Deconstructing patriarchy in post-war Greek cinema and society: A socio-historical reading of Cacoya
Public lecture by Dr Achilleas Hadjikyriacou, King's College London, Strand Campus
The years following the end of the Greek Civil War in 1949 initiated a new era for Greece that led the country through tremendous political, economic and social transformations. Inevitably, these changes had a strong impact on gender identities and relations, as well as on their representations in the film productions of the time. Aiming to highlight the ways in which Greek cinema can be examined as a cultural institution, influenced by, and influencing the socio-historical context within which it operated, this presentation consists of three parts.
In the first, social change in Greece from the perspective of gender is under scrutiny. In the second, Greek cinema is discussed in terms of its emergence as an industry and its relation to the dramatic social changes that took place in the 1950s and 1960s. To provide a more tangible analysis of this interaction between social and filmic worlds, the third and most extended part of this presentation will focus on one of the most memorable films of the 1950s Michalis Cacoyannis’ Stella (1955). Stella offers unique insights into how masculinity and gender relations as social, cultural and visual constructs were negotiated and transformed during this period in question. Dr Achilleas Hadjikyriacou is the Cultural Counsellor of the Cyprus High Commission in London, a position he has held since 1 September 2014. He received his doctorate in History and Civilization in 2010 from the European University Institute in Florence and his academic interests focus on gender history, masculinity, popular culture, visual sources and the history of Greek Cinema. During his undergraduate and postgraduate studies, Dr Hadjikyriacou received several awards, distinctions, research grants and scholarships from Cypriot, Greek and international organisations. In 2012 he was awarded the James Kaye Memorial Prize for the best PhD thesis on history and visuality. He has presented numerous papers at international conferences and published articles in peer-reviewed international journals and edited volumes. His first monograph entitled Masculinity and Gender in Greek Cinema, 1949-1967 was published in 2013 by Bloomsbury. Before his diplomatic appointment, Dr Hadjikyriacou worked as a Scientific Officer at the Research Promotion Foundation in Cyprus, and also as a part-time Lecturer at the European University of Cyprus and the University of Cyprus. As from 1st October 2016 he is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Centre for Hellenic Studies, Kings College London and he is also the current vice-president of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) network in London.