by Akis Gavriilidis

We’re a mixture here: Syrians, migrated Greeks, Armenians, Medes

C.P. Cavafy, In a Town of Osroini

For the past 20 years, the Republic of Macedonia was mentioned in the news, if at all, only due to nationalist or ethnic conflicts. These reports were dominated by the stupid, but no less obstinate, objections by Greece as to what the “right” name for the Republic should be, and the concomitant petty quarrels between the two countries for the title of the genuine descendant of Alexander the “Great” (murderer) and of the legitimate owner of some graves and their content. These had led to mutual suspicion and hatred, in the context of which the borders between the two countries had been under strict surveillance, and movement across them –both physical and mental- severely limited and often plainly prohibited.

This invisible human-tight wall separating the two territories was brought down and swept away the last few days, due to the unpredictable Read More

by Pavlos Hatzopoulos and Nelli Kambouri

The discourse on migration in Athens is anchored to three propositions that are often shared by both the pro-migration and anti-migration positions.

1. The Centre: The first proposition is that migration is constituted as a problem primarily in the Centre of Athens. Contrary to the conceptualization of migration as a movement, whose form and impact are dispersed, migration becomes condensed in a specific bounded location, a near static phenomenon that can be easily identified and mapped in Cartesian geographical terms. Anti-migration arguments concentrate on a «kick the migrants out of the centre of Athens» position, while pro-migration on a «we need to design social policies for the improvement of the social conditions and the infrastructures in the centre of Athens» stance. In both cases, dealing with migration is associated with the claim that something «needs to be done» with the Centre of Athens. Read More