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Decolonizing Hellas: Imperial Pasts, Contested Presents, Emancipated Futures, 1821–2021



Decolonizing Hellas: Imperial Pasts, Contested Presents, Emancipated Futures, 1821–2021


4–7 November 2021


About a year ago, the then-upcoming bicentennial of the Greek Revolution inspired us to reflect on the history of the Greek nation-state, its foundational ideals and its relations to European colonialism, colonial practices, and ideas.

We initially considered the organization of a small workshop. We soon realised that the subject needed deeper and more systematic engagement. So, we established Decolonize Hellas, an initiative that is attempting to work along and beyond the borders of academic research, artistic practice and social movement, and to contribute to the global decolonize movement. Our first international symposium will take place from November 4 until November 7, online and in situ, at String Theory/K39 (Koritsas 39, Votanikos, Athens), and it is by now only one of the many events we have already organized or planned for the near future.

Decolonizing Hellas: Imperial Pasts, Contested Presents, Emancipated Futures, 1821–2021 brings together researchers, artists, activists, journalists, and scholars to reflect on topics such as: colonial museum practices, the relations between race, colonialism and revolution, migration, diaspora and settler colonialism, political identity-building processes, peacemaking as colonial technology, the decolonization of Cyprus, sea cosmopolitanism and labour relations, epistemicide and cosmopolitics, decolonial feminist methodologies, among many others.

Through various means – panels, dialogues and interviews, workshops, assemblies, walking anti-tours, artistic events – we aspire to engage with a broad audience and reflect on our largely silenced imperial pasts, our troubled times marked by capitalist exploitation, racial and gender violence, xenophobia and white supremacy nostalgia and to open pathways toward more inhabitable and inclusive futures.

(Edited and translated description from organiser’s website)

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Title Alternate label Class
Welcome from the collective
Epistemologies of the South, Epistemicide and Cosmopolitics: A Discussion with Boaventura de Sousa Santos
Museum as Heist: Between the “Benin Bronzes” and the “Elgin Marbles”
Coloniality, race and revolution
Political identities I. From empire to nation: State formation and civic identities
Liberalism, Empire and the Postcolonial Standpoint
Anticolonial/decolonial Cyprus: Colonialism, irredentism and cultural imperialism
Can the subaltern sail? Labouring in the Greek shipping industry
Michel Pablo: A Greek partisan in Algeria’s war of independence
Political Identities II: The postwar liberal international order. The case of Hellenism
Merchants to tycoons: Greek shipping in Ottomanism, colonialism, capitalism
Racialisation processes and the Greek Roma
Neither settler nor native: The making and unmaking of permanent minorities
Mediterranean diasporas and Australian settler colonialism
Decolonising gender/feminist methodologies
The Greek alt-right: Genealogies, aesthetics and new media tactics
Decolonisation and independent publishing in Greece
Greek-Turkish war, peace, and the (de-)colonial management of difference
Imperial democracy on (il)liberal ground: Why the call for “decolonising” now?
Decolonise the Acropolis: The Ottoman era
Anti-Periplus: Of other ships
Political Identities III: The clash of civilizations at the end of history
Monumentoclasm manifesto
Black Marxism, racial capitalism and the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean complex: On the abolition of Europe’s racial supremacy

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