“We Are and We Remain Greeks”. The Radically Patriotic Discourse in Pyrsos Magazine, GDR, 1961–1968

Ikoniadou, Maria orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6572-9148 (2017) “We Are and We Remain Greeks”. The Radically Patriotic Discourse in Pyrsos Magazine, GDR, 1961–1968. In: The Politics of Culture in Turkey, Greece & Cyprus: Performing The Left Since The 1960s. Routledge Advances in Mediterranean Studies . Routledge, London and New York, pp. 184-207. ISBN 9781138914452

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This chapter aims to contribute to scholarship on the Greek Left’s efforts to reclaim the Greek nation in the 1960s, by looking at the illustrated magazine Pyrsos (Πυρσός). Pyrsos was initiated by the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and produced in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) with funding from the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). Its circulation in the socialist states was amongst (mainly young) Greek political refugees of the Greek Civil War. This chapter analyses Pyrsos’ design, which revolved around the demand for repatriation of the exiled Greek Communists manifested in the suture of ambiguous and fragmentary images and texts about the Aegean landscapes. It claims that this was in line with the GDR’s ideology of socialist internationalism. It also argues that Pyrsos reproduced the radical patriotism of the Greek Left based on the notion that the Greek ‘people’ were the victim of foreign oppression and inherently resistant. Although such discourse was far from uncontested by the exiled Greek Communists, it was largely desired by Pyrsos’ readers who encouraged its efforts to propagate Left patriotism and prepare the ground for repatriation.

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