σαγκριώτης

Η αρχή και το τέλος της επιθυμίας: από τον Χομπς στον Φρόυντ

Γεράσιμος Στεφανάτος

Eπιθυμία: περιπέτειες μιας έννοιας 

Δήμητρα Σγουρούδη

Η έννοια της επιθυμίας

Κωνσταντίνος Τσαλακός

Humor, Tumultus, Lex: η ιδιαιτερότητα της μακιαβελιανής επιθυμίας

Γεράσιμος Κουζέλης

Επιθυμώντας το ανεπιθύμητο 

18.00-21.20

Αλίκη Κοσυφολόγου

Η επιθυμία της ορατότητας ως λόγος χειραφέτησης: Παραδείγματα από τα δέκα χρόνια διοργάνωσης του Athens Pride

Μαρίνα Μαροπούλου

Διαλέγοντας να αγαπάς με τα μάτια ενός άλλου: η κατά Ρενέ Ζιράρ θεωρία της μιμητικής επιθυμίας στο Όνειρο Καλοκαιρινής Νύχτας του Σαίξπηρ

Σωζήτα Γκουντούνα

Ο Θάνατος ως Επιθυμία: Οι Επτά Θάνατοι της Μαρίνα Αμπράμοβιτς

Θανάσης Μουτσόπουλος

Η επιθυμία είναι σε αναμονή: Ιστορίες της Κοιμωμένης μέσα από ψηφιακά έργα της Πελαγίας Κυριαζή

Νικόλας Τσαφταρίδης

Θα ήθελα να παίζω πιάνο

Read the rest of this entry »


Bøger i Grækenland: I Athen drikker bevægelsen Martini

KULTUR 10. AUG. 2014 KL. 17.19
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Forfatterne samler sig under oliventræet. Måske en ny kritisk kultur er på menukortet.

 

Forladt. Kvinden på billedet er en af de kunstnere, der arbejder på et besat teater.
FORLADT. Kvinden på billedet er en af de kunstnere, der arbejder på et besat teater.
DEL GEM TIL LISTE
Matthias Dressler-Bredsdorff MATTHIAS DRESSLER-BREDSDORFF
SERIE
Stemmer fra europa
Mange steder i Europa er hverdagen præget af social opløsning og politisk krise. Der mangler jobs, men mangler der også visioner?

Matthias Dressler-Bredsdorff taler med unge forfattere, dramatikere, kunstnere og studerende på en interrailrejse, der tager ham til kritiske stemmer i Spanien, Frankrig, Østrig, Rumænien og Grækenland.

NY_Mathias_867166y
Turen er led i Politikens Talks, debatinitiativet, avisen søsatte tidligere på året. I dag slutter turen. I Grækenland.
Europa stopper ved Ural, siger man. Det har det gjort længe, og nu gør det, det igen.

Men ikke i de sidste par år. Krisens år. Der er Europa endt i Kulata, en støvet grænseflække i det allersydligste Bulgarien. På nippet til Grækenland, hvor Europa startede for et par tusinde år siden, er toget stoppet, holder inde, venter, og kører så tilbage mod Sofia.

Grækenland, udskrevet af unionens åresystem; Grækenland, en fod hugget af kontinents transportkrop; Grækenland, ah, men man kan jo altid flyve?

Det var først i maj, at grænsebommene igen løftede sig og den internationale togtrafik igen blev genoptaget. Nu stopper Europa igen i Ural.

Med Sozita Gouduna, stifter af Greek Left Review og flammehåret dronning af den atheniensiske kulturscene, går jeg over Syntagma-pladsen i Athens midte. En måneds togrejse rundt i Europas afkroge for at finde nye stemmer har nået sit sidste stop.

LÆS OGSÅBøger på interrail: I Frankrig er avantgarden flyttet på landet

Nye stemmer: Det er sådan nogen Sozita har taget det på sig selv at finde til mig, forfattere, der kan fortælle hele den store histore om krise og gendannelse, men det er ikke til at støve nogen op.

