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To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Athens Polytechneio uprising in November 1973, the Hellenic Observatory commemorates this historic occasion with a panel discussion with some of those who were there and others who can help us to understand its significance.

Less than a year later, the brutal Colonels’ Junta would collapse. How important was the uprising in this outcome? Why did the uprising prove so formative for the political experience of a generation that bore its name?

Meet our speakers and chair 

Nicos Christodoulakis is Professor Emeritus at the AUEB, Research Associate at the Hellenic Observatory in LSE, and a Visiting Professor there in 2018-2019. During 1993-2001 he served in various Government posts and in 2002-2004 he was Minister of Finance and chairman of the Eurogroup (July 2002-June 2003). He was nominated in the caretaker Government (2015) as Minister for the Economy. During his studies in the National Technical University of Athens he actively participated in the resistance movement against the military dictatorship. In the Polytechnic uprising in November 1973 he was in charge of the broadcasting station. After the fall of the dictatorship, he was chairman of the Students’ Association (1974-1975), and in 1976 he testified at the Athens Martial Court against the junta leaders. Author of several papers and books on macroeconomics and economic policy, including “Greek Endgame: From austerity to growth or Grexit” (2015), “How Crises shaped Economic Ideas and Policies” (2015) and “An Economic Analysis of Conflicts” (2016).

Zinovia (Jenny) Lialiouti is Assistant Professor of History at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She is the author of the books Anti-Americanism in Greece 1947-1989, Asini Publishing, Athens 2016 (in Greek) and The ‘other’ Cold War. American cultural diplomacy in Greece 1953-1973, University Press of Crete, Rethymnon 2019 (in Greek). She has collaborated as a researcher with the Centre for Modern Greek Studies at the Academy of Athens, the UCD Clinton Institute for American Studies, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Panteion University. She has published papers in peer-review journals and edited volumes on Cold War history, the history of propaganda and the formulation of national and political identities.

George Pavlakis is a research biomedical scientist at the National Cancer Institute, USA. He graduated from Athens Medical School in 1976. He was freely elected representative of the medical students during and after the dictatorship in Greece. He participated in the student movement and the revolt of November 14-17, 1973 at the Polytechnic School of Athens, and was co-organizer of the medical facility of the student-occupied School that treated many victims. He was repeatedly arrested and mistreated by the police and was a fugitive after the revolt until the fall of the dictatorship. He has developed drugs and methods useful in the clinic. He has published many scientific papers and some brief memoirs and poems. He considers his best publication the memoir excerpts included in the Greek Elementary School books. He has been a science advisor to policy makers and participated in the public debate during the AIDS and COVID pandemics.

Calliope Rigopoulou is Professor Emeritus at the University of Athens and an author of books combining theory and practice, history and fiction, and articles on art, psychoanalysis and communication, creator of paintings and videos and columnist for the main leftist Greek newspaper “Efimerida syntakton” (Efsyn). Like the overwhelming majority of those who took part in the 1973 Athens Polytechnic uprising against the military Junta and its U.S.A. instigators, Calliope (Pepy) Rigopoulou, was not a member of any political party or organisation. After she obtaining her BA in Chemistry, she studied History and Theory of Art at Sorbonne University, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, obtaining her MA and her P.H.D. in History of Art (1984).

Kevin Featherstone is Director of the Hellenic Observatory and Professorial Research Fellow in the European Institute at LSE.

The twitter Hashtag for this event is: #LSEGreece

Podcast/ Video / Photos

You can listen to the podcast here.

You can watch the video here.

You can view photos here.

More about this event

The Hellenic Observatory (@HO_LSE) is internationally recognised as one of the premier research centres on contemporary Greece and Cyprus. It engages in a range of activities, including developing and supporting academic and policy-related research; organisation of conferences, seminars and workshops; academic exchange through visiting fellowships and internships; as well as teaching at the graduate level through LSE’s European Institute.


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