Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2012-2013
- DegreeD. Phil., Oriental Studies and Anthropology, University of Oxford, 2011DissertationThe Mosque that Wasn't There: An Ethnography of Political Imagination in Contemporary GreeceResearch ProjectThe Nation's Vow: Haunting Fantasies of the Colonels' Greece
Dimitris Antoniou has studied Orthodox Theology (B.A., University of Athens), Oriental Studies and Anthropology (D.Phil., University of Oxford). His research combines modern Greek studies, anthropology and architectural history and focuses on unrealized government initiatives, the imaginary built environment, and the role of fantasy in politics. He has recently completed an ethnographic study of an unbuilt mosque in the suburbs of Athens. He is currently collaborating with architects, historians and artists on research that explores the Táma tou Éthnous (The Nation’s Vow), a church that the Greek military regime of 1967 attempted to construct in fulfillment of a nineteenth century vow.
About the Research Project
The Nation's Vow: Haunting Fantasies of the Colonels' Greece
On July 26, 1829 the participants of the Fourth National Assembly pledged to construct a church, The Nation’s Vow (To Táma tou Éthnous), in return for Greek liberation from the Ottoman Empire. Its imagined architecture would reflect contemporary conceptions of the new nation, its historical mission, and its place in the world. Yet a lack of financial resources and wavering interest deferred the Vow’s fulfillment for well over a century, until in 1969 the Greek military regime launched an architectural contest to at last complete the project. For the colonels, building the Vow would signify the country’s new glories, the dictatorship's capacity to rebrand urban space, and the triumphant merger of nationalism, the classical past, and Orthodoxy. Taking this episode as a point of departure, I combine archival material and ethnographic research to re-imagine the capital city according to the dictators’ visions as well as to rethink the dictatorial legacy and the place of silence, resistance, and complicity in Greece today.