Accepted Paper:

The 1997 celebrations of 'Thessaloniki Cultural Capital of Europe' revisited  

Author:

Georgios Agelopoulos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)

Paper short abstract:

The preparations regarding the 1997 Cultural Capital of Europe in Thessaloniki started two decades ago. Taking into account the current context of the Greek crisis, this paper discusses the effects of the 1997 CCE activities on identity politics in Thessaloniki and more generally in Greece.

Paper long abstract:

The preparations regarding the 1997 Cultural Capital of Europe in Thessaloniki started two decades ago. This paper discusses the effects of the 1997 CCE activities on identity politics in Thessaloniki and more generally in Greece. The discussion takes into account the post-1997 developments in Greece with special emphasis to the recent socio-political crisis. It is argued that the model of multiculturalism promoted by the 1997 CCE activities has been completely abandoned due to immigration policies and the socio-political crisis. This affects the very idea of Europe and European heritage as well as feelings of belonging to Europe and the Balkans. The failure of promoting the European heritage of common values and cultural understanding through the CCE 1997 activities allows us to reflect critically on the very idea of Europe and the policies promoting European integration.

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