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Representations of the 1821 fighter during Otto’s reign: conflicts and national necessities



Representations of the 1821 fighter during Otto’s reign: conflicts and national necessities


18 February 2021


In the period of Otto's reign the concept of “Fighter” is a signifier with many meanings, as the survivors of 1821 capitalised on their participation in the struggle and argued about criteria that would determine their post-revolutionary restoration. Among other things, these criteria included the alleged motivations of the fighters, their pre-revolutionary status and their social mobility during the revolution. In this way, multiple ideal types of the “fighter” were formed. This fact itself attributes a conflicting character to the discourse about the fighters. At the same time, the concept of “foreigner” was formed in contrast to that of “fighter”. In the name of the fighters, a xenophobic rhetoric was formulated with many recipients: Bavarian foreigners, Phanariotes and “phanarotizontes”. As is the case with the “fighter” himself, so his awe-inspiring opponent is in turn something to be defined.

Despite the fact that the discourse about the fighters introduced dividing lines within the national mental community, the ideal type of “fighter of 1821” served some national needs. Whether as a citizen-soldier, or as a custodian of the unadulterated popular soul, the fighter was useful in the process of building a national identity, in promoting the Great Idea and in defending the nation against its foreign critics. The fighters themselves know how to manage these stereotypes to their advantage. Even when they defended pre-revolutionary status and traditional mentalities, they did so in the name of the nation and of the modern ideas with which the Revolution itself became acquainted.

(Edited and translated description from organiser's website)

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