Famine, suicide, and photovoltaics: narratives of the Greek crisis

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


The Greek crisis has become the most eminent exampl e of neoliberal economic meltdown over the past five years. In town s across Greece people try to come to terms with drastic changes in their everyday lives and grapple with the complex mixture of politics, e conomy, history and culture that informs crisis experience.

This paper addresses recurring themes in crisis nar ratives from the town of Trikala, central Greece, within the context of l ocal history and economy. Narratives condense historical experience, fashion forms of cultural proximity and facilitate polytemporality. As people recall the era of ciftliks (great estates), the Great Famine of 1941-43, and the stock market collapse they construct a sphere of collecti ve suffering and solidarity based on adversity whilst simultaneously critiquing economic systems. Historical events significantly inform pre sent crisis experience in Trikala, adding local nuances to national and gl obal problems. Three prominent themes can be identified in daily narrati ves that help locals comprehend the socioeconomic hardship: famine, suic ide and colonisation. These recurrent themes form the bases for collective suffering, encouraging solidarity in the face of so cioeconomic turmoil. In narrative, actors move seamlessly from past to pres ent, offering a critique of economic systems by means of historical embodiment.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherLondon School of Economics and Political Science
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Publication series

NameGreeSE Working Paper Series
PublisherHellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe


  • Economic crisis
  • Neoliberalism
  • Polytemporality
  • Photovoltaics
  • Famine


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