Tipping points: Greek culture in the years of internationalization

Vicky Karaiskou



The radical transformations, economic and political, which gradually took place in Greece after 1974 created a new framework for the reception, understanding and use of the various manifestations of artistic creativity and of culture in general. In the 1980s, political stability, economic development, and particularly, the changed position of Greece on the European map with its entry into the European Economic Community at times made the notion of culture a tool of politics, and at others a means of boosting the nebulous concept of national identity. In the middle of that same decade, economic prosperity created new requirements among the population, one of these being an involvement with art, in its various forms. A mistaken interpretation of the democratization of culture, in conjunction with a media explosion, gave products of art the role of social distinction. Thus on the one hand, involvement with culture was experienced as participation in an entitlement, as a freehold on property, as it were. On the other, artistic creativity in general, and particularly anything new and avant-garde, was identified with a dynamic attitude to life, with financial success and social recognition. This created an environment without precedent in Greek terms which eradicated the ideological inertia of previous decades.

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