Tag Archives: Greece

Performing Values Practices and Grassroots Organizing: The Case of Solidarity Economy Initiatives in Greece

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Άρθρο που γράψαμε από κοινού με την Καθ. Μαρία Δασκαλάκη (University of Roehampton) και την Καθ. Μαριάννα Φωτάκη (University of Warwick) και δημοσιεύθηκε πρόσφατα στην επιθεώρηση Organisation Studies, 2018 – Online first.
https://www.academia.edu/37705867/Performing_Values_Practices_and_Grassroots_Organizing_The_Case_of_Solidarity_Economy_Initiatives_in_Greece

This is a paper co-authored with Prof. Maria Daskalaki (University of Roehampton) and Marianna Fotaki (University of Warwick) and published at Organisation Studies, 2018 – Online first.

Abstract
This article discusses solidarity economy initiatives as instances of grassroots organizing, and explores how ‘values practices’ are performed collectively during times of crisis. In focusing on how power, discourse and subjectivities are negotiated in the everyday practices of grassroots exchange networks (GENs) in crisis-stricken Greece, the study unveils and discusses three performances of values practices, namely mobilization of values, re-articulation of social relations, and sustainable living. Based on these findings, and informed by theoretical analyses of performativity, we propose a framework for studying the production and reproduction of values in the context of GENs, and the role of values in organizing alternatives.

Keywords: financial crisis, Gibson-Graham, grassroots exchange network (GEN), Greece, Judith Butler, performance, values practices

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Black money, white money and the circulation of parallel currencies in Venetian Crete

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Paper presented in 2016 and published (2018) in the Proceedings of the 12th International Congress of Cretan Studies (Heraklion, 21-25.9.2016).

https://www.academia.edu/37206929/Black_money_white_money_and_the_circulation_of_parallel_currencies_in_Venetian_Crete

 

 

Forgotten organising (EAM & economic resistance)- Λησμονημένη οργάνωση (ΕΑΜ & οικονομική αντίσταση)

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This is the slide series for the paper presented at the Workshop “Famine Stories and Survival Legends: Legacies to the Following Generations”, held at the University of Uppsala on 28-30.9.2017.

https://www.academia.edu/36627829/Forgotten_organising_Economic_resistance_and_the_selective_memory_of_famine

Αυτές είναι οι διαφάνειες από την παρουσίαση της μελέτης στο Εργαστήριο “Ιστορίες λιμού και μύθοι επιβίωσης: Κληρονομιά για τις επόμενες γενιές”, που διεξήχθη στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Ουψάλα την 28-30.9.2017.

https://bit.ly/2jVxzDX

Hidden in the doughsheets: A custom of symbolic redistribution in Thrace, Greece

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This is the slide series for a paper (work in progress) presented at the 4th Symposium of Greek Gastronomy, held at Karanou of Chania (Greece) on 29-30.7.2017.

 

https://www.academia.edu/35575023/Hidden_in_the_dough_sheets_A_custom_of_symbolic_redistribution_in_Thrace_Greece

Antigone: A forgotten case of abstraction of labour

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This is the slide series for the paper presented at the 19th Conference of the Association for Heterodox Economics “Sustainable Economy & Economics”, held at Manchester (10-12.7.2017).

 

https://www.academia.edu/34022427/Antigone_A_forgotten_case_of_abstraction_of_labour

Hijacked solidarity: a story of resistance and suppression in Greek capitalist patriarchy

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This is the link

https://www.academia.edu/33175005/Hijacked_solidarity_A_story_of_resistance_and_suppression_in_Greek_capitalist_patriarchy

and the abstract of my paper presented at the 1st National Conference on Commons and on Social & Solidarity Economy in Greece, held in Thessalonike 4-7.5.2017.

