duty, I


Ancient Agora, 04-02-2008 [Photo: F.I.].


  Lena Stefanou wrote @

Briliant picture.
To some extent, it depicts the modern Greek social relaity.
It would be interesting to know more about the interaction of non-Greek citizens, especially of non-western countries, with the classical material remains.

  vasko wrote @

I agree with Lena that the picture reflects to an extent the (multicultural) social reality of Greece -and Athens in particular-, but I would like to stress that a veil, albeit endemic to Islam (among other religions and traditions), does not necessarily indicate non-Greek citizenship. Nevertheless, Lena is raising a very important question worth investigating: what is the meaning of the Acropolis outside its western context.
My question, however, regarding the picture itself is whose duty?

  Lena Stefanou wrote @

Vasko, good point. The veil certainly doesn’t indicate non-Greek citizenship.
It’s just that the keywords (souvenir, visit) under which the photo is filed brought first to my mind the image of tourists from muslim countries.
On a second level the photo provoked my question about the relationship of non-Greek social groups with the classical monuments.
It also made me wonder how the classical narrative (with its implicaitons about national continutity and origins of the western civilisation) is taught to children born in Greece by non-Greek parents.
Lastly, and taking your question further, ‘should there really be a duty’?
Or is it about time to find other ways to interact with these social groups and to stimulate the multicultural symbiosis on the basis of the contemporary present?

  vasko wrote @

From my experience as a pupil in multicultural (in terms of population, not necessarily policy) state schools, there was a uniformity in the teaching of the classical narrative. Children, at least then, were being initiated into the western theorisation of Greek antiquity. Now, the meanings that, say, immigrants might attribute to the Acropolis and pass on to their children, I suspect, are far from uniform. I would causiously suggest that the Parthenon could perhaps be juxtaposed with the Statue of Liberty in its role as a symbol of immigrant dreams(?). It would be very useful to investigate these diverse meanings that people from diverse backgrounds (immigrants and natives alike) attribute to the Acropolis before we work out alternative ways to stimulate interaction between the people and the landscape.

As for ‘duty’, before we discuss whether there is or should be one, perhaps we could hear what Fotis had in mind upon naming the Duty I & II photographs.

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