Children of the Dictatorship

Children of the Dictatorship: Student Resistance, Cultural Politics and the 'Long 1960s' in Greece

Kostis Kornetis
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 376
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  • Book Info
    Children of the Dictatorship
    Book Description:

    Putting Greece back on the cultural and political map of the "Long 1960s," this book traces the dissent and activism of anti-regime students during the dictatorship of the Colonels (1967-74). It explores the cultural as well as ideological protest of Greek student activists, illustrating how these "children of the dictatorship" managed to re-appropriate indigenous folk tradition for their "progressive" purposes and how their transnational exchange molded a particular local protest culture. It examines how the students' social and political practices became a major source of pressure on the Colonels' regime, finding its apogee in the three day Polytechnic uprising of November 1973 which laid the foundations for a total reshaping of Greek political culture in the following decades.

    eISBN: 978-1-78238-001-6
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. ii-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xv)
  5. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xvi-xvii)
  6. Transliteration of Greek Characters into Latin Characters
    (pp. xviii-xviii)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. 1-9)

    In 2010 the well-known British Pakistani writer and political activist Tariq Ali commented that “were there a Michelin Great Protest guide, France would still be top with three stars, with Greece a close second with two stars.”¹ Ali was referring not only to the 2005 riots in France and the 2008 civil disturbances in Greece, but to alongue duréestructure of civil disobedience in the two countries that dates back to the 1960s and 1970s. If the most emblematic moment in France’s recent protest culture remains May 1968, the absolute vertex for later developments in Greece’s political activism was...

  8. Chapter 1 A Changing Society
    (pp. 10-36)

    This chapter aims to reconstruct the conditions of the university and the country prior to the Junta. By looking at the period leading up to the dictatorship, it attempts to trace the identity of those students of the mid-1960s, some of whom were the first to experience the impact of authoritarianism in 1967. The pre-Junta period is inextricably linked to the actual dictatorship years in terms of continuities and ruptures, and is crucial for providing an understanding of the context and the evolution of the social actors concerned. The chapter focuses on Generation Z, an age-group that was shaped by...

  9. Chapter 2 Phoenix with a Bayonet
    (pp. 37-94)

    Chapter 2 proceeds to analyze some of the elements of the new regime, including its ideology and practices, as well as the institutional changes that it brought about in the universities. This chapter further provides an overview of resistance organizations and groupings, their discourse, and their relationships to one another. Apart from focusing on what was occurring in Greece, a central part of the chapter addresses Greek students abroad, mainly those living and studying in France and Italy, who were both inspired and perplexed by their contact with the ’68 revolts. The chapter concludes that it was hard for those...

  10. Chapter 3 A Mosquito on a Bull
    (pp. 95-157)

    Chapter 3 begins with an overview of the various student cultures, briefly analyzing the priorities and standpoints of the ones who supported the regime. Furthermore, the chapter concentrates on the students’ mobilizing structures, mainly the so-called regional societies and the Euro-Hellenic Youth Movement, which was created by a circle of upper-class students. It concludes with an overview of the various student organizations, which reflected different ideological currents, and the relationships that grew up between them. Th e chapter further analyses the image of the “other” within the student groups and the “hardening” of subjectivity that the various rivalries brought about....

  11. Chapter 4 Cultural Warfare
    (pp. 158-224)

    Chapter 4 engages with the dialectical relationship between culture and politics. As ideological reasons alone do not account for the creation of the Greek student movement, the chapter explores the roots of its cultural background, as well as the ways in which the latter in turn reinforced student combativeness. It examines new trends in cinema, theater, music, aesthetics, and everyday life in an attempt to explain how new cultural identities were shaped. It turns to alternative forms of culture that were created in juxtaposition to the Junta with an interest in how several countercultural elements acquired political significance over time....

  12. Chapter 5 Ten Months that Shook Greece
    (pp. 225-311)

    Chapter 5 chronicles the events that led to the clash between the students and the regime, reconstructing the ten-month countdown to the climax of the student movement and its ultimate suppression. Further, this chapter explores the processes put in motion at the peak of the Junta’s “liberalization experiment” and the main public expressions of the student revolt: the November 1973 Polytechnic occupations in both Athens and Salonica and their forerunners, the Athens Law School occupations in February and March of the same year. The chapter closes with the aftermath of the Polytechnic, including the brief interregnum of the Ioannidis dictatorship...

  13. Epilogue. “Everything Links”
    (pp. 312-334)

    In April 1968, almost exactly one year after the Colonels’ 1967 coup, the actress Melina Mercouri gave an interview to the English newspaperThe Observer:

    “I learn now of the shooting of Dutschke in Berlin and of Martin Luther King in America. I knew Martin Luther King, and I passed precious hours with him. I knew this boy who is lying gravely wounded in Berlin. I know what is happening in the world; the world is burning! … I now have a feeling of what is happening in the world: I feel more for the Vietnamese or for the Negroes...

  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 335-359)
  15. Index
    (pp. 360-373)