Abstract

The paper is an exploration of how the term and practice of solidarity has emerged, been used and abused in Greece since 2008 onwards. This study is part of an ongoing research project that emerged out of my research on solidarity economy in Greece since 2009 and out of the mere fact that as a political being and a researcher that has been trained in solidarity economy by the grassroots communities themselves, I cannot pretend I do not understand that something wrong has happened with solidarity during the last nine or ten years in the country. The analysis stands critically to the fact that, despite the everyday performance of solidarity actions and the vast work done by many groups, collectives or even individual people who join solidarity initiatives occasionally, solidarity kept being understood mostly in an ahistorical way, as a panacea for all socio-economic ills in Greece. The main question of this study is therefore, how the manipulation of the term and of the practices it represented have been a fundamental tool in order that the capitalist classes and their representatives in the local, formal and informal, political stage, suppress the expression and development of the anti-capitalist and possibly anti-patriarchal potential of solidarity practices.

 

The paper is an investigation grounded on events, discourses and evolutions of political practices in Greece during the last nine years. For the purposes of this paper, I use published material that has been available to everyone through mass media and the internet. My intention is to show that whatever happened with the manipulation through solidarity discourse and through the placement and re-arrangement of solidarity practices within the general social framework, it has happened on public level. This is not to say that there did not exist any underground manipulations or actions, but that capitalist patriarchy appears to be unable to achieve an effective reaction to solidarity practices unless everything is done as well in broad daylight. The public character was therefore, constituent element of the hijacking process.

 

The analysis starts from solidarity having become a buzzword, almost a fashionable term during the years 2008 onwards, especially after 2010.  Of particular interest is that this buzzword has been used extensively in political discourse to crowd out other discussions that were necessary to have been done within a context of a society like the Greek one. Structurally intertwining inequalities and injustices are endemic and reinforce each other in multiple ways, even within social movements and self-defined alternative spaces. Those injustices were not addressed properly, not even on discourse level, as those were thought that they would be easily resolved through solidarity.

 

My approach stems from feminist theory in its broad sense, not only because solidarity practices in Greece were a space where women were heavily involved but also because patriarchy is the greater or deeper framework of Greek society and politics. Patriarchy is understood as a political economic system that might have various versions or various expressions in the Greek context, but still remains the main way of articulating society, especially concerning its institutions, politics and resource distribution (Bennholdt et al 1988, Peterson 1997, 2010).

 

In other words, I place the entire investigation within its historical material conditions as those have been framed through late capitalism that faces important resistances from the people who live in the country but has also achieved important advances against the groups of producers (Sotiropoulou 2014). Solidarity within this capitalist patriarchal context became a discourse and a practice that was needed by various actors and groups in various ways in order to achieve or try to achieve their agendas, whether those have been anti-capitalist or not. Solidarity, therefore, is understood as a contested practice and idea, as an action that has multiple meanings and implications depending on the surrounding practices, ideas and actions (Bayat 2000, Fanon 2007). The contested understanding of solidarity is contrasted with the ahistorical use of the word and with the plasticity with which it seems to fit all discourses that want to comment on the economic conditions of Greece.

 

To analyse solidarity and how it has been used and abused in Greece lately, I also use post-/de-colonial theories and anti-colonial critique to understand the European project and how it worked within Greek society (Bhabha 2013, Hechter 1975, Peckham 2004). The post-/de-colonial theories permit to investigate the construction of national identity and of the perceptions of “greekness” and “europeanness” that define the political economic context (Carastathis 2014, Bernal 1987). Solidarity could not have been manipulated so effectively if it had not to exist along with deeply ingrained perceptions and behaviours that link Greek politics to European colonialism, racism and white supremacy.

 

Finally, exactly because nothing happens having as a reason a context alone, I explore the actual choices of Greek governments and political groups, whether formal or grassroots during the last years in Greece, and how those choices led the development of solidarity to one or another direction so far. Understanding solidarity as resistance means that one needs to discuss what is the resistance about and against what, what are its aims and the conditions for any success and how the people involved with solidarity, whether they were acting as truly solidary or they were abusing solidarity as a term and practice, are situated towards the notion of resistance as such.