»De er alle sammen ude på øerne,« siger hun fortvivlet. Ude og sole sig på Kos og drikke vin til 1 euro glasset, og skrive en synopsis til deres næste roman. Så ringer telefonen: »Ah, Kostapopolous! Ja, ja vi kommer til Papagalino. Nej, Hominedes kunne ikke komme, han skriver efter 8, sagde han. Men Kios er der? Godt, vi kommer, ciao ciao«.

»Du skal møde Kostapopolous,« siger Sozita og smiler, »Han er dygtig. Han har en bevægelse«.

Lord Byron i Athen
Et par dage forinden mødet med Sozita Gouduna, går jeg rundt i Exarcheias-kvarterets plakat-tilplastrede gader. Jeg er ikke alene. Her er tyskere, amerikanere, englændere.

De leder, ligesom jeg. I små passager, på fællesmøder på torvene, i gadegallerier og på teaterscernerne, der er poppet op i de besatte huse rundt omkring i bydelen. De leder efter alternativer, modstand, og kunst de kan købe. Grækenland: Katastrofeturisme og strandferie i en pakke.

Athen har altid været en populær destination for europæiske intellektuelle. I starten af det 19. århundrede var det philhellenerne, der drog herned og ledte efter nøglen til deres egen kultur, mens de skrev rytmiske digte om oldtiden og om frihed fra undertrykkelse.

Enkelte, såsom Lord Byron, lagde endda pennen til side, tog rustning på og drog sværdet frem, for at deltage aktivt i uafhængighedskampen fra det ottomanske rige.

GADEN. Gadekunst i Exarcheia.

Sådan sker det også i dag, omend imperiet har skiftet hovedstad fra Konstantinopel til Bruxelles, og de tilrejsende har skiftet sværd ud med kameraer og pen ud med performance art.

De tager til Athen for at forsøge at forstå deres egen tid ved at forsøge at forstå Grækenland. De kommer for at undersøge et spørgsmål, som jeg også har undersøgt de sidste par uger: Hvordan en kultur reagerer, når den rammes af en krise.

Det sidste har Georgos Papadopoulos et svar på. Han er kunstner, ph.d. i økonomi, og har undersøgt, hvordan den græske kultur har forandret sig siden krisen. Over en Skype-forbindelse forklarer han, at det ikke bare var økonomien, der gik under i 2008, men et helt værdisystem.

»Det vigtigste der skete var, at fra det ene øjeblik til det andet kollapsede mainstreamkulturen. Der var ikke længere var en økonomisk infrastruktur til at understøtte den. Popmusik og underholdning, hele industrien gik i knæ fra den ene dag til den anden. På den ene side fordi folk simpelthen ikke havde råd til at købe produkterne mere, på den anden side, fordi man associerede den type kultur med den mentalitet der ledte til krisen: Køb det her, så bliver du succesfuld. Det var jo den hedonisme, der ledte Grækenland ud i det her morads«.

Papadopoulos siger, at der i stedet er vokset noget nyt op på den plads der før blev indtaget af mainstreamkultur.

»Grækerne har altid været et meget kulturelt folkefærd. Så da den officielle forbrugerkultur brød sammen, så var det ikke sådan at folk holdt op med at efterspørge kultur, den var bare ikke til rådighed i samme omfang. Det åbnede et rum for nyskabelse, kulturen er blevet community-baseret. Teatre og selvstyrede huse er åbnet op i de forladte bygninger, og det er ikke bare unge, der bruger dem, men hele nabolaget. Vi er gået fra en iagttagerkultur til en deltagerkultur«.

LÆS OGSÅBøger i Madrid: »Krisen har været skidt for meget, men god for kunsten«

Og sådan spejler Grækenland sig i Spanien, for præcist det udsagn hørte jeg også fra en måned siden i Madrid.

I følge Papadopoulos er det ikke bare stederne, hvor kulturen finder sted, der har ændret sig, men også indholdet:

»Særligt de visuelle kunstarter er blevet mere eksperimenterende, og kritiske ikke mindst. Nu er det næsten blevet kanon, at hvis du er kunster, så skal du lave et eller andet der er kritisk overfor den økonomiske og politiske situation«.

