Showing posts from 2011

Being Greek and Albanian: The “No Man’s Land” of a Double Identity in the Balkans

My silence in this blog is due to my trip to Boston, US.  The Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe invited me for a lecture at Harvard University. The title of the lecture: “Being Greek and Albanian – the “No Man’s Land” of a double identity in the Balkans”. Below you’ll find the text of my essay and you can also watch the video from the event. Comments, as always, are more than welcome. Thank you in advance for your attention and patience.  Being Greek and Albanian: The “No Man’s Land” of a Double Identity in the Balkans Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East-Central Europe Southeastern Europe Study Group, Center for European Studies November 9, 2011 Ladies and Gentlemen, I feel extremely honored being with you today. I want to thank the Kokkalis Program on Southeastern and East – Central Europe and especially its director Elaine Papoulias for the honor she made

Yes We Cannes!

This morning I went to the post office. I took a number and sat in one of the chairs in the waiting area. A notable silence prevailed. Hanging on the wall to my left were two stamps (from a collector’s edition series), signed by the Greek artist Dimitris Mitaras – the title:   Europa , subtitle:   circus . Available for purchase at 15 euro each. Under the stamps there were shelves with religious icons which were also for sale. I admit my ignorance, but I don’t know of any other E.U. country where icons of the saints are on sale at the post office. I got my package and left… I walked past a café. I observed that they had changed the TV channel. Usually at this café, they only watch Fashion TV. Now, customers and waiters alike watched the political developments together. I ended up at the greengrocer’s. The atmosphere was lively there. They   had   already   begun   their   political   debates.   Half of them kept saying “and now what will happen?” in a frightened and uneasy manner. T

View of Europe from Ersi Sotiropoulou

Five prominent thinkers from five EU countries offer personal reflections in BBC 4 - on the idea of Europe at this critical moment in its history. The writer Ersi Sotiropoulos contemplates the view from Greece. Ersi Sotiropoulos, who was born in Patra and now lives in Athens, is the author of ten works of fiction and a book of poetry. Her novel Zigzag through the Bitter Orange Trees (Peter Green's English translation of which was published in 2005 by Interlink Books) was the first novel ever to win both the Greek national prize for literature and Greece's preeminent book critics' award . Listen HERE

Narratives of fragmentation

For the past week, as it turns out, I’ve been going downtown almost every day to meet with foreign journalists who wanted to discuss the current situation in Greece with me. Coming to Athens has become some sort of “pilgrimage” for foreign journalists. They travel here from everywhere, attempting to understand and record what is happening. Most journalists I meet in Athens are from countries of the European Union who look at Greece as a projection of their nightmares. We usually gather in Syndagma (Constitution) Square. Athens, a city of paradoxes. In Syndagma Square, right in front of the Greek parliament, anti-constitutional utterings can be heard: some of those who are protesting against the austerity measures, in this very square, are shouting that the parliament should be burned. In a country that has experienced dictatorship, this is something that causes me to shiver ( read MORE )