Where else to talk about culture and democracy but in Athens, Greece? Where else to talk about their importance? And the importance to defend and fight for both. Greece currently finds itself in the grips of one of the most virulent economic crises to date, which has mushroomed to inexplicable proportions and has spread and infiltrated all aspects of Greek life. Set against the grim reality of everyday Greek life, it might appear unspeakable to discuss seemingly lofty issues such as culture and democracy. But if not now, when? If not now, when do we ask tough questions about the role of culture in society? Does it distract, empower or manipulate? If not now, when do we ask what a sensible and just culture of democracy should look like?
Burning questions – but who has the answers? Discussing the topics of slashed culture budgets and its impact on democracy as well as the responsibility of cultural figures and institutions in the wake of difficult times are some of the most eminent intellectuals and thinkers from Germany, Greece, Sweden and the rest of Europe, including Lena Divani, Eva Karaitidi, Argyris Kastaniotis, Nikos Papandreou, Alexandra Pavlou, Ingo Schulze, and Nike Wagner.