Fokas Yiannis, untitled, acrylic on canvas-mixed media - Artforum Culture Foundation

Fokas Yiannis, acrylic on canvas-mixed media – Artforum Culture Foundation

Time for a new self-consciousness

Greece is wellknown for its history and culture, a culture which is based on philosophy, art and the value of common communication.  A world without the spiritual influence of its people is inconceivable. But the transfiguration of Hellenism sometimes in a bloodless veneration is primarily a German invention of the Classical and Romantic periods.

It has little in common with the life of contemporaries in Greece. The days of great philosophers and artists may be over, but the tremendous legacy dates back to the 20th century. We can call it a new renaissance, back to the basics and concentrated more on content than on form. This may hardly be noticeable, especially since most Greeks rest on an ancient legacy – but the strength is palpable. Internal and external political conditions had led to culture spreading in exile rather staying in the background. For most of the protagonists, a striking type of modesty got typical. This has enabled them to survive and develop even in the most difficult conditions in the country, but especially in exile. Modern Greek writers and artists have something to tell to the world. On the one hand restraint and and on the other on a high level of critical empathy – this perspective is typical of such diverse writers as Andreas Embirikos, Konstantinos Kavafis, Giorgios Seferis, Odysseas Elytis, Giannis Ritsos or Nikos Kazantzakis.

Without personalities such as Teriade and Christos Zervos, classic modernity would certainly not have been able to begin its triumphal march in the same way. Artists such as Andy Warhol, Victor Brauner, Alexander Calder and René Magritte have also achieved international fame thanks to the expertise and support of Alexander Iolas. Jannis Kounellis even chose modesty as the style element of an entire art movement, arte povera. It also takes a lot of perseverance and a great inner fire to keep focusing on art and culture and, for example, to create in times of economic crisis an international platform with the Art Thessaloniki.

But we have to imagine: All of these efforts need support.

Business, politics, society and everyone benefit from the work of creative artists and mediators. Especially in times of Corona, better framework conditions and help are needed to hold creativity in the country. The undoubtedly great Greek talent of being curious and communicating (in this form only to be compared with the Jewish one) must not be suffocated in their own country or constantly stand on their feet. The aim should not be to flee but to exchange with other countries in order to use this potential.

Of course, what is said here applies not only to the entire field of culture, but also to to science and business. Cultural exchange and the promotion of independent in-house developments need political and economic support. Just creativity, innovation and good vibrations ensure the basis of a sustainable society.





Solidarity, love and respect are the answer

Tanimanides, Panayiotis - Artforum Culture Foundation

Tanimanides, Panayiotis - Artforum Culture Foundation

In unprecedented openness and cooperation, politics, healthcare and society have recognized the seriousness of the  impending pandemic and acted accordingly.Compared to what is happening worldwide, we can call it the miracle of Greece. In Greece, politics and healthcare seem to control the pandemia. Or is it just a trick to save tourism?

Many Greeks are amazed about their own discipline in dealing with the Corona Virus. And they welcome the government's crisis management. The fact, that Greece has an incredible low rate of corona infections and deaths seems to be a real miracle. But – what are the reasons and why this has not been noticed anywhere in the world?
Concrete early measures and preparations by the government and the right decision to speak with one expert voice to the Greek people, have reduced fear by insight into what is necessary. It was really the right idea that virologist Dr. Sotiris Tsiodras  had inform and educate every evening on TV about the new infection. Accordingly, Greece was well prepared for the pandemic. For further information please compare COVID-19 pandemic in Greece.

Lockdown to protect everyone

Very early decisions led for corrective measures. All carnival parades were prohibited in time. Schools and universities, restaurants and cafés were closed early. This was a simple but great opportunity from the start to keep new infections low. Social hardship was balanced out equally for all people by a newly introduced short-time work allowance (800 euros per person).
There was a great deal of insight into curfews, where the houses or apartments were only allowed to be left in exceptional cases. This was of course surprising for the Greeks, who traditionally love spending time outdoor. But the insight into social cohesion was exemplary. More than 85 % of Greeks are satisfied with crisis management.

Formative power of social coexistence

Given the years of economic crisis, one could have expected a disaster, similar to the neighbouring countries of Italy and Turkey. The fact that this has not happened, despite involuntary savings courses, especially in the healthcare sector, is also due to the high quality of medical training and the commitment of doctors and nurses. Thanks to the formative power of social coexistence swarm intelligence could spread.

Tourism is a great opportunity for Greece, but not at any price

Last but not least, we hope that the planned opening of the country to tourism will not negate the previous advantage. Great caution and strict regulations are not an affront to guests right now, but a necessary sign of a great Greek “invention”, philoxenia. Precautionary measures protect the people in the country - and thus also the guests.

But there are also voices indicating that the Greek statistics are insufficient and not comparable. Too few people have actually been tested. Perhaps the strikingly positive picture is determined by the fact that Greece will be very quickly attractive again  for tourists in order to mobilize this important economic factor.
Anyway, every further step should be evaluated very carefully and, if necessary, reversed very quickly.
Let us be wise of harm so that we can hopefully step into a bright future after a period of delay.

