Penelopi Papailias University of Thessaly & Fotini Tsibiridou Macedonia University
Founding members of the collective Decolonize Hellas
The initiative Decolonize Hellas is a collective of Greek academics, inside and outside Greece, who, since 2020, is foregrounding the ambivalent and reciprocal relations between the Greek nation-state and Europe’s colonial genealogies. While Greece has been analyzed in the past as a “colonial scheme,” “crypto-colony” and, recently, as a “debt-colony,” it was urgent to foreground the role of “Hellas” in co-constituting the European colonial project. To Decolonize Hellas thus means to expose the colonial genealogies fueling the orientalism, balkanism, xenophobia, racism, homophobia and sexism articulated in its name. By “Hellas,” we denoted an assemblage of ideologies (various Hellenisms) and institutions, materialities and imageries, policies and technologies, bodies and populations, identities and affects, within and beyond the timelines and borders of the Greek nation-state (Ellada).
At first, by attending to the active reshaping of “Hellas” through emergent, emancipatory and creative forms of belonging, though, we also hoped to inspire the activation and documentation of experiences and practices, memories and movements, genealogies and relations often marginalized, trivialized and rendered unnarratable in dominant memorial and interpretive frameworks. Thus, opening pathways to more inhabitable and inclusive futures, and organizing relevant activities, events, research projects and publications, for the last four years, we ended up to discuss the concept of multiple Greek colonialities, through five particular analytical points: Greek modernity/coloniality, Racialization, Materiality, Eurocentrism, Activism and Decolonization of knowledge.
In this talk we will discuss a publication project on Greek Colonialities, through two such research plans in progress: one presented by Penelopi Papailias on monuments, sites of memorization for the untold relation of colonialism with the Greek narrative of national history, suggesting monumentoclasm, as field of study and activism, and another one presented by Fotini Tsibiridou, seeing Northern Greek borderlands under the lens of a postcolonial archive, suggesting palimpsest as the analytical materialistic tool for charting relief live stories of the refugee’s and minorities’ subaltern bodies.
For additional information see also on our website: dëcoloиıze hellάş