 

I am aware that this discussion is not an easy one, especially because what has happened since 2008 onwards concerning solidarity is still an ongoing historical process. I recognise the limitations of my analysis in terms of personal involvement as a researcher and political being. I cannot but recognise that everyone in Greece during the last years has a stance and a personal and collective history towards solidarity, for good or for bad. However, exactly because solidarity has been so much manipulated and abused as a term and practice, there is need to discuss what has happened as soon as possible. Easiness and objectiveness is something that does not exist in social sciences anyway, and it would not exist in discussing social struggles in later capitalism in any case. Postponing this discussion though, “for whenever we will be ready for it” perpetuates the manipulation and systemic violence and makes huge injustice to the people and groups who offer(ed) their work and ideas to establish and practice solidarity without ever selling the term or their own politics out. Solidarity may not have been a panacea but it is still a political principle that all societies and social struggles need to encompass.

 

References:

Bayat, A. 2000. From “dangerous classes” to “quiet rebels” – Politics of the urban subaltern in the Global South.  International Sociology 15/ 3, 533-557.

Bennholdt-Thomsen, V., Mies, M. & Von Werlhof, C. 1988. Women: The last colony. Zed Books.

Bernal, M. 1987. Black Athena, vols I-III. Rutgers University Press.

Bhabha, H.K. ed. 2013. Nation and narration. Routledge.

Carastathis, A. 2015. The politics of austerity and the affective economy of hostility. Feminist Review 109, 73-95.

Carastathis, A. 2014. Is Hellenism an orientalism? Reflections on the boundaries of Europe in an age of austerity. Critical Race & Whiteness Studies 10 (1-Special Issue: Edward Said – Intellectual, Cultural Critic, Activist).

Collett, J.L. et al 2007. Building solidarity through generalised exchange: A theory of reciprocity. American Journal of Sociology 113 /1 (July), 205-242.

Eduards, M.L. 1994. Women’s agency and collective action. Women’s Studies International Forum 17/2 -3, 181-186.

Fanon, F. 2007. The wretched of the earth. Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

Guha, R. 2003. History at the Limit of World-history. Columbia University Press.

Hechter, M. 1975. Internal colonialism: the Celtic fringe in British national development, 1536-1966. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.

Mignolo, W.  2012. Local histories/global designs: Coloniality, subaltern knowledges, and border thinking. Princeton University Press.

Peckham, R.S. 2004. Internal colonialism – Nation and region in 19th century. In Todorova, M. (Ed.) Balkan identities-Nation and memory. Hurst & Company, London, 41-58.

Peterson, S.V. 1997. Whose crisis? Early and post-modern masculinism, in Gill, S. & Mittelman J.H., eds: Innovation and transformation in International Studies, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge-New York-Melbourne,  185-202.

Peterson, S.V. 2010. A Long View of Globalization and Crisis. Globalizations 7/1-2, 187-202.

Said, E.W. 1979. Orientalism. Vintage.

Sotiropoulou, I. 2016. Solidarity, grassroots initiatives and power relations. World Economic Review 6, 44-59.

Sotiropoulou, I. 2014. Greek economy as a failure of capitalist patriarchy and the choice of dystopia, “Greece and austerity policies: where next for its economy and society?”, online conference, WEA (20.10-21.12.2014) http://greececonference2014.worldeconomicsassociation.org/

Sotiropoulou, I. 2013. Women in solidarity economy in Greece: Liberation practices or one more task undertaken?, En-gendering Macroeconomics & International Economics Summer Seminar, (16-18.7.2013) Krakow, Poland.

Raman, R.R.K. 2010. Transverse solidarity: Water, power and resistance. Review of Radical Political Economics 42/2, 251-268.

Spivak, G.C. 1988. Can the subaltern speak?. Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture. Macmillan Education UK,  271-313.

Voutilainen, M. 2017. Is there a connection between income inequality and famine mortality? Evidence from the 1860s Finnish famine. 2nd COMPOT Workshop Explaining famines, defining responsibilities (12-15.1.2017), University of Turku.

Weeks, K. 2007. Life within and against work: Affective labor, feminist critique and Post-Fordist politics. Ephemera 7/1,  233-249.

Weiner, A. 1992. Inalienable Possessions.  University of California Press, Berkeley & Los Angeles.

Weiner, A. 1980.  Reproduction: A Replacement for Reciprocity. American Ethnologist 7/1, 71-85.

