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.