The Upstream Podcast is at it again, with a documentary produced in Athens and focused on the Greek debt crisis. Greece was all over the news in 2014 and 2015. You might remember hearing about the new radical left party Syriza, the referendum, the demonstrations and violence in the streets, the German banks, or the flamboyant Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. So what happened? Mistrusting the mainstream narrative coming from western media outlets, and suspicious of the abrupt end to most news coverage, Upstream traveled to Athens in May to see for themselves what was going on in the aftermath of the turbulent events which have been building up over the last few years in Greece.
In this episode, Betrayal & Solidarity in Greece, the Upstream team takes us on a tour of Athens, from street demonstrations in the anarchist neighborhood of Exarchia to many of the occupations, or “squats”, which have been emerging in Athens as part of the larger solidarity movement. We’ll learn how neighborhoods and communities are taking their wellbeing into their own hands, and what grassroots resistance looks like – Greek-style. The documentary shows how solidarity movement in Greece has given the population a degree of resilience that has helped them to weather these tumultuous times.
A thoughtful cultural and historical analysis is provided by Greek activist Maria Scordialos, who experienced the debt crisis first hand, at first through the superficially affluent bubble years pre-2008, and then more recently in the depths of the individual and societal depression during the debt crisis.
We also hear from Founding DiEM25 member and advisor to Yanis Varoufakis – James K. Galbraith, who has likened Greece to a modern day colony. Galbraith, who pulls no punches, provides a highly critical economic analysis of what happened here before, during, and after the referendum in 2015.
Throughout the podcast, we also learn about some of the most exciting and talked-about initiatives that are under way in Athens, from anarchist groups taking over a hotel and converting it into a refugee accommodation space, to acts of solidarity with laid-off government workers and striking transportation employees.
Peppered with exciting stories and lots of Rembetika music from Greece, Upstream takes us through the streets of Athens and give us a solid understanding of what happened – and is currently happening – in this resilient Mediterranean country. Don’t miss it!
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