Full day field-trip around Greater Athens with H/S339
Is it true that the Greeks see their own state as an enemy of sorts? Where can we trace Greece’s ambivalent feelings towards its western allies? Can analyzing Greek politics shed light into our understanding of the US political system?
Those are some of the questions addressed in Professor Gandolfo’s Fall semester class Contemporary Greek Politics and Society: Historical Perspectives on Change and Continuity.
After beginning the semester with a focus on today’s Greek Political system and relating it to that of the US, the class embarks on a historical journey, to trace the development of the modern Greek state to its roots, and create an understanding of the background to long-term social issues and political problems. During the last part of the Semester, the class makes a most interesting shift of focus, towards the people of Greece. How do they relate to their state and state laws?
To find out more about the classes political explorations, we joined class for a day.
On a bright October morning, the Professor Gandolfo and his 17 students embarked on a compelling full-day journey around Greater Athens. With Gandolfo enthusiastically providing information on multiple levels of Greek reality, the students discovered areas of Athens strikingly different to one another.
On what was probably the most unusual itinerary in our bus driver’s career, the group investigated places that reveal unsung stories of immigration, class, religion, cultural growth, ethnic tensions but, most importantly, every-day truths about the people living in this country, their history, and contemporary realities.
Take a look at a few of our stops:
- On our bus, ready to set off for this urban exploration
- "New York, New Jersey, Nea Smyrni" - a municipality created by Greek refugees from Asia Minor
- Group photo on the steps of Agia Fotini Church
- Nea Smyrni has its own Metropolitan Orthodox Bishop!
- Discussing responses to refugee crises on a state and family level
- A stop at a 'periptero', to observe and discuss the news papers
- A short stop outside a primary school, before getting shouted away by a group of young students!
- observing and discussing political posters on Athenian streets
- Memories of immigration very much alive through contemporary Graffiti Art
- the impressive cultural center of Nea Smyrni, dedicated to the heritage of Asia Minor Greeks
- Ariving at the Stavros Niarchos foundation
- Inside the new National Gallery
- Inside the new national library
- Group Photo outside Stavros Niarchos Foundation
- Perama, once a major shipbuilding area, now has one of the highest unemployment rates in Greece
- 'a part of Athens that no tourist ever gets to see, and Athenians rarely travel through" overlooking
- aspropyrgos, schisto, skaramanga,
- Why is Athens still the only European capital city without a mosque? The class tried to find out.
- The plan of our Journey