Udlændingene, der kommer til Athen for at finde kritisk kunst har Papadopoulos også stødt ind i.

»Der er meget funding der kommer udefra. Fra nord-Europa. Så kommer Goethe-instituttet, universiteterne og kunstkøberne herned, og de vil alle sammen have autentisk, græsk kritisk kunst. Det reagerer kunsterne selvfølgelig på, fordi det er der, pengene er. Så på den måde er kunsten, igen, blevet underordnet markedet.«

Weird wave før krisen
En af dem, der om nogen har levet op til forventningen om autentisk, græsk, kritisk kunst er producenten og filminstruktøren Athina Tsingari. Ikke at hun nødvendigvis vil være ved det.

»Jeg har et problem med den kulturelle exploitation af krisen,« siger hun gennem mørke briller, fra en tagterasse med kig til Parthenon. De film hun har været med til at lave, er ellers blevet læst som nogle af krisens mest interessante produkter:

‘Dogtooth’, ‘Attenberg’, ‘Alperne’. Græsk weird-wave kalder nogen det. Kroppe, der slår knuder på sig selv. Ord, der har mistet deres referencepunkt til virkeligheden. De er børn selv om de er voksne, karaktererne i Tsingaris film. Alting skal de lære på ny.

Hvordan man spiser, hvordan man taler og hvordan man har sex. Intet falder naturligt, som om der har indtruffet en katastrofe, der har bragt verden på vildspor. Er det ikke også situationen for Grækenland, at erfaring og vane pludselig ikke er noget værd, at gårsdagens sprog ikke giver mening?

LÆS OGSÅPå litterær interrail: I Østrig lever man stadig i en komatøs boble

»Hmm,« Tsingari værger sig lidt. »Vi begyndte jo faktisk at lave de her film før krisen var officiel, før den var økonomisk i hvert fald, men sådan noget sker selvfølgeligt ikke fra den ene dag til den anden. Der har været noget, der ulmede under overfladen i lang tid. Men jo, det er da film, der, bl.a. handler om modstand, om at finde et sprog, hvor man kan være sig selv – selv om det betyder man skal kravle rundt på jorden som et dyr, som Marina gør det i ‘Attenberg’«.

Vil man forstå den græske krise og hendes film, forklarer hun, gør man klogt i at se på historien.

MINIUDGAVE. Lille parthenon på øen Ægina.
»Man glemmer at Grækenland er en meget ung selvstændig nationalstat, der stadig kæmper med sin identitet. Vi var 400 år under det ottomanske rige, derefter havde vi en tysk konge, så kom fascismen og militærdiktaturet. Der har altid været den her splittelse i Grækenland. Vi er imellem identiteter. Også i dag. Vi befinder os i en eksistentiel krise, som vi i opgangsårene forsøgte at fylde med hurtig rigdom.«

Skal grækerne rykke ved den eksistentielle krise, argumenterer hun, skal de kigge indad.

»Ændrer vi familien ændrer vi staten. Der skal vi starte. Paternalismen i de græske familier er parallel til den måde samfundet fungerer på. Jeg håber det vil ændre sig. Lige nu er Grækenland et ødelagt land. Det eneste vi kan sælge er et manufaktureret løfte om midlertidig lykke under solen.« Tsingari peger op på Parthenon, der funkler i middagssolen. »Vi skal passe på vi ikke bliver et fossil, ligesom det der deroppe«.

Magikere
Igennem Athens trafikerede nat dirigerer Sozita Gouduna bilen fra bagsædet: »Vi skal forbi hotel Odeon, hvor modellerne bor, så kommer vi til forfatterrestauranten«. Hun kigger på mig. »Nu skal jeg vise dig dem!«

Inde under oliventræerne sidder de. Den samlede græske forfatterstand, minus de ferierende. Flere kunstnere samlet på et sted, end jeg har set på en hel måned i Spanien, Frankrig, Østrig og Rumænien. Et regulært symposium.

