Pro-Refugee Activism in Greece: The imaginary grounds of a real dynamic


Abstract


This paper seeks to explore selective activism in order to seize the reasons lying beneath activist commitment to a cause instead of another requiring defense, concomitant and similar to the one ultimately chosen. The attempt to understand how activists' decision-making process and subsequent activity are structured is grounded on a field research conducted among pro-refugee activists in Athens from 2015 to 2017. The findings of the research show that the emergence and expansion from 2015 onwards of many different pro-refugee activist initiatives are largely influenced by imaginary constructs that are related to three superimposed but distinct levels of imaginary identification games. This case study reveals that prorefugee activism is certainly fuelled by political facts, but at the same time it is detached both from reality and politics, since it reflects the way in which they are combined with imaginary universes predominant in activist circles, which have little or no political relevance.

Keywords: activism; Greece; imaginary; refugee crisis; squats

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