Don’t forget Migrants

Maybe it's also luck and the good weather that has saved Greece from disaster so far. It is not disputed that the Greeks' social responsibility for each other has shown what love and respect can do. A great cultural heritage may be revealed again. Many Greeks themselves have been victims of flight and migration for political and economic reasons. Approximately the same number of people in their own country now lives scattered over almost every country in the world, so called diaspora. No question, it should be an obligation to spend empathy for people in hopeless situations. To get effect it need of course two ways: on the one hand to do everything possible to combat the causes and on the other to give optimal support to each individual. Love and respect will be the source to end the terrible situation of people in refugee camps. We have to understand – and corona pandemic demonstrate it day by day – that we are all in one boat on one world. The actual behaviour of so many people in Greece should have consequences. Hand in hand, government and society in cooperation with a new EU strategy must fight to stop inhumane migration and lager policy.


Corona virus and its disease Covid-19

Numerous conspiracy theories also circulate in Corona times.
What is behind it?

George DuBose - Biz Markie

George DuBose - Biz Markie. ArtForum Editions

Conspiracy theories are a psycho-sociological phenomenon that broadly describes the attempt to explain a state, an event or a development through a conspiracy.  It is suspected, that i.e. a targeted, secret work of a mostly small group of people will detriment a few other people or or (parts of) society . They are generally understood by the public in the sense of ideologies that ultimately do not promote a critical debate, but rather hinder it. Numerous conspiracy theoriesalso circulate in the case of the corona virus.

As far as conspiracy theories are based on rational and verifiable statements or questions, one should correctly speak of conspiracy hypotheses.
Hypotheses are fundamentally not negative, they require space where knowledge is missing or is not accessible.

Imagine: Corona-virus and its disease Covid-19 as well as conspiracy ideologies threaten humanity. Knowledge, solidarity, respect and love are required like never before.

So, even in times of Corona, numerous questions are still open:

-  Why is a long time advised procedure to wear protective masks  rejected or made ridiculous instead to declare openly that preventive measures are still missing?
-  Why free stays in the fresh air (even in the forest, mountains, sea) are prohibited, but inside supermarkets (different from district to district, from city to state), supermarket cashiers and customers are unprotected?
- Why are disinfection procedures are done and masks prescribed and worn especially in countries with some experiences with aerosol diseases?  But in e.g. Europe there is  not even insight into this question yet?

Of course, we cannot give any qualified answers at this point and would even like to expressly warn against conspiracy ideologies.
Perhaps, however, our information - and in the following our instructions - will help to understand the problem somewhat better and to protect us all.

Truths Invented or Believed?

When it is no longer possible to explain everything unknown with the work of an almighty God, there is a growing tendency to attribute unpleasant phenomena to the dark power of a conspiratorial group - “somebody has to be responsible for it”. This appears to be the only solution out of your own ignorance and responsibility. In this sense, conspiracy theories in the sense of hypotheses are primarily to be understood as symptoms of a crisis in the face of a state of ignorance. The state of ignorance in turn leads to fear. Fears are a natural feeling, so you should take them seriously. They are not sick as such, but they can make you sick if you can't deal with them.

Violence - internally and / or externally - can be a result of fear and thus a logical consequence of conspiracy tendencies: if the threat posed by an overpowered power is to great and if there is still no means due to an ideological self-sealing to refute the fearful idea, then, maybe, every means attainable will be right to defend it.

Fears must therefore always be taken very seriously. A way out of weakness can only provide by knowledge through comprehensive transparency and education. Because knowledge is the best way to find solutions. However, there will be no state of omniscient truth.Knowledge does not mean truth. Any research can only create knowledge, but we can only believe the truth *. Ultimately, truths cannot be suppressed by disciplining what can be said, but only by accessing and accepting as diverse a knowledge as possible.

* Recommended for a fundamental insight into the phenomenon "Believed Truths" is the publication of the same name as a contribution to the philosophy of photography at ArtForum Editions I KulturPlusMedien. Book order online at: winterstiftung (at) web.de.

Stay healthy ! **

**A common project of Artforum Culture Foundation,  WinterStiftung Hamburg  and GoPublic-Stiftungsberatung

All recommendations are subject to better care and / or newer knowledge.




Protect yourself, that will protect us all.
Stay healthy !


Art and culture as a main contribution to democracy

Artforum Culture Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation (NPO) running for more than two decades in Greece, other European countries and globally. In cooperation with art historians, curators, collectors, gallery owners and museum experts, the board of trustees is responsible for the strategic planning to fulfil mayor targets and services. Members of the board are appointed to set the policies of the organization. Under the doctrine of collective responsibility, the entire board is liable for the organization's activities. Our main mission is dedicated to the promotion of art and culture. Giving things significance contributes to the sense of life. Everything that humans freely design, form or express in pictures serves a meaningful whole. We would like to support those creators. More practically we to built up a growing up collection of Greek and international art. We like to cooperate with collectors, artists and their estates. Donations and loans are welcome. The foundation is also involved in researching for these art works. The promotion of art and culture has to be done in own projects as well as in cooperations with other institutions and organizations.

It is our conviction that support of art and culture can be an important contribution to promote and to get freedom, peace and prosperity.