Sozita introducerer: »Her er Thomas Kiaos, han er en genial digter, men meget mut, med mindre du tiltaler ham på tysk. Og der er Griffin en filminstruktør, der kom hertil fra Berlin for en uge, og indtil videre er blevet i et halvt år. Han har altid mørke briller på, selv om natten, men det skal du ikke tage dig af«.

LÆS OGSÅBøger i Rumænien: »Vi er færdige med at være passivt desillusionerede«

Sozita holder inde et øjeblik, og peger så på en høj mand i et hvidt linned-jakkesæt, der sidder og vinker umotiveret til forbipasserende. »Ah, og det er Kostapopolus, det er ham, der har en bevægelse«. Endelig, efter en måneds rejse på min allersidste dag, der finder jeg den. Bevægelsen.

Jeg har set den før i forskellige former. Den var der også i Madrid. En bevægelse, der ville skabe »radikalt demokrati«. Et folkestyre, hvor det at vælge ikke bare er en forteelse hvert fjerde år, men noget hverdagsligt, folk udformer sammen i kvarterernes lokale forsamlinger.

Hvor det at være politiker ikke er noget, nogen er, men noget alle er. Jeg fandt også en litteratur, der forsøgte at afspejle dette.

Den var der i Frankrig, har nok altid været der i Frankrig, bevægelsen i dens mest praktiske forstand. En bølge, der har taget utopister og digtere ud til landet for at virkeliggøre en syntese mellem kunst og liv.

Også i Rumænien var den der. Bølgen i skikkelse af et civilsamfund, der endelig er ved at rejse sig, og en generation, der var ved at frigøre sig fra fortidens spøgelser.

Over den sidste måned har jeg stødt ind i dem gang på gang. Bevægelserne. De kommer vel, hvis man kigger efter dem. Alligevel har jeg på en måneds rejse aldrig stødt ind i dem i så kondenseret form, som her i Grækenland.

Overfor mig sidder bevægelsen. Den drikker Martini. Jeg er ved at gå til at glæde.

»Og din bevægelse,« spørger jeg Kostapopolous pumpende med energi, »har den noget at gøre med krisen?«.

Kostapopolous kigger på mig med stor afsky. »Nej, er du sindssyg. Det er en bevægelse for at holde Athens restauranter sommeråbent. Os der bliver tilbage skal ikke være slaver af at alle er taget til øerne«.

»Ser du«, smiler han og lader hånden dansen, som i et trylletrick: »Vi forfattere, må du forstå, vi er ikke politikere. Vi er magikere«.


Economic crisis and challenges for the Greek healthcare system: the emergent role of nursing management

 

VENETIA NOTARA M S c , RNT 1, SOTIRIOS A. KOUPIDIS MD, MS c , PhDs 2, ELISSAVET VAGA MSc 1 and ILIAS A. GRAMMATIKOPOULOS MD, MPH, PhDc 3,4 1Lecturer, Clinical Nursing Unit-Health Visiting Department, Technological Educational Institute of Athens (T.E.I. – Athens), Athens, 2Senior Lecturer in Public Health and PhD student, Athens University Medical School, Athens and 3SHO Psychiatrist, 2nd University Psychiatric Clinic, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki and 4Research Assistant, Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, University of Crete, Crete, Greece

Introduction

Greek healthcare system

The Greek health care system is characterized by the coexistence of the National Health Service (called ESY), a compulsory social insurance and a voluntary private health insurance system. The ESY provides universal coverage to the population and operates on the principles of equity, equal access to health services for all and social cohesion. In addition, 97% of the population is covered by approximately 35 different social insurance funds (compulsory social insurance), whereas 8% of the population maintains complementary voluntary health insurance coverage bought on the private insurance market (WHO Regional Office for Europe 2006).

