53 Απριλίου 22, 2004Posted by Lida in Uncategorized.
Today (21 April) is the anniversary of the 1967 military coup. It was led by a group of colonels and installed a dictatorship in Greece, which lasted for seven years and ended in 1974 with the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Among the numerous crimes of that regime there is one that is rarely mentioned, the crime against Greek Culture. I just watched a documentary in one of the state channels tilted “Junta Kitsch”. The “Junta Kitch” was the attempt of the Junta give “aesthetic qualities” (I can’t find another way of putting this) to the Royalist-Anticommunist cultural Ideology. Mainly two “constructs”, the “Country-Religion-Family” mantra and the “Greco Christian Civilization/Culture” composed this ideology. The first formed the pillars of Greek society and where supposed to contain the essence of being Greek. The second was a (very clumsy) attempt to combine Greece’s distant Classical Past with the more resent Christian/Byzantine era. These two “constructs” existed long before the 1967 Junta seized power but where brought to “perfection” during that seven-year reign of terror. The “aesthetization” was achieved with the use of modern means. Dreadful song festivals, the newly born Greek TV, hilariously bad war movies, even incredibly tacky parades with theatrical reenactments of the Battles at Thermopile, the Byzantine Emperors court precessions and the battles of the 1821 Greek revolution against the Turks all taking place at the same time. All of this and more were used in an attempt to promote the glory of Greek “culture”. These “atrocities” are more or less forgotten today. One reason been that other Junta crimes where so horrible that overshadow anything else committed during that period. The other reason is maybe a bit more sinister. We Greeks like to think that we have left all this ridicule behind us but it is not true. Many bits and pieces of those little atrocities survive to this day, some of them have mutated and have become part of our lives. We see them every day on TV, in the glossy magazines, in the “hottest” clubs, within our own lifestyle. I think that some day we must look beyond the “folklore” of that era and try to see what exactly happened then and how it still affects us today.