At a first glance it looks like yet another exhibition on Greece’s seven-year dictatorship. Yet more photographs from the Athens Polytechnic, the site of the 1973 student uprising, and posters expressing opposition to the military regime. However, as you move through the display that opened this week at the Hellenic Parliament Foundation, you realize that this is one of the most engaging historical exhibitions to have ever been staged in Athens.
The show, titled “The Dark Seven Years 1967-1974: The Colonels’ Dictatorship,” allows visitors to choose the manner in which they experience the items on display – a sea of documents, manuscripts, pictures and audio material. The setup was conceived by Natalia Boura while the exhibition was curated by Anna Enepekidou, Christos Christidis and Giorgos Stathakopoulos, and the organizers have made sure that visitors get an active role – less like wonderers and more like researchers.
Visitors can go through drawers to read, and actually feel, the things that pique their interest: copies of letters, classified documents and writings against the junta.
The exhibits come from Greek and foreign archives such as the Parliament Llibrary, the Contemporary Social History Archives, the Benaki Museum, the State Broadcaster Archive, the General State Archives, the Hellenic Literary and Historical Archive, the Gennadius Library and a number of private collections.
Meanwhile, a three-day conference, “The Dictatorship of the Colonels and the Restoration of Democracy,” began at the Parliament’s Senate Hall on Thursday.
Renowned historians, lawyers, and political scientists will discuss a wide range of issues related to the military dictatorship, including the seeds of the regime, their ideological backgrounds, the court trials, opposition at home and abroad, corruption and Greece’s foreign policy during that period.
“The Dark Seven Years 1967-1974: The Colonels’ Dictatorship” will remain on display at the Hellenic Parliament Foundation Exhibition Hall (14 Amalias) until June 12, 2014.