 

 

Presentation slides of the paper “Persistent food shortages in Venetian Crete: A first hypothesis”

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This is the presentation for the paper “Persistent food shortages in Venetian Crete: A first hypothesis”, presented at the 2nd COMPOT workshop “Explaining famines, defining responsibilities”, held in Turku, Finland on 12-15.1.2017. The paper will be available in a few months.

https://www.academia.edu/31173658/Persistent_food_shortages_in_Venetian_Crete_A_first_hypothesis

Αυτή είναι η παρουσίαση για την μελέτη “Επαναλαμβανόμενες διατροφικές ελλείψεις στη βενετική Κρήτη: Μια πρώτη υπόθεση εργασίας” που παρουσιάστηκε στο 2ο εργαστήριο COMPOT “Εξηγώντας τους λιμούς, ορίζοντας ευθύνες” που έλαβε χώρα στο Τούρκου της Φινλανδάς, την 12-15.1.2017. Η πλήρης μελέτη θα είναι διαθέσιμη σε μερικούς μήνες.

 

Συνοδευτικό κείμενο για την παρουσίαση “Φύση, χρυσός και αγώνες για τις αξίες – Compelementary text (in Greek) for presentation on “Nature, gold and struggles for values”

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Το συνοδευτικό κείμενο σχετικά με τις αντιλήψεις μας για τις αξίες και πώς κινήματα όπως αυτά στην Βόρεια Ελλάδα κατά των εξορύξεων χρυσού (Χαλκιδική – Σκουριές, Πέραμα, Σάπες), αναδιαμορφώνουν τόσο την πράξη όσο και την θεωρία για την αξία της φύσης, είναι στον σύνδεσμο

Complementary text – Συνοδευτικό κείμενο

This is a complementary text (in Greek) for the conference presentation “Nature, gold and struggles for values” presented on 11.11.2016 at the 13th Historical Materialism Conference. The full paper will be available the following months. The presentation files are available at the links below.

Το κείµενο γράφτηκε ως συνοδευτικό υλικό για την παρουσίαση της µελέτης «Φύση, χρυσός και αγώνες για τις αξίες», που παρουσιάστηκε την 11-11-2016 στο Ετήσιο Συνέδριο Ιστορικού Υλισµού, στο Λονδίνο. Η πλήρης µελέτη πρόκειται να δηµοσιευθεί σε λίγο καιρό στην Αγγλική γλώσσα. Η παρουσίαση στα ελληνικά είναι στο σύνδεσμο https://www.academia.edu/30466197/%CE%A6%CF%8D%CF%83%CE%B7_%CF%87%CF%81%CF%85%CF%83%CF%8C%CF%82_%CE%BA%CE%B1%CE%B9_%CE%B1%CE%B3%CF%8E%CE%BD%CE%B5%CF%82_%CE%B3%CE%B9%CE%B1_%CF%84%CE%B9%CF%82_%CE%B1%CE%BE%CE%AF%CE%B5%CF%82

και στα αγγλικά https://www.academia.edu/30466154/Nature_gold_and_the_struggles_for_value_s_

Anna Carastathis on democratically guised fascism, the slaughter against refugees & the violence against all subalterns

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Dr Anna Carastathis wrote one more excellent piece of academic analysis and human integrity. Must read.

https://www.academia.edu/30561215/Graveyards_Beneath_Intersections_Reflections_in_Anger_from_an_Aegean_Horizon

 

Dissertation – Exhange networks & parallel currencies: Theoretical approaches & the case of Greece. Διατριβή – Δίκτυα ανταλλαγής & παράλληλα νομίσματα: Θεωρητικές προσεγγίσεις & το παράδειγμα της Ελλάδας

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This is the link to the full dissertation titled “Exchange networks and parallel currencies: Theoretical approaches and the case of Greece”,  as it has been approved in December 2012. Αυτός είναι ο σύνδεσμος για το πλήρες κείμενο της διατριβής “Δίκτυα ανταλλαγής και παράλληλα νομίσματα: Θεωρητικές προσεγγίσεις και το παράδειγμα της Ελλάδας”, όπως εγκρίθηκε τον Δεκέμβριο 2012.

https://www.academia.edu/2343900/Sotiropoulou_2012_Exchange_networks_and_parallel_currencies_Theoretical_approaches_and_the_case_of_Greece