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Stage of EmergencyTheater and Public Performance under the Greek Military Dictatorship of 1967–1974$
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Gonda Van Steen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198718321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718321.001.0001

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Monopolizing National History

Monopolizing National History

Performing Tyranny and Constructing Myths

(p.159) 3 Monopolizing National History
Stage of Emergency

Gonda Van Steen

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 presents a diptych of antithetical stage representations of Greek history, continuity, and heroism. It discusses the military regime’s attempted monopoly on culture, language, and imagery and its fascist-style use of the classics for propaganda purposes. By way of an in-depth analysis of Our Grand Circus, a contemporary Greek play written by Iakovos Kambanelles (and produced in 1973 by the popular actor-pair Jenny Kareze and Kostas Kazakos of the Kareze-Kazakos Theater Company), the second half of Chapter 3 unmasks the dynamics with which the Colonels manipulated the terms of political legitimacy, national “salvation,” and religious and moral restoration. Mass spectacle became another means to the regime’s end of “forging” a public consensus about the “regenerative” work to which it had committed itself. In contract, Kambanelles’s revolutionary work deconstructed tyrannical meaning, dared to stage defeat and deprivation, and thus debunked the glorious myth of patriotic Greek victories through the ages

Keywords:   Greek military dictatorship, Greek continuity, Greek victory celebrations, mass spectacle, propaganda, Our Grand Circus, Iakovos Kambanelles, Jenny Kareze, Kostas Kazakos, demythification

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