Correspondence Venetia Notara Clinical Nursing Unit-Health Visiting Department Technological Educational Institute of Athens (T.E.I. – Athens) Thivon Av. 274 Athens Greece E-mail: venotara@yahoo.gr NOTARA V . , KOUPIDIS S.A. , VAGA E. & GRAMMATIKOPOULOS I .A. (2010) Journal of Nursing Management 18, 501–504

Economic crisis and challenges for the Greek healthcare system: the emergent role of nursing management Background Despite several reform efforts, the Greek health care system still faces problems related to misdistribution of trained health staff and finance between geographical areas. Aim The objectives of the present study were to describe the current situation of the delivery of the healthcare service in Greece, to explore the basic implications of the economic crisis from a nursing management perspective and to examine future practices opening a debate in policy developments.

Key issue The principal finding of this study was the serious shortage of trained nurses, the imbalances in nursing personnel, an excess of doctors and the complete absence of a Primary Healthcare System in civil areas provided by general doctors.

Conclusion It is important that health care policy makers become aware and seriously consider rearranging the Health Care System to become more effective and efficient for the population (client). Special attention should be paid to strengthening areas such as primary health care, public health and health promotion in the direction of minimizing the demand of hospital services. Implications for nursing management Any implementation of major health care reforms should consider seriously the role of the nursing management which formulates the substantial link between the health services and the patient. Keywords: Greece, health care, nursing management Read the rest of this entry »


First reliable data suggest a possible increase in suicides in Greece

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AUSTERITY IN EUROPE

 

Konstantinos N Fountoulakis assistant professor of psychiatry1, Sotirios A Koupidis medical doctor2,

Ilias A Grammatikopoulos psychiatrist 3, Pavlos N Theodorakis adjunct professor, Open University

of Cyprus, and chairman, advisory board 4

1Third Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 55535 Thessaloniki, Greece; 2Social Cooperative “New

Horizons”, Corfu Mental Health Sector, Corfu, Greece; 3Veria, Greece; 4Social Cooperative, 8th Athens Mental Health Sector, Greece

Arie recently reported that suicide and murder rates rose by 22.7% between 2007 and 2009 in Greece as a consequence of austerity.1 Previously, the Greek Ministry of Health announced that the annual suicide rate might have increased by 40% and other authors reported a 17% increase in suicide rates during 2008-09.2 3 However, data from the Greek Statistics Authority do not suggest any increase at least until 2010.

Suicide rates recently reported for 2011 by the Greek Statistics Authority (EL.STAT, http://www.statistics.gr) suggest a significant increase and provide the first reliable report of an increase in suicide rates in Greece.

For the years 2000-10 the number of completed suicides ranged from 323 (in 2002) to 402 (in 2006), but in 2011 the total number was 477 (393 men; 84 women)—an increase of 26.52% compared with 2010 (377). The figure shows the number of suicides by year and age group. The increase was seen in men aged 45-64 years. The data for ages 35-44 years fluctuate greatly throughout the decade and no clear trend is present.

However, these data should be interpreted with caution. Increased recognition of suicide cannot be ruled out. In recent years the media have overemphasised the possible association between periods of economic crisis and suicidality, and such publicity is harmful.4 Thus, it is unclear how much this increase constitutes a self fulfilling prophecy. Further processing and analysis of the complete data set on all causes of death during the past few years is necessary before definite conclusions can be drawn.

Competing interests: None declared.

Full response at: http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f2740/rr/652500.

1 Arie S. Health effects of Greece’s austerity measures are “worse than imagined,” report

researchers. BMJ 2013;346:f2740. (26 April.)

2 Kentikelenis A, Karanikolos M, Papanicolas I, Basu S, McKee M, Stuckler D. Health effects

of financial crisis: omens of a Greek tragedy. Lancet 2011;378:1457-8.

3 Stuckler D, Basu S, Suhrcke M, Coutts A, McKee M. Effects of the 2008 recession on

health: a first look at European data. Lancet 2011;378:124-5.

4 Etzersdorfer E, Sonneck G, Nagel-Kuess S. Newspaper reports and suicide. N Engl J

Med 1992;327:502-3.

Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4900

© BMJ Publishing Group Ltd 2013

kfount@med.auth.gr

For personal use only: See rights and reprints http://www.bmj.com/permissions Subscribe: http://www.bmj.com/subscribe

BMJ 2013;347:f4900 doi: 10.1136/bmj.f4900 (Published 6 August 2013) Page 1 of 2


Human rights and the paradoxes of liberalism

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Human rights are a hybrid of liberal law, morality and politics. Their ideological power lies in their ambiguity, not in their adherence to liberal values of individual freedom.

(originally published in OpenDemocracy)

Costas Douzinas

Human rights are the last universal ideology after the proclaimed ‘end’ of ideology and history. They unite the North and the South, the Church and the State, first world liberals and third world revolutionaries. Human rights are used as a symbol for liberalism, capitalism or individualism by some and for development, social justice or peace by others. In the South, rights are seen as primarily collective rather than individual, social and economic rather than civil, associated with equality rather than liberty.

Does the victory and ubiquity of rights indicate that they transcend conflicts of interests and the clash of ideas? Have rights become a common horizon uniting Cardiff and Kabul, London and Lahore? It is a comforting idea, daily denied in news bulletins. If there is something perpetual about our world, it is not Kant’s peace but the increasing wealth gap between North and South, between rich the poor and the mushrooming and strictly policed security walls dividing the wealthy from the ‘underclass’ of immigrants, refugees and the ‘undeserving poor’.

The protests and uprisings that broke out recently all over the world demanded social justice and equality not human rights (‘We are the 99%’, ‘stop austerity and cuts’). The absence of appeals to human rights gives us the opportunity to revisit their theoretical and political premises. ‘Human rights’ is a combined term. Legal rights have been the building block of western law since early modernity modelled on the right to property, the first and still most significant right. As human, rights introduce a type of morality in the way public and now private powers should treat people. The legitimacy of modern law was based on its claim to be ideologically neutral, beyond morality, ideology and politics. The proliferation of human rights marks the realisation that state law could be bent to the most atrocious policies. Human rights are therefore a hybrid category of liberal law and morality. But as morality is not one and the law is not a simple exercise in reasoning, moral conflict enters the legal archive and legal strictures regiment moral responsibility. As a result a number of paradoxes enter the heart of society by bringing together law and morality. Let me offer five theses developing some of the paradoxes.

Thesis 1. Human rights classify people on a spectrum between the fully human, the lesser human and the inhuman.

Liberals claim that human rights are given to people on account of their “humanity” instead of membership of narrower categories such as state, nation or class. If that were the case, refugees, undocumented immigrants, the Guatanamo Bay prisoners who have no state or law to protect them should be prime beneficiaries of the consolations of humanity. They have very few. ‘Bare’ humanity offers no protection and whoever claims to represent it lies. Humanity has no fixed or universally acceptable meaning and cannot act as the source of moral or legal rules. Historically, the barbarians for the Greeks and Romans, the heathen for the Christians, the ‘uncivilized’ for the imperialists, the ‘irrational’ racial and sexual minorities for the privileged, the ‘illegal immigrants’ for the citizens or the economically redundant for the affluent have been divisions of ‘humanity’. Human rights help construct who and how one becomes human.

Thesis 2. Power and morality, sovereignty and rights are not fatal enemies as is often argued. Instead a historically specific amalgam of sovereignty and morality forms the structuring order of each epoch and society.

Natural rights, the early modern predecessor of human rights, were a necessary companion of the nation-state and nationalism. The French Declaration of the Rights of Man stated that ‘all men are born free and equal’ but gave its ‘universal’ rights only to French white, male and propertied citizens. The post-WWII order combined ‘non intervention’ in the domestic affairs of states, that is the strongest possible support of national sovereignty, with the claim of universal human rights. As President Reagan said of the Universal Declaration and its social and economic rights, it is akin to children’s ‘letter to Santa’. Finally, the post-1989 ‘new world order’ has pierced the national sovereignty of ‘rogue’ states nominally to protect citizens from their evil governments. But the aftermath of the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions shows that the spread of democracy and human rights was a flimsy smokescreen. In the past, the ‘civilizing mission’ included missionaries and gunboats today human rights, missiles and drones. The combination of the huge structural inequalities and state repression of neoliberal globalization with a legal ideology promising dignity and equality creates a systemic instability leading the ‘new world order’ to its demise.

