Art and Refugees: The Case of Athens
In recent years, Greece has become the focal point for refugees (mostly Syrians) seeking asylum in Europe. According to the UN, over 1.2 million refugees have made their way from Turkey to Greece during 2015 and 2016. Since the European border closures in early 2016, more than 80,000 refugees are being hosted in “temporary” refugee camps all over Greece. Refugees and their plight in Europe have deeply affected Greek society and the situation has been a great source of inspiration for the artists’ community. This course will explore artistic responses to the “refugee story”—in photography, theater, music, visual and plastic arts, fiction and documentary films—by focusing on artists who live and work in the city of Athens, and often collaborate with refugees themselves.
Students will be introduced to primary sources related to the different artistic fields explored and will use them to approach the artistic works presented in class. Recent publications will enable students to understand the context of the present Athenian art scene and Q&A sessions with artists via Skype will be of special assistance in our effort to understand these works and their singular way of producing significant and critical effects in this moment of crisis.
Topics in Hellenic Studies vary; please consult Notes section below for current course offering.