Divided Memory

My research investigates how ideological divisions rooted in past conflicts inform the politics of later generations with no lived experience of these events. The practice-led research places the contested history of the Greek Civil War in a contemporary context.

It includes an original novel and a critical reflection on how contested history is transposed into fiction through the creative writing process.

The Traitor. Yiorgos Sikeliotis.
Lithograph, 1943.
Maiko. Katerina Hariati Sismani.
Pencil (from her exile on Makronissos, 1948-1952).
The Liberation of Athens. Tassos (Anastasios Alevizos). Pencil on paper, 1945. National Art Gallery

Postcards from the past

Gentrifying memory

Alekos Alexandrakis’s 1961 ‘Synoikia to Oneiro’ (Suburb of Dreams) was heavily censored for its depiction of Athens – images of deep poverty that belied the prosperity of post-war recovery projected by the right-wing government. The film’s setting in Petralona was seen as a direct rebuke of efforts by Queen Frederiki, probably the least popular of Greece’s imported monarchy, to conceal the squalor of a refugee shantytown in the disused Filopapou quarry by building a cluster of small, two-storey stone-and-wood cottages on its rim. Today this ‘alpine village’ is just another of the charms of one of the city’s edgiest neighbourhoods, known for its bars, boho vibe, and prime location near the Acropolis. 

Isle of exile

Makronissos was not the only prison camp to which leftists were exiled but is perhaps the most notorious or deeply etched into Greek consciousness. From 1947 to 1961, more than 40,000 ‘suspect’ Greeks were banished to this uninhabited island off the coast of Attica for ‘re-education’.

‘Criminals’ & collaborators

Nazi bulletin announcing the execution of 200 Communists at Kaisariani on 1 May 1944 and all males encountered by German troops outside their villages along the Molai-Sparta road in retaliation for a deadly partisan ambush of a German general and his entourage at Molai in the Peloponnese. ‘As reprisal for this crime, Greek volunteer corps also executed 100 Communists on their own initiative’.