Thesis 3. In advanced Western societies, human rights de-politicise politics.

I do not refer here to traditional civil liberties and the limited protections the underprivileged, the oppressed and the poor still claim and rarely get. This is the core case of civil liberties. The problem lies elsewhere: human rights have lost their significance and edge by becoming the vernacular expression of every kind of individual aspiration and desire (every ‘I want X’ can potentially become ‘I have a right to X)’ and a dominant language of public policy. The right wing leads the attack by targeting ‘illegal immigrants’, prisoners, and ‘bogus refugees’ while promoting the rights of property owners, bankers and crime victims. For the defenders of free market individualism, rights are playthings of the middle class. As Labour and the Tories move to the ideological centre, conflict was declared finished. The emphasis on the rights of property owners and consumers pursues the same agenda. It gives the impression that rich bankers and the unemployed or the privacy of the middle class and the basic dignity of the unemployed belong to the same register.

Antagonism is the reality of politics and social justice its aim. Rights as individual entitlements cannot tackle inequality nor are they synonymous with justice. Indeed liberal jurisprudence considers social and economic rights secondary because they are not ‘justiciable’, that is their nature makes them somehow inappropriate for litigation. When individual rights become the site and stake of politics, they join the ‘choice’ agenda and a manifestation of neo-liberalism.

Thesis 4. The distance between ‘having’ a right and ‘enjoying’ it is huge.

Take the ‘right to work’ or the claim that we are ‘all born equal’ both mainstays of international treaties. Having a ‘right’ to work means nothing for the millions of unemployed. Formal rights are silent as regards the preconditions for their exercise. The ‘right’ to work does not refer to an existing entitlement but to a political claim. In this sense, the politics of rights is always in potential conflict with their legal status. Human rights statements are prescriptions: people are not free and equal but they ought to become so. Only political struggle not the law can achieve this. Equality is a call for action not a description of a state of affairs. Again take the nominally non-controversial ‘right to life’. Its statement does not answer questions about abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia or whether the necessary prerequisites for survival such as food, shelter or health care should be protected. In most cases, a human rights claim is the beginning rather than the end of a dispute about its meaning or its standing vis-à-vis conflicting rights.

When God, the author of natural law died, international law replaced him as the source of the latest higher source of morality. The ideological power of human rights lies precisely in their rhetorical and political ambiguity, the oscillation between ideal and real, between humanity and national citizenship, between law’s order and the desire for a better world. When human rights are part of the law, the law includes a principle of self-transcendence, which pushes against the law’s settled state. A legal system with human rights is paradoxically not equal to itself, since human rights can call the whole of law to account. In this sense, rights become not the last ideology but the latest expression of the human urge to resist domination and oppression and the intolerance of public opinion. They are part of a long and honourable tradition, which started with Antigone’s defiance of unjust law and surfaces in the struggles of the despised, enslaved or exploited. In this sense, rights have a double meaning and life. They are (legal) claims to be admitted to the privileges of the law and (political) demands to have the whole of the law improved or changed.

Thesis 5: The end of human rights is to resist public and private domination and oppression. They lose that end when they become the political ideology or idolatry of neo-liberal capitalism or the contemporary version of the civilizing mission.

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ΧΡΟΝΟΣ 16 (08.2014)


GREECE: FROM JUNTA TO CRISIS

Cultural genealogies and comparative perspectives
Hellenic Centre (16-18 Paddington Street, Marylebone, London W1U 5AS)
Saturday, 20 September 2014

The event, organized jointly by the Universities of Birmingham and Oxford with the support of the Hellenic Centre, aims to mark the 40th anniversary since the fall of junta in Greece and to examine how the crisis has led Greeks to rethink political attitudes, cultural discourses and conceptions of identity established since 1974.

