This area will be directly dedicated to the history of the Greek working class and the industrial development of Athens during the 80s. This part of the exhibition deals with the period’s working class cultural identity and its significant deconstruction under the rising domination of a globalized and mainly middle-class culture. Within that shift, however, the resistance and survival strategies of the old (or perceived) working-class culture still remain alive and active, playing an important role in this decade’s cultural history. In an attempt to keep the popular element alive and maintain its authenticity, the working class stood strongly against the onslaught of pop influences, claiming its right to exist in an inclusive and pluralistic environment through the revival of the “Rebetiko” (the Greek urban popular music), the formation of “Rebetika” music groups and the establishment of “Rebetologists”. Macho heroes and myths, the notion of “Greekness”, the rise of folk tradition and its distinct ways of entertainment (eg, bouzouki joints etc), as well as a particular identity in consumption and dietary habits were all part of the survival instinct used to separate themselves from the new kitsch and banal aesthetics popularized by the lower and middle classes. Workers’ claims and demands, as well as social movements’ action, often obscured by the establishment of a culture characterized by prosperity and the opening of coveted civil servant positions, will be historically re-evaluated and repositioned in this unit.
Research Assistants: Andreas Zanias
Kostas Katsapis was born in Athens in 1973. The majority of his childhood and teenage years were spent in the 80s. He studied History at the Ionian University (1990-1994) where he also acquired an MA degree in History and Documentation. In 2006, he earned a PhD in the “Social history of rock n’ roll in Greece during the post-war period”, from Panteion University. He has worked as a historian at the Agricultural Bank of Greece’s historical archive (1997-1998), at the Hellenic World Foundation (2000-2002) and at the History Department of the Ionian University (2002-2012). In 2012 he became a staff member at the Department of Political Science and History at Panteion University. He has collaborated with the National Institution of Research for its “Greek Youth’s Historical Archive” program. He has been teaching a “European Culture” module at the Open University since 2006 as well as a post graduate level module in “Youth History” at Panteion University (Department of Political Science and History) and the University of Peloponnese. He is a columnist in “Ta Nea” newspaper (Booklet: Vivliodromio) in which he reviews books. His current research is mostly focused on contemporary cultural history with a specialization in youth and everyday life. He is the author of: “The problem Youth”. Modern youth, tradition and dispute in Postwar Greece, 1964-1974 (Unforeseen Publications, Athens 2013), Sounds and echoes, Social history of the Rock n’ Roll phenomenon in Greece, 1956-1967, Historical Archive of Greek Youth (General Secretary of Youth Publications EIE/INE, Athens 2007)