Sunday, 2 September 2018

Who’s welcome to your home and at your table?


To Lambrina and Sam, Eleni and Nikos
To good friends and good discussions


Last June, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant. The request was made by the restaurant owner. 

In mid-August, the invitation to Marine Le Pen, former French presidential candidate and leader of the National Rally political party, to attend the Web Summit in Lisbon was followed by public outcry. The invitation was eventually withdrawn.

Both incidents raised questions regarding freedom of speech; whether one can fight extremist political views and address the roots of the rise of the far-right by banning or ignoring certain viewpoints; and whether by excluding some people you don’t also become like them yourself.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

How easy is it to put your children in a boat?

The fire in Mati (Greece, 2018; image taken from Facebook)

“Do you see how easily you put your children in a boat when in despair or in danger?”, someone wrote on Twitter on 26 July, when the whole of Greece was in profound shock after the tragic fire that claimed so many lives. As the personal stories of those who perished and those who survived, tried to save their loved ones or people they didn’t know at all were emerging, turning the tragedy into something less and less abstract, someone made this connection between the people who put their children in boats to be taken to safety during the fire and the refugees who attempt the perilous, often deadly, crossing of the sea. How many people made that connection? What kind of people made that connection? Would this connection ever occur to someone with a negative attitude towards refugees and migrants? Would this tweet be enough to make someone reconsider?

Saturday, 14 July 2018

“Whites only”: would you go in?




There are two recent incidents which made me think. They are lessons learnt and they influence my way of evaluating situations and making professional and personal decisions.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Does it concern us?



Syrian archaeologist Khaled al-Asaad, murdered by ISIS in August 2015 (Photo: Marc Deville/Getty)
Translated from Greek, my article on the political role of archaeological museums in the 21st century. Read here

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Museum profissionals: new skills


My article in the latest issue of ICOM Portugal News Bulletin (Series III, June 2018, Nr. 12), available in english here.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Guest post: "Pioneer Cities of Culture and how Istanbul changed the narrative", by Filiz Ova

World Cultural Cities (Tianfu) Symposium, Chengdu, China

I am writing this article from from Beijing, on my way back from the World Cultural Cities (Tianfu) Symposium
 in Chengdu, China. I am amazed by their openness, friendly hospitality and, at the same time, their urge to westernize. It reminds me very much of Turkey at the beginning of the Republic, when scholars, artists, specialists from Europe were invited to implement the principles of high culture.  Contrary to China, however, not with the aim to become a global superpower, but with the somewhat naïve intention to become a secular democratic Republic.