PROGRAMME

11.00-12.30 SESSION 1: COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES
Chair and Response: Professor Jane Cowan (Sussex University)

Professor Mark Mazower (Columbia University)
The Legacy of the Junta in Comparative Perspective
Dr Elisabeth Kirtsoglou (University of Durham)
Redde Caesari: Allies, tributaries and political conundrums from a certain anthropological perspective.

12.30-13.30 LUNCH BREAK

13.30-15.00 SESSION 2: CULTURAL DUALISMS
Chair and Response: Professor Kevin Featherstone (LSE)

Professor Yannis Stavrakakis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/ Queen Mary, University of London)
Cultural Dualism Revisited: Populism, Crisis and National Exceptionalism in Greece and the US
Professor Dimitris Tziovas (University of Birmingham)
From junta to crisis: Greek culture in perspective

15.00-15.30 TEA & COFFEE

15.30-17.00 SESSION 3: NARRATIVES OF CRISIS AND PUBLIC SPHERE
Chair and Response: Dr Eleftheria Ioannidou (University of Birmingham)

Professor Dimitris Papanikolaou (Oxford University)
Between the family and the nation: The post-Metapolitefsi Greek public sphere.
Professor Antonis Liakos (Athens University)
Narratives of the Greek crisis

17.00-18.00 Roundtable discussion on the crisis with the participation of young scholars (provisional)

Further information on 0121-4145769 or at d.p.tziovas@bham.ac.uk

Free entry: booking essential on 020 7563 9835 or at press@helleniccentre.org


Jannis Kounellis : I saw the sanctity of everyday objects

jannis-kounellis-2

originally published at karouzo.com

 

By Yorgos Karouzakis
You don’t need a reason to write about the internationally acclaimed Greek artist Jannis Kounellis.
Below is a brief glance at his life and artistic career from an interview I did in 2004 with the artist himself and with some of his closest friends. The interview was first published in Greek in Cover Story and Lifo magazines.
Jannis kounellis

1936, Piraeus.
The buzz of travelers melds with the scent of coffee, oil and petrol on the waterfront. The hum of a diesel engine becomes one with the lapping of the waves on the briny body of a ship and the yellow aroma of lemons that the islanders bring into port. It was in such humble surroundings, near Kastella, that Jannis Kounellis was born – the birthplace he left behind in his 20s to move to Rome, newly married and in love with his first partner Effie, to the city in which he still lives today, the centre where he chose to begin his long journey through art.
A pioneer of arte povera, an artistic movement that emerged strongly in Italy in the turbulent 1960s, Kounellis currently ranks among the greatest artists of Europe and his work has been shown in major galleries and in some of the world’s greatest museums.
Ithaca is my mother.
Jannis Kounellis was born the year that dictator Ioannis Metaxas rose to power in Greece. He was just 10 years old at the end of the Second World War and it was not long before he felt the weight of the Greek Civil War: “the most brutal kind of war that anyone can experience,” he has said. “Civil war is the end of the concept of civilization,” Kounellis says. He spent his childhood and his adolescence in the shadow of this war, with an unformed sense of the destruction going on around him: a legacy of his birthplace that influenced the way he viewed the world and later shaped his art.

Jannis-kounellis
There is one reminder of tenderness from that period: two children holding hands pose for the camera in Piraeus at the late 30s. Only the eyes of the two boys betray the adults they would grow into: Jannis Kounellis and his childhood friend Yannis Sakellarakis, an acclaimed archaeologist, who died in 2010. “The photo was taken by my mother with a Leica from that period,” the archaeologist said in 2004.
A significant memory of their relationship comes from their teen years, when Kounellis’ family was forced by the war to make a sudden move from Kastella to Korydallos. “Those were dangerous days. My other grandfather lived near the Church of Profitis Ilias in Kastella, in the heart of the Civil War; no one could live there…,” Kounellis reminisced. Read the rest of this entry »


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