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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Creativity in the Service of Economic Recovery and “National Salvation”: Dispatches from the Greek Crisis Social Factory

This chapter focuses on discursive constructions of creativity in the Greek
public sphere in connection to the Greek government debt crisis. Instrumentalized by
policy makers and pundits pursuing neoliberal reforms in Greece, creativity is
understood to serve a mode of biopolitical governmentality. This is connected to
the production of a national consensus over the necessity for neoliberal reforms and
to the individualization of the risks and insecurity that such reforms entail. This
chapter looks at specific public discursive constructions of creativity in Greece from
2010 onward. Specifically, the creativity discourse is approached in both its progressive
and conservative articulations as articulated by the social democrat Giorgos
A. Papandreou, Greece’s prime minister during the first years of the crisis
(2009–2011), and the conservative Kyriakos K. Mitsotakis, Greece’s prime minister
in 2019 and at the time of writing. Simultaneously, this chapter foregrounds
the examples of success stories of creative ventures that received publicity in Greece
so as to unfold other examples of a hegemonic discourse meant to motivate society
on a post-political, entrepreneurial, and nationalistic basis. Such success stories
develop through the didactic narratives that proliferate in Greece’s mainstream
news and lifestyle media, which are meant to establish a creative paradigm as a
way out of unemployment and recession. Here, creativity forms a public repertoire
that fabricates the crisis into a so-called opportunity for development that is borne
through entrepreneurship.