Re-imagining nationhood during the Second World War


  • Anna Efstathiadou University of Queensland



The paper discusses artistic representations of national history and nationhood in Second World War popular icons (ÀtxÏKéç eiKÔveç). Although they were primarily designed, produced and sold by private publishing houses and were not seen as direct means of propaganda and state ideology, popular icons had to operate under the rules and ideology of the Metaxist regime, side with and express official views. Employing Anthony D. Smith’s theory of ethno-symbolism, the paper argues that popular icons are important examples of political art and media of mass communication that revive, express and develop pre-existing material of a nation’s history, reflecting the regime’s configurations of a repertoire of ethnic and religious myths in constructions of Greek nationhood at war time.