Workshop Athens

15 November 2017

The participants of the 5 partner organisations – Közgazdasági Politechnikum (Hungary),  Jugend- & Kulturprojekt e.V. (Germany), Youthnet Hellas (Greece), INBIE (Poland) and A.D.E.L. (Slovakia) took part in an international event, dedicated to the commemoration of Polytechnion Uprising, demonstrating and protesting against the dictatorship in Greece, known as ”Military Junta“ (1967-1974).

During the first working day, the Greek project organizers, Stella Ioannou and Maria Symeonidi, introduced the agenda of the event and coordinated some activities to get to know each other. In addition, they also organised a Kahoot where participants were divided into teams to answer questions about the partner countries’ history, culture and geography

Afterwards, we went to the Polytechnic University of Athens for a guided tour and to meet with the professors and students at the campus. The aim of this visit was to gain an idea of the area where the students’ fight against the regime took place and taste the feeling of the commemorations in honor of those who gave their lives for democracy. The Polytechnion Uprisal is an outstanding event in recent Greek history so the university honored its victims with a monument in its courtyard, opposite the gate demolished by the tanks of the dictatorship. The monument was placed alongside the Column of the National Resistance. The two memorials emphasize the continued struggle of the Greek people and its youth, it is commemorated every November by students, high school pupils, NTUA Senate, democratic authorities, political parties, the Greek Parliament and ordinary citizens.

Unfortunately, on 15 November the University was occupied by anarchists and left wing demonstrators who guarded the building and didn’t let anybody enter. So the guided tour could just take place outside the campus. It was led by Eleanna Bozini (Medieval and Modern Greek Literature in the Faculty of Philology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens),  introducing the history of the university and its contribution to the democratic transition.She was joined by Georgia Salta, a university student who talked about her experience of studying at a historical place.

In the afternoon, a workshop was held by Anastasia Oikonomoula (trainer, youth worker, specialized in projects regarding human rights) about the arrests of people resisting the Junta.

After this workshop, there was a public event organized for the anniversary of the Uprisal at the Polytechnic in the building of the City of Athens Cultural Organisation. The main aim of the event was to strengthen European remembrance about the civil resistance during the totalitarian or authoritarian regimes and the transition to democracy.

The event was moderated by Anastasia Oikonomoula. It started with the welcome speech of Eri Evangelouli, the vice president of Youthnet Hellas, and continued with Maria Symeonidi presenting about the project, the programme and the project partners. Then Eleanna Bozini presented about the historical background of the Greek Military Junta of 1967–1974, followed by a presentation of Panagiotis Kaplanis (History and Archeology Faculty of the University of Ioannina) about “Music, literature and poetry during the Junta” The event was finished with a discussion among participants.