The Passenger - Greece

We are back on the road again with THE PASSENGER, and this time we set off in the direction of Greece, a country that has always evoked dreamy beaches and legendary archaeological sites. In recent years, however, Greece has suffered from the flattening and one-dimensional narrative of the headlines, which have described it almost solely as a collapsing country. It was therefore challenging to play at unhinging what had by then become clichés, pursuing a multi-hued narrative befitting a changing nation. To do so, we borrowed the voices of writers and journalists, professors and passionate Greekists. Matteo Nucci, an author also known to Italian readers as a correspondent for Il Venerdì di Repubblica, let us dream about the rhythms and lifestyle bordering on mythology that distinguish rebetiko, a rebellious music that arrived in the early 20th century with refugees from Asia Minor and has flourished again in recent years. Greece's relationship with its Turkish neighbors, and their common roots, is also explored by journalist James Angelos: with him we make the acquaintance of Ghiannis Boutaris, the unconventional mayor of Thessaloniki who seeks to uplift his city by attracting Turkish and Israeli tourists. Nikos Vatòpoulos took us around the buildings and streets of Athens, showing us the different faces, ethnic and architectural, of the capital, especially the (almost) hidden treasure of its neoclassical buildings, now almost all in ruins. But The Passenger is above all contemporary, and in this volume we discuss the contradictions that characterize Greece today. On the one hand Alexander Clapp's article on the new generation of oligarchs thriving in a country prostrated by austerity. On the other is Matteo Nucci's Lesvos, home to a people who were forced to migrate by the tragedy of Smyrna in 1922, who cannot stand idly by in the face of the misfortunes of those forced to embark for Europe today. With the celebrated writer Petros Markaris we relive the good old days of the typical Greek tavern, now an endangered species in Athenian alleys, where an indistinguishable fusion cuisine reigns supreme, and with Christos Ikonòmou we mourn the lost generation of young people who fled a country with no future with the knowledge that they could never return. We then put ourselves in the shoes of those who live the daily grind of a maddening country, seeing it through the eyes of a Greek, Kostas Koutsourelis, and adopted Greek Rachel Howard, who describe the impenetrability of certain Greek behavior and the deadly slowness of its bureaucracy. We also discuss the island of Ikaria, whose inhabitants are so happy that they seem to forget they are dying, with an article by American journalist Andrew Anthony. Finally, we read about Greece going the distance: Thomas Tsalapatis tells the modern fable of Ghiannis Antetokounmpo, a Greek-Nigerian basketball phenomenon now in the ve

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Publication date: 29.05.2019
Publisher: Iperborea

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