A Citizen’s Guide to Greece 2015


April 5, 2016

Fall 2015 highlights at the Dukakis Center

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Written by: Politis

During the Fall 2015 semester the Dukakis Center was involved in three major undertakings, conceived above all to inspire young people to take an active role in the public life of their country.

First, the Dukakis Center underwrote and was present at the annual Thessaloniki International Symposium organized by the Navarino Network, on Sunday, October 18, the theme of which was “The World in 2016 and beyond.” Dukakis Center director David Wisner moderated two sessions during the day-long event, which featured leading scholars and practitioners in contemporary international affairs. Notably, Wisner presided over a session featuring NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, Thrasyvoulos “Terry” Stamatopoulos.

The American College of Thessaloniki was one of the co-sponsors of the event, along with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and other local institutions.

Next, the Dukakis Center hosted the distinguished French journalist Jean Quatremer for a Dukakis Lecture on Friday, November 20, at the Municipality of Thessaloniki. The event was co-sponsored by the French Institute of Thessaloniki and the Journalist’s Union of Macedonia-Thrace, with further support from the Consulate-General of France in Thessaloniki and TV100.

The event began with the observation of a minute of silence in memory of the victims of terrorist attacks in Kenya, Beirut, Paris, and, on the very day of the event, Mali, and an elegant homage in Greek by Consul-General Christophe Le Rigoleur. Mr. Quatremer followed up on this theme in an initial exchange with Filios Stangos, Director-General of TV100, who moderated the event in the form of an engaging extended interview, on a wide range of subjects ranging from the terrorist attacks in Paris to the Greek response to the referendum of July 2015.

That same week the Dukakis Center hosted acclaimed Greek photojournalist, and SBALA alumnus,  Dimitris Bouras for a Dukakis Masterclass in Photojournalism, in partnership with ACT’s English undergraduate program. The class, called “You won’t be here tomorrow,” covered technical, aesthetic, practical, and moral considerations prevalent in contemporary photojournalism. Some 10 participants met several times throughout the week of November 23-27, 2015, and were invited to do their own photo shoots on the theme “We all need to eat.” Mr. Bouras, who has lectured at the Dukakis Center previously, culminated his residency with a public presentation of some of his own photographs taken in Syria and Iraq.

Simultaneously, Mr Bouras and Christina Calbos, a volunteer humanitarian aid worker in Northern Greece, accompanied a group of ACT students and Dukakis Center interns to the northern Greek village of Eidomeni, to distribute food and take stock of the situation of the makeshift refugee camps at the border between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The group volunteered at one of the food distribution tents run by a Spanish NGO, where they helped serve the queue of refugees who had assembled to take their midday meal. After an hour of service, the interns distributed clothes and blankets that they had brought with them, while a few accompanied Mr. Bouras to the border, where a handful of Iranian refugees had been engaged in a hunger strike to protest not being allowed by the FYRoM authorities to cross the border and continue their trek toward northern Europe.

The students in the Masterclass will mount an informal exhibition of their photographs from Eidomeni to help raise awareness of the plight of the refugees stuck at the border.


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