The concept of otherness as a value is based on recognition, acceptance and respect. It requires understanding that each individual is unique; it recognizes our individual differences without discrimination. These differences may involve various aspects of our personality: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, socio-economic status, age, physical and mental abilities, language, religious and political beliefs, or other ideologies.
Yet, many societies feel aversion toward anything different. Hate for otherness seems to be at the heart of the current shift toward totalitarianism that threatens the achievements of the Enlightenment (democracy, tolerance, freedom of expression).
Awareness of this became the starting point for a debate among artists and professors of the Athens School of Fine Arts and the Thessaloniki School of Fine Arts and their students focusing on aversion to otherness. The debate inspired them to reflect on the issue in their work which is currently presented in a group show titled: “De Differentia”, curated by Regina Argyraki-Christodoulidi and Jeannie Yennimata.
The exhibition is at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) and will run through May 10, 2019. Ten professors and studio directors from the two Fine Art schools in Greece, some of the most prominent artists of the 80s generation, and four major female contemporary artists visually convey the rejection of otherness.
The exhibition will be accompanied by panel discussions exploring aspects of hatred towards otherness. Speakers include: Yiannis Mouzalas, former minister of migration policy; Xenis Sachinis, Dean, School of Fine Arts, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; Rena Dourou, Regional Governor of Attica; Professors Angeliki Ziaka (Islamic Studies), Giorgos Antoniou (Jewish Studies), Michalis Stathopoulos, C. Mantzavinos, Nikos Mouzelis; Zacharoula Tsirigoti, Lieutenant-General, Hellenic Police.
Exhibition hours: 09.00 – 22.00.