Go Greek for a Week. Classical Ideals as Propaganda.

At last, I managed to watch the Channel 4 program “Go Greek for a Week”. I have followed the discussions about its truthfulness, accuracy, attempts to discriminate against another nation e.t.c. with great interest. In this post, though, I do not intend to focus on the half truths, distortions and derogatory comments. Instead, I would like to bring your attention to the fine classical details that the producers included in the program. Have you noticed the repeated appearances of the Acropolis an... »

Greek crisis and Classical Studies

How does the Greek crisis affect Classics in the UK? Classical Studies in the UK are directly affected by the Greek crisis, not least because our research is about this part of the world. We regularly travel to Greece, we use its research facilities, we accept grants from its Foundations, we collaborate with Greek colleagues. On the whole, the fate of this country affects the fate of the discipline abroad. First of all, we should take into consideration the finances of the Greek students in the ... »

My views on Libraries

In September I participated in an International conference that took place in Rumania. There, I have been interviewed about my views on the role of libraries. The interview is short but sweet. It is meant to shock people into action and turn them towards the right direction. You can watch it here. http://www.kartiertv.ro/site/index.php?id=interviu-cu-dna-constantina-katsari Interview »

Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey

On Tuesday night I glued myself on tv and watched with great interest Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey. I have to admit that I have rarely seen on British TV (not least on ITV) a better travelling guide than this program. The producers obviously thought long and hard about the Greek regions they were going to include and how they were going to present them to the wider public. It may not have been intellectually stimulated but it included details that I have not heard of before. For example, ... »

New School Year

The new School year has already started. Yesterday school kids gathered in school yards, met with school teachers and expected to receive their school books. Their expectations met with disappointment, though. The Greek state did not seem able to provide said books to the children. I hope that the situation will be different for the universities, since the students can still use library materials. Welcome to the land of the educated! pasted-image.jpg »

The end of democracy in modern Athens

Yesterday I witnessed the Greek protests in Constitution (Syntagma) square in the center of Athens. The square took its name from the chants of protesters during the uprising of the 3rd September 1843. Back then, the Greek people forced their Bavarian king, Otto, to abide by a constitution. Back then, my country was a protectorate of England, France and Russia. Today, Greece is a protectorate of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. As in 1843, Greek people today are asking for... »

Argentine tango and the Greek revolution

By now it is twelve days since the protests started in the city of Athens. The message of the protesters was adopted by several other cities (Yiannena, Corfu, Patras, Larissa e.t.c.) while the number of people who wish to join seems to be on the rise. Apart from the usual shouting, chanting, marching and occupying public building, the meetings (surprisingly) include cultural activities. The other day in Thessalonike the protesters decided to dance argentine tango outside the White Tower! Several... »

Magic gestures of disapproval in Greece, ancient and modern

During the recent Greek protests we notice the extensive use of “faskelo” or “mountza”. This is an open palm gesture directed against the person you would like to insult. The protesters have been using it against the building of the parliament. See example here http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_MrdWO02quAA/S_PdiKvySNI/AAAAAAAAR14/CO4Gt7krY4s/s1600/βουλη+μουντζα The origin of this gesture is contested. Some say it derives from the ancient Greek word sfakelo (spasm). Allegedly, it ... »

Direct Democracy in Athens, ancient and modern

Last night I was checking my twitter account, when the most amazing message appeared on screen. “50.000 Greeks obstructed the exits of the Greek parliament at Syntagma square and did not allow the members of the parliament to leave the building”. Similar messages continued throughout the night. Eager to find out more details on the subject I turned on the Greek tv. The silence of the traditional media was deafening. Not a single channel reported the news. In the meantime, twitter liv... »

Obama celebrates Greekness

The following Obama speech has been brought to my attention. It looks like the US President decided to celebrate the Day of Greek Independence (25th of March) with the following proclamation. As for his views on the USA continuing the Greek democratic traditions, I will let the readers of this blog to comment! Hey, I just realised I could write an article on the topic! “One hundred ninety years ago, Greece regained its independence and became a symbol of democracy for the world for the sec... »

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