Within the general context of the revelation of systematic gender-based violence in Greek society, as it has emerged in recent weeks, the world of culture is shocked by a series of testimonies of abuse.
Gender-based violence (sexual, physical, psychological, economic), bullying as well as other authoritarian, violative, and punitive behaviors, are an established mechanism for the formation of the domestic artistic university education and the contemporary art scene. It is an entrenched system of discrimination and invisible legislation, which defines, distributes, and enforces the relations of visibility, power, but also the content of the field.
In the field of culture, gender-based violence is also justified through the mythologized function of the Creator/Teacher and the performance of the “sacred talent” of the Artist.
The misogyny and sexism of the great Creator, mainly towards femininities and existing subjects, while often blatant and overt, is (over)masked and systematically “legitimized” within the game of powers of artistic career, as it is shaped by the access or absence of it to important scenes, and often determines the very value of the artistic work.
The naturalization of gender-based abuse within educational institutions, such as the School of Fine Arts, where practically safe and equal access to knowledge and the university community, as well as equal representation, do not exist, while the institutional structures for recording and holding accountable are non-existent, has disastrous results. The promise of a university education is canceled.
Security as a condition of learning is replaced by a regime of threat, which sadistically and mythically projects the production of insecurity as a condition of creation. Victims are forced to internalize their oppression in order to survive in a sovereign condition, in order to complete their studies unhindered, and not have an impact on their professional careers.
Open and institutional criticism of this system, both in the sphere of personal and professional artistic life, has so far not found listening ears, while at the same time it increases the obsolescence and precariousness of the daily life of women, femininities, as well as vulnerable and precarious subjects in the visual arts, and systemically invisibles any opening to an interdisciplinary feminist pedagogy.
What we want and what we demand:
- Establishment of a policy and prevention measures to address sexual harassment and mental abuse in the Schools of Fine Arts, such as the establishment of independent reference structures, awareness programs, and training seminars for employees on the types and forms of gender-based violence. The equality committees in the Schools of Fine Arts should be set up immediately.
- Code of Ethics and Good Practice and Internal Regulation of the Faculties, establishing the terms of communication and contact within the university community, with special emphasis on gender-based violence, bullying, and discrimination.
- Creation of a university climate that is intolerant of harassment, where students and staff members can report incidents of sexual harassment, these reports are taken seriously, victims receive support, and perpetrators are dismissed. Stop systemic omerta and indifference to rape culture.
- Improvement of the representation rates of female teachers in the Schools of Fine Arts.
- Integration of gender studies courses into the entire curriculum of the Schools of Fine Arts, as they are a key part of contemporary art education. We want a curriculum with examples of artistic and theoretical practices that negotiate and connect with gender, and gender diversity as well as cultural and post-colonial theories, LGBTQI+, and feminist movements.
- Practical solidarity with all people facing forms of gender-based violence and discrimination, especially among (young) women and LGBTQI+ people.
Against the patriarchal condition of educational culture, but also against the tolerance and omerta of the art world, we propose educational, artistic, and theoretical practices based on interdisciplinarity and the policies of care and empowerment.
We stand in solidarity with the Student Harassment Recording Initiative at the School of Fine Arts, as well as with all the individualities and collectives working to care for communities, restructure institutions and strengthen a culture of emancipation and equality.
Diotima – Center for Women’s Studies and Research // Network Against Violence Against Women // Student Union for Gender and Equality (PHYLIS), A.U.Th. // Feminist Initiative: Women’s Home for Empowerment & Emancipation // Feminist Magazine // Association of Employees of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality “Dora Katsivardakou” // Aphrodite* Queer Feminist Film Festival / / Emantes International Lgbtqia+ Solidarity // Communitism // Feminist Autonomous Centre for Research (FAC) // Lgbtqia+ Refugees Welcome // DIZEZA // State of Concept Athens // Sub Rosa Space / This is not a feminist project // 3137 // Avramopoulou Eirini, Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University // Athanasiou Athina, Professor at the Department of Social Anthropology, Panteion University // Vakali Frosso (Furasu Yoru), artist // Vlassopoulou Pucky, artist, curator // Stamatina Voreadi, Teacher // Gatou Ismini, PhD Department of Cultural Technology & Communication, University of the Aegean // Giannakaki Maria, former Secretary General for Human Rights and Transparency, former MP // Giannoglou Danae, curator // Graneta Despina, dance therapist / / Grigoriou Zelia, Associate Professor of Education Theory, University of Cyprus // Efthymiou Alkistis, phD. Doctor of Anthropology, Panteion University // Dizzy Peggy, Architect and Visual Artist // Zoulakis Manolis, visual artist, cartoonist // Ioannou Dimitra, poet, A) GLIMPSE) OF) // Kaouni Mina, Lawyer // Karatza Electra, production manager at the State of Concept Athens // Kerentzi Persephone, PhD candidate at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens // Connie Rafaella, student at the Athens School of Fine Arts // Koumianaki Chrysanthi, artist, curator // Ledaki Evangelia, curator, anthropologist // Manesi Diana, social anthropologist, researcher / / Markaki Lydia, communications manager at State of Concept Athens // Markou Vaso, graphic designer // Morakea Stavroula, graduate of the Athens School of Fine Arts // Nikolaos Kosmas, artist, curator // Dakozoudi Nefeli, cinematographer // Papadakou Giouli, PhD candidate NKUA // Sevasti Despina, artist and theorist // Sianou Fotini, activist for Peace, Nonviolence and Human Rights of Women // Stamatiou Giannis, teacher and student of the Athens School of Fine Arts //Stamou Katerina, researcher // Stefanou Danae, Associate Professor, Department of Music Studies, School of Fine Arts, AUTh // Fokianaki Iliana, Founder and Director of State of Concept Athens // Anna T., University of Arts and Design Linz // Bempeza Sofia, theorist and artist // Macklin Kowal, artist and curator // Melitopoulos Angela, artist and writer // Otta Vildoso Eliana, artist // Schroedinger Kerstin, artist / /