What will young Greek artists vote for?

With Greece being in the spotlight, we spoke to a few young artists yesterday and asked them to voice their opinion on the current situation in Greece and their potential vote.

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Emmanuel Papadopoulos -opera singer.

How would you describe the situation in Greece at the moment?

Greece has already been at a critical economic juncture from the very  first years of the 21st century, as bad economic policy have lead the country to the brink of bankruptcy. Greece can return to growth only if it counter attacks the crisis through economic reforms.

To succeed, reforms require social consensus and general agreement. Many oppose the reforms that Greece has agreed to, others defend the reforms and a large percentage of the public remains uncertain about whether Greece will manage to overcome the crisis and does not know if and how the reforms of the Memorandum can contribute to achieving this goal. If no steps are taken in time and in the right direction, it is certain that Greece will go bankrupt and will enter a period of profound crisis. Even if Greece’s debt would magically disappear, the same reforms will be required anyway. Otherwise, Greece would face a new debt problem, soon enough.

How does it affect art?

Art is clearly strongly influenced by the economic crisis, definitely in a negative but also in a positive way. The people give priority to immediate needs and try to save money to deal with the crisis that is constantly growing. Nonetheless, it is comforting that in this climate as it is forming, the artists themselves have not lost their interest in creating and exhibiting their work. On the contrary, they resort to art through which they clearly meet the deeper needs of their psyche.

What would you vote for and why?

My personal vote will be in favor of NO. The question posed in the referendum, as the Greek people should know, is the exemption of the Greek state of debt which thus as requested by the EU is unsustainable, unconstitutional in its entirety and partly untruthful. The referendum does neither negotiate the withdrawal of Greece from Europe nor from the Euro. Such false reports are unfortunately being communicated by politicized media aimed only to scare and panic the people at such a critical time. These moves of  the media are intended at misleading the people. A Yes vote that some Greeks might go for will surely also bring worse austerity measures than the state will be able to cope with. As we keep saying Yes, they will keep getting more severe and Troika will keep asking for more and more from Greece.

The willingness to discharge of the debt will inspire second thoughts. A devaluation could create a much bigger mess than there already is, but would also open the way for the subsequent recovery, just as it has happened many times in different countries. Greece is no exception.

The political implications of voting in favor of “Yes” would be deeply worrying. The Troika clearly made an offer to Tsipras that can not be accept and probably did this consciously. So the ultimatum was essentially a movement to replace the Greek government. Even if you do not like SYRIZA, this should be embarrassing for anyone who believes in the European ideal.

 

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Katrin The Thrill- 2 girl band, musicians.

How would you describe the situation in Greece at the moment?

The last years in Greece there is a great battle, an economical war and all of our previous governments were supporting this war. The last years the middle class is diminishing, people lose their jobs, they lose their hopes, their dreams, people commit suicide and they are being psychologically terrorized. When people understood that the previous politicians were serving the capital and not the Greek people, they made this historical decision to elect the left party which is now fighting for our dignity and liberty.

How does it affect art?

How art and artists affect our situation would be a good question.

What would you vote for and why?

We are going to vote NO!

http://katrinthethrill.bandcamp.com/

 

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Konstantinos Menelaou- filmmaker,curator, art director based in London

How would you describe the situation in Greece at the moment?

Critical. It’s so obvious the past week how Greeks have been led to believe in lies delivered by the media as the truth.They have come to the conclusion that slavery is better than freedom and democracy!! its shocking to witness that on a daily basis. But also quite liberating. The truth has never come so close to the surface before. it seems like there is a chance for us to get out of The Matrix..

How does it affect art?

Art and politics go hand in hand. What’s happening at the moment can trigger ideas for serious works of art and motivate serious artists to serve their profession with dignity. Let’s see what’s gonna happen.

What would you vote for and why?

Ehhh NO..as of Tuesday 30th at 18:00. If things change within the week I might change my mind. But for now hell NO! the only reason is that I like to live in freedom and I want the same for everyone else. It’s very very simple..

http://kostakis.co.uk/

 

 

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Menelas Siafakas, film maker and queer artist

How would you describe the situation in Greece at the moment?

All hell has broken loose this week with ultimatums and referendums. Generally the best way to describe the situation is battered wife syndrome. The bankers are beating us and we can’t leave cause we’ll be homeless.  No matter what people say this is a struggle between bankers and the lower and middle classes.  EU banks are basically giving us money so we can send it right back to them and charging us the interest, this is not a rescue plan, this is  abuse.

How does it affect art?

Art has become more arte povera. This isn’t so bad cause limitations release creativity. As art is also suffering from battered wife syndrome a lot of artists do not use their art to engage in the conversation and I guess they don’t have to. Personally, my last short film and photography exhibition is about the crisis from an LGBT rights point of view and it has been well received. It’s an homage to Bruce LaBruce’s Raspberry Reich as it would stand in Greece of 2014.

What would you vote for and why?

Up to today (30-06), cause things change by the hour, I would vote NO. On the premise that the government is using this as a tool for more negotiations with EU and its banks. I voted for this government cause it promised me negotiations within the EU, instead of the complete surrender of the previous governments. So far I have not been disappointed by them, this referendum is a dangerous move but they have convinced me it is a necessary one. If they use the NO vote to get us out of Europe without a further referendum I would be quite pissed off.

https://facebook.com/MenelasArt

 

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Rachel Tyrell (Kroutsef), poet and visual artist

How would you describe the situation in Greece at the moment?

People are skeptical and worried. But they ‘ve grown weary of the debt chain of the last 5 years, so I’d say they mostly sit and wait. The younger ones will probably vote for “no” in the Sunday referendum cause it seems the most honest thing to do in such a toxic political and economic environment. Others are suspicious of the government’s stance but this has a lot to do with the manipulation led by the media. Practical difficulties concerning the closed banks and the money withdrawal surely affect a big part of the population who fear for the currency devaluation but no serious product deficiencies or examples of violence have been reported,as so often the media try to warn us about.

How does it affect art?

Art is affected by all social changes, but this situation is without precedent. People exchange ideas and strive to find their place in a world that seems to collapse from one day to another. Solidarity in its original sense is about supporting each other in times of need, well 21st century solidarity in Greece is about licking each other’s gap. Art surely prospers through juxtaposition. So, now’s a perfect time to articulate chaos and distrust.

What would you vote for and why?

I will vote for NO, cause I live in a poverty-stricken society, and it’s the only decent pressure we can force on the EU right now. I’m not afraid of the consequences as I don’t believe in safety nets and hopefully the majority of people wont back off either. It’s a matter of self respect.

https://www.facebook.com/kroutsef

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