‘Uprisings Do Not Enter Museums’: Invoking the 1973 Athens Polytechnic Uprising, A Study of Political Myths

Iossifidis, Miranda Jeanne Marie. 2016. ‘Uprisings Do Not Enter Museums’: Invoking the 1973 Athens Polytechnic Uprising, A Study of Political Myths. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (‘Uprisings Do Not Enter Museums’: Invoking the 1973 Athens Polytechnic Uprising, A Study of Political Myths)
SOC_thesis_IossifidisM_2016.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (176MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This project explores the multiplicity of contemporary invocations of the 1973 Athens Polytechnic uprising as remembrance practices of political myth-making (Bottici, 2007), focusing on the annual commemoration of the uprising in 2012 and 2013. Contextualised within the contemporary ‘crisis,’ this thesis poses the following questions: how and why are images of the Polytechnic uprising invoked and made transmissible in the present through remembrance practices? How are such practices meaningful for people involved in everyday political action? Using mixed ethnographic methods - audio-visual artefacts, pamphlets, interviews, and participant observation - I propose that urban sociologists concerned with political action should be attentive to political myths. I argue that the different spaces and temporalities created through myth-making are tied to different imaginations of political action. I situate these practices in Exarcheia, and explore how this area is produced as an exceptional space of contentious politics. While most scholarship focuses on myths of the nation-state, I disentangle competing dominant and counteractive political myths. I analyse how dominant political myths create a linear homogenous concept of time, and fabricate the Polytechnic as a space of mourning and, sometimes, extremism. I explore the heterogeneous counteractive political myths through the production of counterspaces, examining how participants make artefacts using dialectical images to create distinct temporalities of a ‘contemporary Junta’ and a discontinuous history of tenacious resistance. I show how creating, sharing, and interpreting myths is meaningful for people in terms of political subjectivity and generating affective agency. I argue that these practices can be considered forms of indirect resistance, with the annual commemoration a ‘coming together’ serving as a resource that fortifies people’s capacity to resist. This project hopes to build on the rich interdisciplinary contemporary scholarship on Greek urban political action by taking into account the importance of remembrance practices of political myth-making.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):



Uprisings, Athens, political myth, urban sociology

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



30 November 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

04 Jan 2017 15:18

Last Modified:

12 Sep 2022 14:05



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)